Menstrual pain and discomfort are normal, and more than half of menstruating women experience them, reports the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. However normal, they can seriously disrupt your routine, so it is important to know how to relieve them. Here are some easy but effective remedies that you can try at home or on the go.
Sometimes, menstrual pain is just a consequence of bloating. Proper hydration can ease bloating and, thus, alleviate pain. Specialists recommend drinking a minimum eight glasses of water daily. If plain water does not appeal to you, try tea or flavor your water with ginger, mint, and fruits.
Keep in mind that alcohol promotes dehydration. While a glass of wine won’t kill you, more could negatively impact your health. Also, consumed in excess, salt encourages bloating and fluid retention. At the opposite end, chamomile tea seems to reduce cramps, improve menstrual flow, and ease period symptoms.
Some foods produce inflammation, while others reduce it. During your period, you want to avoid foods in the former category and eat more from the latter. Stay away from sugar, processed, and fried foods.
Cherries, berries, tomatoes, squash, beans, and leafy greens are your best friends. From coldwater fish and avocado, you can get your dose of healthy fats. Nuts and seeds are very nutritious and beneficial as well. Especially effective at reducing menstrual pain and discomfort seem to be fennel, cinnamon, ginger, dill, turmeric, fish oil.
Vitamin D deficiency has become a common problem these days. Without vitamin D, your body does not absorb calcium and may develop a series of other health conditions and symptoms. If you are vitamin D deficient, your period symptoms could improve simply from getting enough vitamin D. if staying in the sun is not exactly your thing, you have the option of taking supplements.
As your body starts synthesizing calcium, your menstrual cramps will improve as well. Supplementation with magnesium can boost muscle and nerve function, regulate blood pressure, and keep your blood sugar level under control.
If you bleed heavily during your period, increasing your vitamin K intake may help keep the flow under control. Be careful, though, as you do not want to overdo it. It is important to confirm deficiencies before treating them. Taken in excess, even vitamins can have side effects.
A heating pad applied on your abdomen can match the pain-relieving effects of ibuprofen when it comes to menstrual cramps. Heat wraps, hot water bottles, heat patches, warm towels, and hot showers can successfully replace heating pads.
Exercise helps release endorphins, brain chemicals known to induce a feeling of well-being. It can also take your mind from the symptoms. If you feel too tired to jog or lift weights, walking, yoga or tai chi will provide the same benefits with a lower toll on your bones and muscles.
A few minutes of massage can be enough to help your body relax, improve blood flow, and relieve menstrual pain and discomfort. If you cannot go to a salon or have someone massage you in the comfort of your home, massage your abdomen yourself, and you will still see some results.
If you’re going to try massage for relieving period symptoms, consider using essential oils for it. The ones that have been proven effective at relieving pain and inflammation so far are lavender, rose, clary sage, frankincense, cinnamon, chamomile, and tea tree.
If you use tampons, dipping their tip into or dropping some seabuckthorn oil on them before insertion may help relieve pain as well. Be careful, though, as, depending on concentration, some of these oils may need to be diluted in a carrier oil. For higher purity and better results, you should choose oils suitable for internal use.
These therapies stimulate certain points on your skin to trigger beneficial effects in your body. They can help relieve menstrual cramps and back pain too. Once you identify the trigger points, you can stimulate them at home to replicate the benefits.
Believe it or not, sleep quality can impact menstrual symptoms, among many other health conditions. For example, women suffering from insomnia usually experience more severe menstrual pain and have a harder time carrying on with their routine compared to women who sleep well.
To improve your sleep, try creating a bedtime routine. You could listen to music, drink a cup of chamomile tea, or read a couple of pages. Diffusing some lavender oil in the room or dripping it on your pillow may help as well. After a good night’s sleep, even if it’s still there, menstrual pain will be easier to bear.
We’ve already touched on the importance of heat and relaxation for relieving menstrual pain and discomfort. Well, warm baths combine them. Fill up your tub, dive in, and enjoy the comfort. For further relief, consider using bath bombs.
They use ingredients like essential oils and sodium bicarbonate to help your muscles relax, alleviate pain, and soothe your vagina. A couple of minutes in the hot tub and you will feel like new and forget all about period symptoms.
Although menstrual cramps and some level of discomfort are normal, they should not prevent you from carrying on with your routine and enjoying life at its fullest. The above advice should help you get some relief.
If things get out of hand and you have trouble controlling your period symptoms, consider consulting a doctor! You could be suffering from hormonal imbalance, infections, or some other affection that your gynecologist can help you treat and, thus, end your periodical torment.
Dani Fogel. is a Communication Coordinator at Brandable, based in Los Angeles, CA. She works on the Queen V brand within the company’s Digital and Ecommerce department.