How To Stop Period Cramps? – Ways To Reduce Bad Menstrual Cramps
- How To Stop Period Cramps? – Ways To Reduce Bad Menstrual Cramps
- What Causes Common Period Cramps?
- How To Get Rid Of Period Cramps? – What Can You Do?
- Things You Should Avoid When Having Period Cramps
- Preemptive Preparation
- What to Do If Severe Cramps Continue?
Aaarrrgghhhh!!! It’s that time of the month again! Menstrual cramps! How to get rid of period cramps?!! Aaaarrrgggghhh!!!
Period cramps, ugh, they are the worse! They seriously are. For something that is completely normal to have, they sure hurt like crazy!
Getting your monthly period is probably the only time where most women wished that they were a guy instead.
However not all women are the same, and that goes for period cramps too.
Some women will never get bad cramps and for others, they hurt like hell!
Life is not freakin fair!
And it can be annoying how people could just tell you to “man” up, and say period cramps ain’t that bad.
Just be glad for them that you can’t swap your uterus for theirs…
It is very different for every single woman.
For some lucky women, their cramps can feel like butterflies in their uterus, gently fluttering their wings against the uterus which can feel annoying but still able to go through life like usual.
For some unlucky, wished they were born a man, women sometimes it feels like tiny aliens, trying to rip out your inner lady parts!
And for these women, there are times where they just can’t come out of their bed for a day, having really painful cramps and nothing helps, seems hopeless and horrible.
While other women, however, are just doing fine with a little bleeding but they can do all their daily activities or whatever they like.
Women who don’t suffer as much will never understand those who do suffer.
So why do us women have to go through periods cramps anyway?
Why are we the only beings on earth have to go through this?
What’s causing the painful cramps anyway?
What Causes Common Period Cramps?
Well, to put it bluntly, it’s because of your uterus.
A uterus is a muscle and like all muscle, it tends to contract or tighten and retract or relaxes.
And during each monthly menstrual period, when there is no sperm present to fertilize the egg, the uterus will then remove the uterine lining to make room for a new one.
And to do this, your uterus needs to contract and retract to allow the uterine lining and blood to leave your uterus.
Sometimes, the contractions can be really intense.
And when this happen the pressure can block out blood flow in your uterus can result in pain which also known as period cramps.
Meanwhile, while all of this is happening, the contractions and what not, the uterine lining releases a hormone-like chemical called “prostaglandins”.
Now prostaglandins are important.
Think of it as a signal for your body. Whenever this chemical is present, it tells your body that that particular area of your body needs to heal.
The problem with prostaglandins is that they don’t whistle or shone their flashlight to your body to signal that here is the part that it needs to heal.
Oh no, they do much worse.
When a tissue is damaged or infected, and in this case the uterine lining separating from the uterus, prostaglandins will be produced.
And this will create reactions that could cause pain and inflammation which then kick off the healing process.
As you can see, prostaglandins have a part to play in our body especially the healing process.
However, too much of a good thing can cause a problem.
Some women produce too much of it, and when there is too much it can increase the intensity of the contractions making cramps more painful and it can also cause nausea and lightheadedness.
This is probably the case for many of you.
How To Get Rid Of Period Cramps? – What Can You Do?
Can’t say it enough, period cramps are the worst!
Your uterus is contracting like crazy, each contractions feels like being stabbed with a blunt rusty spoon.
So, it is finally time to take back control of your life.
Don’t let period cramps, cramp your style.
Here are a few ways for you to get rid of painful period cramps that have been suggested by other numerous women who have gone through the same thing as you.
Period cramps are caused by contracting muscle.
Heat opens up blood vessels and improve bloods flow which also relaxes the contracting muscle.
And when your uterus calms the heck down, the pressure that causes the pain will start to go away.
Using heat is one the most common ways on how to get rid of period cramps, so how do you use heat?
A hot bath or shower, but not scalding hot just hot enough for you to easily stay in without any trouble.
Just sit there and relax.
A hot bath or shower can also help you relax mentally which kind of important too.
Painful cramps sometimes can stress us out, which makes your day even worse. A hot bath or shower will help you chill out and relax.
Other ways you can use heat is get a heating pad and put it on you lower abdomen or anywhere where the cramps hurt the most.
You could check out heating pad in stores.
There are microwaveable heat pads, disposable heat pads and even rechargeable cordless heat pads which were designed specifically for menstrual cramps.
If you don’t have a heating pad and you need it now, a bottle of hot water will do.
Or you could use an old but clean sock and fill it with rice or lentils no need to fill it to the top, just tie it and put it in the microwave for 30 seconds.
This makes a great heating pad if you are in a pinch.
However, if a regular hot bath or shower and heat packs do not help at all, here’s another suggestion:
Castor Oil Trick
Use castor oil packs to detox your liver.
Liver often linked to menstrual cramps and if applying heat does not help with menstrual cramps, then there is probably something wrong with your liver.
The best way to fix this is to detox it using castor oil packs.
But bear in mind that this is not a quick fix but rather a long term solution on how to get rid of period cramps.
To do this, apply castor oil on your belly and cover with a piece of wool cloth and followed with a plastic wrap.
And then place a heating pad on it and do this for about 20 to 40 minutes before removing everything.
This is best to do a few times during the week before you usually get your period.
Lots and lots of water
You need to drink lots of water.
Though water doesn’t directly relieve your painful period cramps but it does help the body from retaining water and also help with bloating.
And feeling bloated does makes your menstrual cramps feel worse.
When you feel your period is coming, keep a water bottle nearby.
You can even add some mint or squeezes of lemon to encourage you to drink and keep hydrated.
Drinking warm or hot water can also help by increasing blood flow.
This in turn helps the contracting muscle, which is causing the painful cramps, to relax.
The lesser the contractions gets, the lesser painful cramps it can inflict.
Stock up on Vitamins and Minerals
You lose a lot of minerals and vitamins during your period.
And in that duration it could cause your body to be deficient in certain nutrients that could cause your painful cramps.
If you do not replenish these vitamins and minerals, your body continues to be deficient in those certain nutrients which will cause even more painful cramps than before.
Here are a few supplements that you should take to get rid of your period cramps:
Calcium – Studies have shown that taking about 1200mg calcium a day can help women reduce their emotional and physical period symptom.
This includes fatigue, mood swings and period cramps. Among all the supplements that are listed here, calcium has the most evidence to back its benefits.
Zinc – There is a reason why a lot of birth control pills contain a lot of zinc for the week of menstruation.
You lose a lot of iron during the shedding of the uterine lining stage along with other important nutrients.
Zinc also encourages your period to begin which will help if you have trouble with irregular period cycle.
And as a bonus, zinc also offers other health benefits such as boosting your immune system.
B6 Vitamins – When going through your period, your body loses a lot of B6 vitamins especially during the shedding of the uterine lining.
B6 is essential to many of your body’s functions including immune response, metabolism and few other things.
In short B6 is important and losing a lot of them can cause you to have more painful period cramps.
However, B6 deficiency is a bit rare, and having too much B6 in your body can actually cause serious health effects so be sure to talk to your doctor before taking too much of B6.
Magnesium – Some evidence have shown that magnesium deficiency actually cause painful menstrual cramps.
And like a lot of nutrients that are lost during period, magnesium is one of them.
Many women, who have suffered severe painful cramps in the past, claimed that their period cramps have improved by taking daily magnesium supplement.
So go and talk to your doctor if you are magnesium deficient which probably is causing your painful menstrual cramps.
Potassium – There are a few reasons why so many women recommend eating a banana for your period cramps. One of them is because it is full of potassium.
Like many other nutrients, you lose potassium during your period.
And some doctors believed that potassium helps with menstrual cramps and reduce water retention.
This will help your body prevents bloating which can make cramps feel worse.
Other potassium rich foods besides bananas are leafy greens such as spinach, dried fruits such as apricots or raisins, and fish such as salmon and tuna.
Omega-3 fatty acids – Not only does omega-3 fatty acid is good for your body, but it also help reduce pain that is caused by period cramping.
Many women have claimed that took daily fish supplements had less pain during their period than women who have been taking placebo instead.
It is best to take your supplement as a daily routine not just during your period.
This is because the supplements that you’ve taken might not have enough time to take effect and you might not feel any difference at all.
Think of this as a long term permanent solution rather than a quick fix.
And as usual, before taking any supplements are sure to consult your doctor first especially if you have other medical conditions.
Pain Relief Medication
Pain relief medication should be your best friend during your period cramps.
You should always have them at all times.
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) such as ibuprofen or naproxen works by blocking the contractions that causes your menstrual cramps.
Ibuprofen is the more common of the two and you can take about 400-600 mg for every 4-6 hours.
Always keep track of your period.
And whenever you feel that your periods are about to come knocking, take some ibuprofen the night before bed so that you won’t wake up in misery.
When taking pain relievers during your period, always make sure that you have eaten a proper, filling meal beforehand or you will be feeling a lot worse than before.
The medication effect usually kicks in after about 30 minutes.
Always be sure to consult your doctor before taking any pain relief for your menstrual cramps, especially if you suffer from other health condition.
I know exercising can be the last thing on your mind when it feels like little gremlins are attacking your uterus.
But having an active life is actually one of the best way on how to get rid of period cramps.
When we exercise, we release higher rate endorphins, which is what our body uses to battle against pain.
And not to mention that our body will have an improved blood flow that can lessen the intensity of the contractions.
So get on that treadmill and do a few runs, and see if the increase endorphins helped with the cramps or not.
You might as well make exercising a routine in your daily life if you haven’t done already.
Yes, this can sound really weird, but it works for a lot of women.
Having an orgasm during your period cycle does actually work to relieve pain.
But it does not mean that you have to stick your fingers in there!
Heck, most women do not even like the idea of having sex when their period is on!
You could just stimulate the clitoris only or anything as long as you get the job done and your body will be able to release those happy endorphins that will help to mellow out the pain.
This is probably best to do it in the shower.
It can sound a little weird and awkward, but there is no harm in trying.
Try it once. Try it twice. Heck, try it 3 more times just to see if it made a difference.
If it does not work, you can just scratch this tip of the list.
Sitting in the toilet
Okay, don’t really know which is more weird and awkward tip, clitoral stimulation or plain ol’ sitting on the toilet.
I know sitting in the toilet seems too simple but a lot of women found that sitting in the toilet does lessen the cramping pain.
Some even spend quite a lot of time sitting in the toilet.
We have no idea why this work for a lot of women, but some say it is because the angle of how we sit on the toilet.
You might as well try it though.
And some women recommend doing this after you have taken your pain relieve medication and bring along your heating pad.
Yoga is a time tested natural technique that is free of side effects which can help you with your menstrual cramps.
It also strengthens the body physically and helps in reducing the painful sensation caused by period cramps.
Some yoga poses deals specifically for menstrual cramps such as the bow pose or the cobra.
Yoga poses like these focuses on the lumbar and pelvis region, two muscular groups that usually bears the most pain and tension during menstrual cramps.
There are a lot of other yoga poses that will help you battle against period cramps.
Distractions is one of the best all natural pain killers out there.
It is a powerful thing to have in your disposal in this trying times.
Distract yourself by doing something that fascinates you, makes you feel good and happy.
Heck open up youtube and search for funny videos or read a funny period story or just watch a movie.
Do anything that takes your mind off your cramps and you’ll be laughing in no time.
Birth Control Pills
Other than preventing unwanted pregnancy, birth control pills provide other benefits such as reducing
acne, mood fluctuations and most importantly it helps with period cramps.
If you are not on birth control pills by now, it is totally worth checking out.
Even if you are not sexually active.
Birth control pills works because it helps decreases the amount of prostaglandins, a chemical in your body that is responsible for the intensity of the contractions.
Fewer contractions means the less painful your cramps will be. It also helps with bloating which also contributes to painful cramps.
Things You Should Avoid When Having Period Cramps
A lot of processed food contains a lot of sodium and too much sodium can cause you to dehydrate and forces your body to retain more water.
And more water in your body will cause bloating, which can make period cramps much worse.
Do you rely on coffee for your everyday activities? Can you go a few days without caffeine?
You need to eliminate caffeine from your diet if you ever want to get rid of your painful period cramps.
Caffeine constricts blood level and hikes your tension level and when you are hurting because of cramps, you want the opposite to happen.
Caffeine will also make your body dehydrated which causes bloating and this will make period cramps even more painful.
Try drinking herbal tea instead.
Women crave sweets especially during menstruation.
But eating foods that is high in sugar could make your blood sugar level fluctuates and become unstable.
This will then cause tension, fatigue, immune system imbalance, mood swings and worsen inflammation.
In short, too much sugar makes women lethargic and more grumpy than usual and makes your cramps much more severe.
So instead of reaching for another sugary treats, have a fiber rich fruit salad instead, topped with low fat yogurt.
Foods high in fat such as fatty meat, fried foods and whole dairy products make our body produce more estrogen.
Too much estrogen in our body makes the cramping more intense and more painful.
So try to reduce as much fatty foods as possible during your period and this will help your body to maintain a healthy balance of estrogen in your body.
If your estrogen level is healthy, the less dramatic you contractions will be.
They say that prevention is better than cure.
While period cramps is not a disease it sure does hurt a lot to the point that you would rather stay in bed the whole day and thoughts of ripping your uterus comes into mind every so often.
So what can you do to prepare yourself for your next period?
Many women suggest that you stock up on the necessary supplements the week before your period cramps such as calcium, zinc, B6 vitamins and so on.
You should also stock up potassium by eating bananas and a lot of leafy greens before your period.
This will give ample time for all the nutrients to do what they are supposed to do in your body.
A lot of women also suggest that avoiding caffeine, salty foods, fatty foods and sugar a few days before your period shows up can cut down the pain from period cramps.
Track your period cycle, they should be fairly consistent. If they are not, read more about it here.
Write down when you have them and learn which day they will hit and stock up on nutrients and avoid bad foods a few days before your period comes.
And take pain relieve medication the day before it shows up.
What to Do If Severe Cramps Continue?
You have tried everything and yet nothing works!
You still have unbearable painful period cramps.
What is left for you to do now?
If you find yourself still in agony after trying everything, this is a sign that something is wrong.
Period cramps are not supposed to be that bad (though some will argue otherwise).
You should consult your doctor; you might have a possible medical condition that is causing you so much pain.
Unfortunately, sometimes it is true that some doctors don’t take period pains seriously.
If you feel yours isn’t taking your problem seriously, you need to switch to other doctor that WILL take your problem seriously.
No women should go through agony every single time her period comes.
Don’t let painful period cramps control your life! Take full control of your life right now!