Did you know 5% and 10% of women experience severe period discomfort that interferes with daily life? If you are tired of debilitating period pain, you’re likely as frustrated as me. I will share a bit about my experiences below. There are many ways to get period pain relief, some that you might not know about yet, like taking this capsule for natural period pain relief or getting a massage. If you feel helpless, here is a list of ways to try to alleviate the cramps.
My experience and the quest to find period pain relief
Reducing period pain is something that I’ve been trying to do for years. I get bad cramps, especially on day one, and often find myself on the couch for long stretches.
Doubled over in pain, I put a heat pack on my stomach, take pain relievers, and hope for them to work their magic. Sometimes it helps and other times I suffer for hours. I’m tired of it! Not to mention the bloating, mood swings, and body fatigue.
I still remember my very first period, when I was clutching my tummy in pain – and I was at my first concert at an outdoor venue, of all places and times! I was taken to a first aid tent and given a few ibuprofens. And so my menstrual cycle began, and it continues to announce itself loudly every month.
So, what else is out there to help relieve the abdominal cramps that can get so bad that our busy schedules come to a grinding halt? Here are a few ideas. I have been trying them all!
1. Avoid caffeine and alcohol
Caffeine and alcohol can cause many problems for females who are already suffering from menstrual cramps. How so?
Caffeine is a stimulant that causes your body to produce more urine, which can lead to dehydration. Not only can you look forward to bloating if you drink a lot of coffee while menstruating but you can also get stronger cramps, ug. If you can’t go without you daily cup of joe, try to limit it to just one cuppa each day during that time of the month.
Like caffeine, alcohol also dehydrates you. That yummy wine can cause headaches, stomachaches, dizziness, and insomnia during your period. I read recently that alcohol worsens cramps because it raises prostaglandins levels (a group of lipids), which triggers the cramping of muscles of the uterus.
From now on, I’m upping my water content on my period. I hope that it will help reduce bloating that leaves me uncomfortable and also makes me feel like I look terrible. It also has the potential to reduce uterine contractions.
2. Consuming natural pain relief capsules
Consuming natural pain relief capsules can provide relief from severe abdominal cramps for some females. While I have been reaching for over-the-counter (OTC) ibuprofen tablets for years, I’m now looking into more natural remedies.
For those who don’t find that traditional OTC pain relievers are working, natural choices could be what you find is helpful instead. Nowadays, many capsules come with ingredients like Melissa Officinale, Panax notoginseng, Angelica polymorphica, Shatavari, Raspberry leaf, Paeony, etc. these ingredients target different parts of the body and, as a whole, give you much relief from pain.
For example, Raspberry leaf is known for uterine tonic and is used to eliminate heavy or painful bleeding. Taking such natural period pain relief capsules can finally ease your discomfort to continue daily activities during your period.
3. Massage therapy
A massage?! OK. I’m willing to try it!
A self-massage of the abdominal area has the potential to reduce pain. Go one step further and book an appointment with a professional for a full-body massage to relieve menstrual cramps and reduce stress levels.
Massage therapy can increase blood flow and ease muscle stress. Rather than thinking of it as an extravagant outing, look at it as being for your physical health.
What about acupuncture? Can it help? This post looks at the evidence.
4. Get regular physical activity
Endorphins are feel-good brain chemicals that release during exercise. You might not like the notion of doing it right before or during your period, and I hear you. As earlier mentioned, I just want to rest on the couch.
But exercising has the potential to ease the misery. According to research, exercise is beneficial in reducing menstruation discomfort to the point that it may even lessen or eliminate the need for painkillers.
Instead of engaging in more vigorous activity during your period, though, try a moderate exercise like walking instead.
I’ve been doing this a few days before my period is set to start and find that it helps a bit. Short walks, just 15 minutes at a time.
I have yet to exercise when the flow starts, though, as I just don’t feel up to it. Maybe next month I’ll try to get out for a walk at least once during those 5 uncomfortable days.
Don’t overdo it. Listen to your body. If your body is not reacting well, then stop and take some rest.
5. Eat food rich in calcium
When it comes to period cramps, calcium can help reduce their severity. Who knew?! Not me. This info is new to me.
An important role of calcium is to help build strong bones and teeth, as you likely know. It can also help relieve muscle contractions, including abdominal cramps. Enlightening!
Calcium is commonly found in milk, cheese, yogurt, and many other dairy products, such as cottage cheese or yogurt. Some vegetables also contribute calcium, so consider adding them to your meal plan. For example, cooked broccoli contains about 180 milligrams (mg) per cup. One cup of cooked spinach packs about 240 mg of calcium!
6. Use heat packs to relieve pain
Heat packs are a great way to relieve pain. You can use them for 10-20 minutes at a time. I have a lovely reusable purple one that I microwave for a short time to warm up.
I use it on my abdomen, but never directly on the skin as it’s too hot. Instead, I put it on the outside of my shirt or against a blanket; either one acts as a barrier between the heat pack and my skin.
Other people also use their heat packs on the lower back, hips, and thighs to help relieve the aches. You can easily buy one online or at a physical store if you don’t have one already.
Concluding words on period pain relief
So now you know different methods like using natural period pain relief capsules or going for massage therapy to help ease the discomfort. When trying these methods, don’t forget to focus on your body signs; see what your body is telling you is working (or not). Pay attention to what is helping your body feel more relaxed.
And also, keep in mind that these strategies should not be implemented in excess, like excessive exercise or overconsuming capsules. And if you have significant period pain or other symptoms that worry you, please see a doctor. The advice here is not a substitute for medical advice.