For a woman, the worst time of the month is when she has to pay rent or when her period comes. Neither outweighs the other and they are equally as devastating. A menstrual cycle can not only ruin your outfit of the day, but the pain of cramps can also turn a good day into a bad one quickly. Your friends at Dr. Susan Fox’s Center for Woman would like to offer some natural period cramp relief tips, but first, let’s start with why menstrual cramps happen in the first place.
What are menstrual cramps?
Menstrual cramps are those uncomfortable pulses of pain around your abdomen when you’re menstruating. For most women, cramps start before the period starts and can last to the first day or throughout the cycle. During your period, the muscles of your womb are constantly contracting and relaxing to help shed build up in it’s lining.
When your muscles are at work, you will feel a cramping sensation. Sometimes they are slightly uncomfortable, and other times they are crippling. The amount of pain varies from person to person. Some women may experience headaches, vomiting, or diarrhea as well.
Some factors that are associated with menstrual pain include:
- Having your first child
- Heavy blood flow
- Just starting your period
We’ve gathered a few Natural Period Cramp Relief tips for those with uncomfortable menstrual cycles:
Try applying heat
Applying heat to your pelvic area may relieve menstrual pain. This can be done with an old fashioned heating pad or with a stick on pad that you can wear under your clothes. Studies show that using a heat patch at 104°F was just as effective as using pain killers.
It’s best to use a heating pad in the mornings before heading into work. Using the heating pad for 15 minutes before your shift will soothe cramps naturally. For those who don’t have time before working, using a stick on heating pad can be just as beneficial. This way, you can go about your day while wearing the pad under your clothes. By using a stick on heating pad, you can continue your daily activities without worrying about menstrual pain.
Try massaging with essential oils.
Massages with essential oils not only feel great on the skin but can help reduce menstrual pain. Try massaging your pelvic area with oils for about 20 minutes. Study show that these massages can truly help relieve menstrual pain immediately. By pressing specific points while massaging, this releases hormones that soothe the pain. Massage therapy can be done on the pelvic area, on the abdomen, and on the back to help relieve pain.
Try Avoiding certain foods.
During your menstrual cycle, it may be beneficial to avoid foods that cause water retention and bloating. Many of these foods can cause this:
- Carbonated beverages
- fatty foods
- salty foods
Cutting these foods out of your diet during your menstrual cycle can help decrease tension and alleviate cramps. Try drinking tea during your period as well. Soothing mint or ginger teas not only taste great but can help relieve pain.
While getting out of bed to exercise if you have crippling period pain may not be ideal, but it can help you in the long run. Exercise helps release endorphins that will reduce pain. Research shows that exercise is as effective as taking pain killers. If you’re not up to taking a full Zumba class, moderate activity such as jogging or walking can help soothe your menstrual pain.
One gentle exercise that also helps in regards to menstrual pain is Yoga. Researchers found that the cat, fish, and cobra significantly reduced the duration and intensity during menstruation in young women.
Period cramps are never fun, but your friends at Dr. Susan Fox’s Center for Women are here to help. As Natural Period Cramp Relief tips, we suggest cutting out fatty foods, exercise, heating pads, and massages during your menstrual cycle. For more tips about relieving menstrual pain quickly or to make an appointment, feel free to give us a call.