It is common to have cramps during periods. According to a research study, there is one out of two women and an approx. one in ten women who face its severe symptoms.
It affects some women during the period, whereas some get affected before it. Likewise, its intensity has variants i.e Some women faced mild cramps, some had it to an extreme level, and others didn’t feel anything at all. Kinda lucky!
And believe me! There are times when period pain can become so bad that is why there is a medical term for it i.e., dysmenorrhea. So, now, for this reason, you have to take back control of your life and have to perform some serious measures for it. Here we will be discussing some tips and remedies which may help in relieving the period cramps.
Why might menstrual cramps happen?
While menstruating, one may feel discomfort around her lower abdomen, lower back, thighs, calves, etc. All of these are symptoms of period cramps. During the period, the womb muscles face contraction and relaxation both at the same time to help in shedding the built-up lining.
Doctors are exactly not sure why some women experience pain while menstruating and others don’t. According to a research study, there are some factors associated with period cramps described as follows:
- The first and foremost reason could be an excess of prostaglandins (hormone-like compounds). It is released from the uterus lining and prepares it for shedding.
- It may be because of the birth of the first child.
- Inflammation. It could be chronic or due to consumption of alcohol and smoking.
- Pelvic infection.
- Being young – under the age of 20
- There might be abnormal growth in the uterus.
- Usage of birth control pills.
Remedies to relieve period cramps
In the middle of mild to extreme period cramps, we are here to present some top effective remedies to make you feel a bit better. Keep on reading to get fast relief and learn how you incorporate them into your daily lifestyle.
1. Heating pad
The idea of using a heating pad or performing heat treatment never goes wrong. Using it around your lower abdomen area helps in relaxing your muscles that causes period cramps. The heat helps in boosting the blood circulation level that reduces the overall pain.
According to a study, using a heating pad during period cramps works as effectively as ibuprofen at the same time.
What to do about it?
- Use a hot water bottle or a heating pad or a heating patch, etc. for the treatment. It is available at any local drugstore near you.
- Electric heating pads are also the latest option.
- If you don’t feel comfortable with it, taking a hot shower or using a hot towel can be a good option.
2. Massage tummy with essential oils
Massage therapy is one of the oldest and amazing ways of relieving period cramps. During menstruation, 20 minutes of massage therapy works wonders.
How to perform it?
It involves pressing specific points of the body such as the lower abdomen, waist side, lower back area, etc. And the addition of essential oils in this aromatherapy maximizes the additional benefits attached to it.
Which essential oils are the best to use in period cramps?
- Lavender Oil
- Peppermint Oil
- Sweet Almond Oil
- Fennel Oil,
- Any Scented Massage Oil, etc.
There are several oils available in the market, it’s important you feel comfortable while using the product. Find a reliable aromatherapist or talk with your doctor about its proper usage. They can help with it and answer your questions.
3. Taking OTC medicine
It is mentioned in the heading – OTC pain relievers are pain killer medicines. It includes ibuprofen, naproxen, and aspirin briefly. All of these pain killers are one of the quickest and effective treatments for period cramps. These medications are readily available at every local drugstore and work best for mild to normal period cramps.
If you have any of the following issues like cardiac disease, liver problem, asthma, kidney issue, etc. talk to your doctor first before taking it.
According to research, it is time to listen to your body. Don’t try something new, which your body is not adaptable to such as HIIT or CrossFit. Do what you already enjoy, and your body is used to it. It could be anything like aerobics, Zumba, Cardio, Yoga, etc. Aerobics helps in releasing the endorphins (feeling-good hormones).
Some of the key points to remember in this situation are as follows:
- Focus on the overall benefits attached to it. Try to push yourself at least for 15 – 20 minutes.
- Wear comfortable sanitary products.
- During the lighter flow of menstrual days, perform light to medium intensity exercises like jogging, brisk walking, etc. It helps in controlling bloating.
- If you have a busy schedule, try to fit in exercises in different chunks of 20 minutes throughout the day.
- Listen to your favorite music while exercising to pace up the motivation level.
5. Stress reduction
The combination of stress and periods can be unpredictable. Its symptoms vary from person to person, such as loss of appetite, headaches, severe mood swings, etc. Similarly, the triggering factor is also different for everybody. It may include fear of breakup in a relationship, fear of losing someone, or a random noise from outside. It could be anything.
You can’t imagine the after-effects of stress influencing your hormones. It can be late or a missed period. It makes the overall duration of period cramps worsen. Here are some tips you can apply to make the entire period a stress-free happy bunch of days. Have a look!
- Eat a healthy and balanced diet. Don’t forget to add all the food groups to your daily intake.
- Take 7 to 8 hours of deep sleep. Don’t use the screen at least 1 hour before bed.
- Try some relaxing techniques like bedtime yoga, deep breathing exercises, meditation, etc. All of these practices help reduce your stress levels.
- Spend some quality time with your loved ones. It does wonders.
- Take some herbal supplements and herbal tea for the purpose.
Eat to reduce pain
During periods we all crave something oily, fried, salty, or spicy, but are these worth it? Not at all! All these food items worsen the overall health condition, whereas a healthy and the right dietary intake helps ease the menstrual pain.
Don’t forget that anti-inflammatory foods like cherries, raspberries, blueberries, capsicum, tomatoes, bell peppers, etc. make one of the best choices. Similarly, intake of seafood and dark-green leafy vegetables is one of the healthy choices. Try to add calcium to your daily diet in any form. Moreover, we have jotted down some dietary items in detail due to their numerous benefits during menstrual pain.
1. Chamomile tea
If you enjoy sipping hot cups of herbal tea, don’t skip this point. Start sipping 2 to 3 cups of chamomile tea daily at least a week before your period. It helps in relieving your muscles and reduces the painful cramps while you menstruate due to anti-spasmodic properties.
This magic tea is responsible for handling the Prostaglandins. These Prostaglandins are inside the uterus lining invoking the contraction of muscles. It leads to nausea, severe pain, vomiting, diarrhea, etc. Moreover, it has Glycerin in its ingredient list that serves as a relaxant.
Not only this, but Chamomile tea helps in controlling the actions of dopamine and serotonin in your body. It reduces the impact of depressive symptoms.
2. Drink more water
Staying hydrated is an essential factor, and it helps in reducing the common symptoms of period cramps during the menstrual cycle. It refrains you from retaining water and bloating.
- It is recommended to drink at least 6 to 8 glasses of water per day, especially during your period.
- If you don’t like sipping water plain, you may have some tint to it like a pinch of salt, lemon, or ginger that also maximizes the benefits.
- Avoid alcohol at all costs as it leads to dehydration.
- There are also some flavored mineral water bottles available these days, you may opt for it too.
- You can also go for detox water as an option, it increases your fluid intake and make you fresh.
- Add water-based food items in your diet to manage the hydration level like lettuce, celery, cucumbers, berries, watermelons, raspberries, cherries, etc.
Cinnamon has extraordinary health benefits like aiding in weight loss, improving cardiac health, reducing inflammation, and reducing period cramps during the menstrual cycle.
Cinnamon tea minimizes all the PMS and dysmenorrhea-related symptoms or at least makes it manageable.
- It is recommended to take 3 grams of cinnamon daily in the first three days of your menstrual cycle. You can take the cinnamon powder with water or boil the cinnamon stick in the water to make tea out of it.
- It helps in reducing the pain to a greater extent. People had faced less pain, less bleeding, and a reduction in vomiting after its usage.
- If you don’t like it in the form of tea, you may sprinkle some cinnamon on your toast or oats cereal.
Salmon fish is full of omega-3 fatty acid compounds. It helps in relaxing the muscles that can reduce the tiring period cramps. It is better to have your fish intake, especially salmon, during your period to make you feel good. It has wonderful anti-inflammatory properties that make it one of the best choices to have.
Bananas are one of the most commonly found fruits. But do you know it is one of the best food items to take while menstruating to treat period cramps? Bananas are full of fiber, magnesium, and a lot of potassium which helps treat period cramps.
6. Leafy vegetables
Everyone knows the uncountable benefits of Leafy green vegetables. It includes Kale, spinach, green onion, cabbage, and green leafy vegetables of all kinds. It may not be appealing to you, but it does help in all intensities of menstrual pain. It is loaded with iron, zinc, magnesium, and calcium, all of which help in reducing and managing period pain. During the heavy flow of bleeding, one ultimately feels weak and fatigued, here leafy green vegetables help in alleviating your energy levels.
You may add it to salads, eat it in raw form, make a soup out of it, or just eat as you like, etc. There are several options to incorporate into your daily diet.
I love to have oats for breakfast and hope you do too. It is delicious and as well as full of nutrition. Oats are full of zinc and magnesium which helps in relaxing your blood vessels and help in regulating your hormones. Ultimately it helps in reducing the painful period cramps.
You may take it with milk for breakfast, add it to your smoothie, enjoy an oats cookie, or make a granola bar out of it. Moreover, oats have a strong influence on the betterment of your mental health, so don’t forget to have them daily.
Ginger is a wonderful herb that has numerous benefits, and similarly, it eases menstrual cramps. It helps in reducing the prostaglandins level that is responsible for invoking the pain. It helps in eliminating fatigue, drowsiness, and other relevant PMS symptoms.
It is recommended to take 1500 mg of ginger powder daily in the first three days of your menstrual cycle for enjoying the benefits. Grating a piece of ginger in hot water helps in relieving sore muscles, severe mood swings, and painful period cramps. It will also make you feel energized and active for a good period.
Some Final Thoughts
Period cramps are not something very problematic, but it does affect your life at worse. Fortunately, we have discussed all the steps and measures you can acquire to ease the menstrual pain and discomfort caused by these painful cramps.
If, however, it doesn’t go away or you don’t feel better in a couple of days, be sure to follow up with your doctor.