An app to mitigate menstrual pain


RAISING AWARENESS: Lack of funding threatens the work of agencies
supporting child sex victims; and (inset below left) Ansar Ali
RAISING AWARENESS: Lack of funding threatens the work of agencies supporting child sex victims; and (inset below left) Ansar Ali

Researchers have reportedly developed a smartphone app that could mitigate menstrual pain in women.

The app contains is equipped with acupressure based features and it is developed by researchers at the Charite – Universitatsmedizin Berlin in Germany. Called Luna, it comes with features and instructions on how to administer self-acupressure before and during menstruation.

The app also includes visual descriptions of the pressure points to massage and they were found to be more effective in reducing menstrual pain than usual care alone, including taking pain medication and hormonal contraceptives.

The result of the study was published in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology.

The study, which was spread across three months, evaluated  221 women between the ages of 18 and 34 suffering from severe menstrual pain. The participants were assigned to one of the two treatment groups, both of which received instructions on how to administer self-acupressure shortly before and during menstruation. After three months, results showed that 37 percent of participants in the acupressure group reported a 50 percent reduction in pain intensity.

Around 80 percent of women experience menstrual cramps, which is a pain in their lower abdomen, and it is often accompanied by headache, backache, nausea and diarrhoea.

About 40 percent of women also complain about bloating, tender breasts, a swollen stomach, lack of concentration, mood swings, clumsiness and tiredness.

Bringing about certain lifestyle changes can alleviate period pain or dysmenorrhoea.

Giving up smoking, reducing alcohol consumption, eating high fibre foods and plenty of salads and vegetables, cutting down on sugary foods, chocolate, cakes and biscuits and reducing the amount of salt in your diet can help.

Using a heating pad is also beneficial. A study published in 2001 in Evidence-Based Nursing found that heat was just as effective as pain killers for period cramps.