Cramps affect many women before and during their period. Menstrual cramps can be a woman’s nightmare. Some people only experience mild cramps, others aren’t quite as lucky. While doctors are not entirely sure why some women experience painful cramps and others mild, several factors play a part in the pain’s intensity. Diet has mostly been linked to women experiencing painful cramps, but other factors include the use of birth control, endometriosis, and growth in the womb.
If period pain is cramping your style every month, there are steps you can take to gain back control. Here are proven home remedies that may ease your discomfort.
Heat boosts blood circulation, which can reduce pain. Applying heat to your abdomen can help relax the womb muscles. While using heating patches are more convenient, hot water bottles and heating pads are almost as effective. Research showed that using a heating patch also helped control mood swings and reduce fatigue, which most menstruating women experience. In case you can’t access a heat wrap, it’s possible to make one while at home. Take two pieces of fabric and sew together, leaving a hole at the top. Feel it with uncooked rice, sew the hole, and microwave the rice until it reaches your desired temperature. Be careful not to overheat it.
Soak In A Tub
Soaking in a warm bathtub is another way to surround your pelvic muscles with the warmth they need to relax. You can enhance the pain-relieving power of a good soak by adding a few drops of essential oils like lavender, sage, or rose to your bathwater. Try to relax in a warm bath for at least 15 minutes to get the most benefits from it.
Just like applying heat, massages help with blood flow. Experts even recommend massaging yourself on the abdomen in a circular motion for about five minutes to reduce the pain. Using essential oils such as lavender and sage is also advisable as they contain compounds reported to relieve pain.
Low-to-medium intensity aerobic exercise can help reduce pain caused by period cramps. Doctors recommend about 30 minutes of workouts for pain relief. Scientific studies have proven that women who exercise during or before period experience significantly fewer cramp pains. A study published in September 2016 in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine showed that 20 students who did a one-hour yoga session once a week for three months experienced fewer cramps than 20 other students who didn’t.
Several studies suggest that different types of dietary supplements may help reduce period cramps, though it’s not known exactly how they work. Some supplements that show promise in reducing period pain include calcium, vitamins B-6, B-1, E, and D, plus magnesium and zinc, vitamin B-12 and fish oil. You can find dietary supplements at your local drugstore and use it according to your doctor’s orders.
Avoid Salty Foods, Alcohol And Caffeine
While supplements may help ease period pain, it’s also a good idea to avoid certain foods that can cause water retention, bloating and discomfort. It is also best to stay off alcohol and caffeine as they increase inflammation, thus encouraging period pain. You should consider anti-inflammatory foods such as tomatoes, cherries, bell papers, or blueberries. A healthy diet throughout the year helps to reduce your monthly cramps.
According to experts, you’re more likely to have abdominal cramps during your period if you’re dehydrated. Aim to drink eight 8-ounce glasses of water per day. You’ll need more if it’s hot, if you’ve been exercising, or if you simply feel thirsty.
Acupressure is the practice of applying pressure on acupuncture joints to signal the body to turn on its self-healing mechanism. This form of massage has been used for over 2000 years in traditional Chinese medicine to encourage qi’s (life energy) movement in the body. To relieve pain, apply pressure on the space between your thumb and index finger and move in circles for about five minutes. You can also apply pressure to other key points on the abdomen, feet, and back.