Period cramps are the main reason why most women don’t like ‘those days in the month’. Many women have painful periods and that’s completely normal. Here are some tips on how you can ease your period cramps at home.
Women who are physically active often have less menstrual pain. During exercise our body releases endorphins – chemicals in the body that interact with the receptors in our brain that make us feel good and reduce perception of pain. If you aren’t into exercising, long walks can also be beneficial during your period.
2. Abdominal massage
You can ease period cramps by massaging your abdomen and lower back. Abdominal massage can be carried out while standing, lying down or sitting. Choose the position that suits you. Here’s the video on how to ease period cramps by massaging – Massage Tutorial.
3. Take pain reliever
If you are experiencing very painful cramps, it’s recommended to take painkilling medicine. Pain relievers are most effective if you use them as soon as you feel any kind of cramping.
Over-the-counter pain relievers that are best for period cramps:
4. Turn Up the Heat
Place a hot water bottle or heating pad on your abdomen. Heat may relieve pain as effectively as pain relievers because it opens vessels and improves blood flow. Warm showers and baths are also helpful.
5. Oral contraceptives
Women who take oral contraceptives have lighter periods and less period cramps. Oral contraceptives thin the lining of the womb so the muscles don’t have to contract so much. They can be a good choice if you also need a contraceptive.
6. Drink warm beverages
Warm beverages increase blood flow to the skin and can relax cramped muscles. Instead of morning cup of coffee, drink mint tea or hot lemon water.
7. Change your diet
Avoid foods that contain, sugar, salt, caffeine, and alcohol. These foods cause water retention and bloating. Cutting or reducing caffeine can ease period cramps and decrease tension.
Include foods rich in carbohydrates – fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Try to eat light but frequent meals.
8. Smoking & Drinking
Smoking and alcohol drinking during your period can make your period cramps worse. Women who drink and smoke during their period are more likely to have irregular and painful periods. According to the ACOG, women who smoke have a 50 percent increase in cramps and experience more severe premenstrual symptoms. (1)
9. Vitamins and supplements
Try vitamin B6, magnesium and calcium supplements. Before taking any supplements, consult with your doctor or gynecologist. You can also include more foods rich in vitamin B6, magnesium and calcium into your diet.
Foods high in calcium: almonds, dairy products, almonds, sesame seeds leafy green vegetables…
Foods high in magnesium: spinach, pumpkin seeds, black beans…
Foods high in vitamin B6: tuna, beef, chicken, potatoes…
If you aren’t into intense exercise, you can try yoga. This gentle exercise can also reduce period cramps and help you to relax. Meditation is another way to relax during your period.
Every body is different so every woman needs to find a treatment that works for her. Try some of these tips to ease your period cramps every month.