Some people are lucky enough not to experience any period pain but for others, it can range from mild cramping and mood swings to Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD), a severe form of PMS which results in nausea, fatigue and debilitating pain. It’s important to speak to your doctor if you are unable to continue with your daily duties or your period pain is severely impacting your relationships with others.
Some of these home remedies for period pain have been proven to provide relief:
- Heat: Heat helps to reduce the cramping of the uterine muscles. Fill up a hot water bottle use a heat pack or take a hot bath for more rapid relief.
- Ginger: Ginger has many benefits for our overall health, and it can simultaneously lessen the severity of physical and emotional PMS. Sip on some ginger tea or make a fresh brew by finely grating or chopping 2 teaspoons of fresh ginger and adding it to a pot of hot water with one tablespoon of brown sugar. Sipping warm or hot water has the added benefit of relieving cramps.
- Vitamins & Supplements: B1, B6, Chasteberry, E, Magnesium Omega-3 fatty acids are good to relieve PMS and elevate mood.
- Exercise: Exercise promotes blood flow through the body and releases endorphins that ease period pain and improve your mood. Take a walk or do some yoga if you are not felling up to higher energy forms of exercise.
- Orgasm: Having an orgasm has been shown to help to reduce period pain as endorphins, oxytocin, and dopamine are released during an orgasm which helps reduce the intensity of the period pain.
- Acupuncture: Acupuncture is a popular alternative therapy for the alleviation of menstrual cramps, and for reducing inflammation in general. It works by stimulating the nervous system, which promotes circulation throughout the body, using certain pressure points around the body.
What to avoid
- Stress: Stress can worsen the severity of cramps so if possible, try avoiding stressful situations.
- Alcohol and smoking: These stimulants can make cramps worse.
- Processed foods, fat and sugar: Diets which are low in fat, sugar, and processed foods have been shown to PMS as omitting these foods reduces inflammation in the body. Try reducing your intake of these foods throughout the month to prevent menstrual cramps.
For severe menstrual pain, please see a doctor who can can help diagnose the underlying cause.