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10 Home Remedies for Less Painful Periods

Most of the time, menstrual cramps can be treated by women at home.

But if your pain is severe and impacts your lifestyle, don’t be afraid to talk to your doctor. You might need medicines that are only available by prescription or some other treatment to help.

To help reduce period pain, here are 10 safe and effective home remedies for menstrual cramp relief.

1. Try Some Yoga Poses to Ease Menstrual Pain

Whether it’s the stretching of your muscles or the relaxing effect of the poses, a regular yoga practice can indeed help your cramps.

You can practice Yoga during your period or between them, but some instructors advise women against doing inverted poses (like a shoulder stand) in the midst of menstruation, so as not interfere with your natural flow.

2. Curl Up With a Heating Pad to Ease Period Cramps

“The uterus is a muscle, so anything that helps relax muscles, like applying heat, can be beneficial, Thielen says.

Indeed in a research it is found that topically applied heat was just as effective as ibuprofen for period cramps. The women used heat alone, heat plus ibuprofen, ibuprofen alone, or a placebo. The best results were in the heat plus ibuprofen group; adding heat led to faster improvements.

3. Pop a Safe Painkiller to Cut the Inflammation

Moderate use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAID) medication like ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin or naproxen (Aleve) is one of the best ways to curb period pain, Thielen says. This is because NSAIDs reduce the amount of prostaglandins in the body. For this reason, taking a pill just before you get your period can keep the level of pain-causing prostaglandins from rising, she says.  

As with any medicine, you should first check with your doctor to be sure NSAIDs are a good choice for you, especially if you have a history of bleeding or stomach or kidney issues.

4. Acupuncture May Help by Relaxing the Nervous System

Acupuncture can help relieve cramps. This ancient Asian healing method is thought to relax the nervous system, allow more blood to flow to internal organs, and quell inflammation. Many of the studies found that the acupuncture group had less period pain and no side effects. The researchers emphasize, however, that the quality of all of the studies was poor.

5. Some Herbal Tea Varieties Can Calm Cramping

Certain teas may help relieve menstrual cramps.Research on herbal teas for menstrual pain relief is scarce, but teas have been used by menstruating women in numerous cultures for centuries.

Chamomile and peppermint teas are often recommended for menstrual pain because they are calming to the body. Other teas associated with dysmenorrhea are those made from cramp bark, ginger, or fennel.

6. Up the Magnesium in Your Diet

Dietary magnesium seems to help ease the pain of cramps.Magnesium is found in many foods, including almonds, black beans, spinach, yogurt, and peanut butter.If you want to take a magnesium supplement, since the dose you need depends on the severity of your cramps along with other factors.

7. Massage With Essential Oils for Pain Relief

Massaging your skin with certain aromatic essential oils can relieve menstrual cramp pain. Menstrual cramps and other symptoms can be subsided with massage either essential oils or a synthetic fragrance into their lower abdomen between periods. Some oils thought to be helpful include lavender essential oil, clary sage essential oil, and marjoram essential oil.

Just be sure you’re using essential oils safely. Buy high-quality oils that are tested for purity. Diluting pure essential oils in an unscented cream, lotion, or carrier oil before placing it on your skin to avoid irritation.

8. Boost Those Feel-Good Endorphins With Exercise (or Orgasm)

The body’s natural endorphins are known to boost your mood. But they also have a pain-relieving effect. A well-known way to boost endorphins is aerobic exercise.

9. Improving Your Diet May Alleviate Period Cramps 

Start by swapping out less healthy fats like the saturated fats found in animal products for healthier ones like unsaturated fats found in olive oil. Overall, try to make the fats you eat better quality, such as those found in fish or nuts, the organization suggests.

10. Birth Control Pills May Lessen Painful Cramping, Too

While not exactly a home remedy, birth control pills and hormonal intrauterine devices are potential tools in your anticramping arsenal and should not be overlooked.

Consider cramp relief a benefit to some types of contraception. Many women find relief from painful cramps when they start the pill.

This Content has originally written by Meryl Davids Landau and published on April 13, 2020. No Copyright/IPR breach is intended.

Photo by Sasun Bughdaryan on Unsplash

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