Are These Herbal Patches the Answer to Your Period Cramp Woes?
These herbal patches claim to offer relief from period cramps for up to 12 hours.
If you’re a woman with a uterus in its prime, you're probably familiar with the crippling pain that usually accompanies your period when it comes to visit.
The pain differs from woman to woman. While some women barely experience it, some liken the pain to that of a heart attack.
For the lesser equipped female ninjas, there’s a new product that claims to offer relief from the agony.
‘Sirona’ is a patch that can be applied to the lower back or abdomen to take away some of the stress from menstrual cramps.
The makers of the patch – which is touted to be the first of its kind in India – are the brains behind PeeBuddy, the product that introduced women to a life of standing up to pee.
But Wait! Pain as Bad as a Heart Attack, You Say?
Last year, John Guillebaud, a professor of reproductive health at University College London told Quartz that his patients often described menstrual cramps as being “almost as bad as having a heart attack”.
Dr Suchandra Das of Fortis Hospital, Kolkata, said the intensity of pain differs from person to person. She said that these are anecdotal measures of pain, that are not based on research.
While there are contentions about these claims, menstrual cramps can be excruciating. Either way, if your cramps are severe and unbearable, you may need more than just herbal patches and painkillers. Consult a doctor.
Dr Poonam Laul, a gynaecologist at Deen Dayal Upadhyay Hospital says:
The pain can be very severe. If the patient is suffering from endometriosis, the cramps can be extremely painful. That would be a good time to visit a doctor.
Now, How Does ‘Sirona’ Work?
The patch claims to contain menthol, which helps to dilate the blood vessels and boost blood circulation. It has components of eucalyptus oil that are supposed to improve muscle mobility.
The idea is to apply the patch on the area that is cramping and to leave it on for five to seven minutes. The product claims to provide relief for up to 12 hours.
(Warning: If there’s body hair, use a wet cloth to peel it off, cause it’s going to hurt).
A packet comes with five patches – that cannot be reused – and costs Rs 292 (ouch?). The off-the-counter relaxant can be purchased online but is yet to hit offline stores and pharmacies.
The Quint spoke to a few gynaecologists to see what they thought of the product.
These are not products we would usually prescribe, but if they offer relief, then why not? If it’s something that doesn’t need to be taken orally and can be absorbed locally, it makes sense, but provided it’s cost effective.Dr Bandana Sodhi, Moolchand Medcity
It is important to note the cost of the patch. A gynaecologist who practices at a government hospital said the product is not an option for her patients.
I’m in a government set up, so it’s difficult for my patients to afford this. But I have prescribed Viopatch, which is a similar product, to other patients. The patches provide relief from joint pain too, other than menstrual cramps, and are a good alternative to painkillers. But it’s not very cost effective.Dr Poonam Laul, Deen Dayal Upadhyay Hospital
Products like this seem to have been in the market before, but this is the first indigenous product and the makers have played up its “100 percent herbal” quality.
So if your cramps don’t impede your ability to function and you’re willing to invest some moolah, why not test drive these patches and see if they work?
And while you’re at it, don’t forget to load up on the whole grains, leafy greens and citrus fruits to avoid feeling bloated and by extension, miserable.
(Have a period story to share? Write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org or comment below.)
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