Engage In Gentle Exercise
Although exercise might be the last thing many people feel like doing when they have cramps, it may provide pain relief.
Strenuous exercise might not be beneficial if a person is in pain, but gentle stretching, going for a walk, or doing yoga may help. Exercise also releases endorphins, which are natures natural pain relievers.
Drink More Water During Your Period Cramps
Drinking enough water during your period can help to prevent the body from getting dehydrated. Water intake can help to regulate proper functioning of the body cells. Lack of enough water in the body system can dispose women to physical and mental stress and improper functioning.
It is advisable to drink enough water at all times to keep your body active. But how much water is enough?
The Institute of Medicine recommends 9 cup of fluid total per day for women. The reduction in the amount of estrogen and progesterone can cause retention of water in the body. Drinking enough water can help to flush your system and keep you hydrated always.
Ways To Relieve Period Cramps
While menstrual cramps can be painful, you can take many routes to relief and get rid of the pain.
More than half of women who menstruate report some pain from period cramps for a day or two each month, according to the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. While menstrual cramps, also called dysmenorrhea, are usually not a sign of a serious health condition, they can put a crimp in your lifestyle.
To help with the pain, here are 10 safe and effective tactics. If your period cramps seem severe or you dont get relief despite trying some of these options, check with your doctor to rule out more serious health issues.
A heating pad can be just as effective as medication to treat menstrual cramps.
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When Should You Contact Your Healthcare Provider About Menstrual Cramps
Bad cramps keep some women from working and going to school. You dont have to suffer and you dont have to put your life on hold. Contact your healthcare provider if you have painful periods.
It may be helpful to keep track of your periods and the days on which pain is the worst so you can make a complete report. If you notice other symptoms, like headaches or heavy flows, you should keep track of those, too.
Your provider will probably ask you when you started getting your period, how long they last, if you are sexually active, if other women in your family have problems with their periods and what kinds of treatments you might have tried already.
A note from Cleveland Clinic
Menstruation is normal. You might get cramps, but you dont have to suffer silently with them. There are ways to make painful periods less painful. Make sure you talk to your healthcare provider about painful periods.
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 11/20/2020.
What To Do When Menstrual Cramps Are Severe
The period cramp relief tips above are a good place to start, but they may not work for every woman especially for those who have very painful cramps.
If you’re experiencing serious pain during your period, it’s important to talk to your OB-GYN. She or he will ask you about your symptoms and cycle and can recommend lifestyle changes that may help ease your pain, as well as perform a pelvic exam and prescribe medications, if needed.
“For instance, hormonal birth control medications are sometimes used to treat menstrual cramps and the pain that accompanies a period,” adds Dr. Borchardt.
Plus, in some cases, severe pain may be a sign of something more serious.
“Beyond the significant impact that period pain can have on your everyday life, the cramps themselves aren’t typically a medical concern,” says Dr. Borchardt. “However, severe menstrual cramps can sometimes be caused by a more serious gynecologic condition.”
In certain cases, severe period cramps can be a sign of:
- Endometriosis uterine tissue gets implanted in your fallopian tubes, ovaries or pelvic lining
- Uterine fibroids noncancerous uterine growths that can cause pain
- Adenomyosis uterine tissue grows into the muscular wall of the uterus
- Pelvic inflammatory disease infection of your uterus, fallopian tube and/or ovaries
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How Do I Know If My Cramps Are Severe
Menstrual cramps feel like a throbbing or cramping pain in your lower abdomen. You may also feel pressure or a continuous dull ache in the area. The pain may radiate to your lower back and inner thighs.
Cramps usually begin a day or two before your period, peaking around 24 hours after your period starts. They typically last for two to three days.
Menstrual cramps can be accompanied by other symptoms, including:
- spotting between periods
When To See A Doctor About Cramps
Though people who have periods have been taught that cramps are just par for the course, they can sometimes be a sign that something more is going on.
In the event that first-line treatments for cramps don’t bring relief, then your gynecologist may consider doing an ultrasound to look for other causes, such as fibroids, a uterine polyp or evidence of endometriosis that’s triggering the heavy bleeding and cramping.
And if you’re experiencing unbearable period pain that gets in the way of daily life, definitely make an appointment.
“As a society, we think that every person with a period is miserable every month with cramps. That should not be the case,” Dr. Schellhammer says.
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What Can I Do For Cramps
If cramps bother you, you can:
- Take a pain reliever. Talk to your mom or dad or your doctor about which medicine is best for you. They can help you figure out how much to take and how often.
- Exercise! Being physically active can ease cramps, probably because exercise releases endorphins, which are chemicals in the body that make you feel good.
- Get warm. Try placing a warm water bottle, warm heating pad, or warm compress on your belly or take a warm bath.
If these tips dont help, talk to your parent or your doctor about other treatments.
Home Remedies For Period Cramps
When youre not feeling great, there are some home remedies for menstrual cramps you can turn to for relief.
When you have an aching muscle, you might turn to heat to loosen up any knots and ease your soreness. The same idea holds true for period cramps. A heating pad or stick-on heating wrap can provide pain relief.
When you have your period, the last thing you might want to do is hit the gym. However, exercising can help with pain from cramps. Heat and exercise are actually our two first-line options for nonmedical treatment, says Dr. Levine. Weve found that people who exercise during their periods do tend to have less pain. Doctors arent quite sure why, although its suspected the relief comes from the release of chemicals called endorphins, which make you feel good.
When youre not feeling great, warm beverages such as caffeine-free tea or hot water with honey can be soothing. Dr. Levine says these might not have any science-based benefit, but if they make you feel better, these are perfectly acceptable to drink. Applying essential oils as well cant hurt, although these too dont have any science-based benefit.
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Start Hormonal Birth Control
Birth control can stop period pain if cramps are caused by a hormone imbalance. Balancing your levels of estrogen and progesterone helps thin the uterine lining so it sheds more easily. Hormonal birth control also regulates the length and frequency of your period. Some forms of birth control can completely alleviate period cramps by stopping your period altogether. Talk to your OB-GYN about birth control options, including the pill, birth control shot or hormonal IUD. Then, youll be able to choose the type of birth control that works best for you.
Yoga Position # : Pigeon Pose
The pigeon pose will help your hips feel more relaxed as they carry the stress of menstrual cramps. The pigeon pose will help stretch and relieve the pain felt in your hips.
First, position yourself in the upright sitting position. Bend your right knee, and extend your left leg behind you. Arch your back as you place your hands on your hips. A more intense stretch can be achieved if you reach your arms over your head and bring your hands together.
Position yourself on all fours. Bring your right knee forward towards your right wrist, and extend your right ankle so it is in line with your left hip. Slowly slide your leg back. For balance and depending on your flexibility, you may need to keep your hands positioned on the ground.
As your leg extends back, you will feel the stretching of your left hip and you may also feel stretching along your right side, but it shouldnt be painful. If it is painful, you may need to modify the pose.
Hold this pose for several breaths before returning to the center and repeating the pose with your right leg outstretched behind you and your left knee bent. Repeat 5 to 10 times.
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How To Deal With Period Cramps And Pain
Below weve included a list of tips on how to deal with period pain. Every womans experience is unique, so its okay if what works for you might not be the same thing that works for your friend, sister, or cousin. Do whats best for you, and relief will soon follow.
- Exercise regularly
- Physical activity helps relieve period pain for some women.xi Feel free to take it easy and avoid overexerting yourself. A bike ride, afternoon walk, or relaxing yoga session might be enough to start easing your period pain.
- Heat helps improve blood flow, which might help alleviate period pain. If your period is taking a toll on your mood as well, consider treating yourself to a bubble bath with music, tea, and a good book to help you feel better.
- Similar to a bath, a heating pad can use heat to help improve blood flow and provide pain relief. Simply place the heating pad over the area where youre experiencing pain. No heating pad? A hot water bottle can help get the job done too.
- If youre experiencing period pain, try laying down and elevating your legs on a pillow, or lie on your side and bring your knees up to your chest. These positions may help relieve any pain and pressure.xiii Its also a good way to help manage period fatigue.
- Try an OTC Pain Reliever like Advil® Liqui-Gels®,or Advil® Extra Strength Liqui-Gels®.Painkillers are an effective way to help alleviate period cramps and pain.xiv
Take a bath
Use a heating pad
Foods For Period Cramps
A well-balanced diet can help protect your body and reduce painful cramps. Eating the right vitamins and minerals will help boost your bodys natural defences and combat any painful period cramping. There are plenty of foods out there that can help fight off your period cramps. Now, we know youre hungry thanks to PMS. Here are a few foods that can help alleviate your cramps and get rid of period pain.
GingerThis ancient root is known for lessening inflammation and pain, making it the perfect fighter against your toughest cramps. Ginger is also known to relieve nausea, a common side effect to cramps. The best part? Its versatile! Ginger can be added to almost any meal and can be enjoyed in tea, soup, or on its own.
SalmonThis might seem fishy, but an oily fish like salmon is packed with omega-3, a known anti-inflammatory fat. Not only will it lessen the pain of your cramps, but omega-3s are also known to reduce anxiety and depression, can fight off heart disease and increase your eye health! No brainer, right?
Steak or LentilsYou can lose anywhere from around four tablespoons to a cup of blood on your period, which means youre also losing a ton of iron. Loss of iron can not only make you extra sleepy, but can also make your period cramps worse. Load up on foods high in iron like steak to ward off these symptoms. Not a meat eater? Not a problem look legumes like lentils or dark leafy greens like spinach or kale to replenish those iron levels.
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Keep Track Of Your Period Symptoms To Prevent Cramps
Keeping track of your period symptoms can really help you and your healthcare provider a lot. Having a full idea about what might happen within the specified time can help you get prepared beforehand. So, always keep track of your period at all times.
Full knowledge of your menstrual cycle can help to determine a lot about your health. Long period of waiting for your menstruation could be a sign of pregnancy so you should take note of this. Irregular menstrual cycle can be an indication of hormonal change or thyroid issues and lots more. Always keep track of your menstrual cycle to know the state of your health.
How To Sleep Better On Your Period
Wed, Jan 03, 2018
Baby, its *cold* outside, so theres no better time to stay in bed but what if your period is making it difficult to snuggle and snooze the way youd like?
Sleeping, especially on your period, can be tough. Dont worry, all that extra tossing and turning is more than just in your head.
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Add Fruits And Vegetables
Fruits and vegetables are extremely important for everyone who suffers from cramps. Just imagine, less than 16% of people are getting the number of fruits and vegetables they need for basic health, and less than 14% get the recommended amount of fruit. You may be wondering how does this relate to my period. The answer is quite simple. Fruits and veggies contain phytonutrients. They help us protect our bodies from environmental toxins, and prevent and reduce inflammation. What should you add to your meals immediately? Dark leafy greens, onions and garlic, yellow and orange vegetables . These will support natural detoxification, reduce inflammation, and help clear excess estrogen from our systems.
Exercise To Get Rid Of Menstrual Pain
Exercising can help to relieve pain. When you exercise, your body releases endorphin which are known to play a great role in pain management possessing morphine-like effects.
Also, exercising keeps your body active and allows for the proper flow of blood in the body. Getting involved in various exercises such as walking, swimming, running and others can help to keep your body active at all time.
Medical research has found sport women to have less pain or menstrual cramps in relation to other women. Therefore, exercising is a great way to relieve yourself of that pain.
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Get Help Relieving Period Cramps
If youve tried all the menstrual cramp treatments on this list and still have painful periods, or you want to know up front which options will work best for you, talk to your primary care doctor or OB-GYN.
At HealthPartners and Park Nicollet, our womens health doctors can prescribe stronger treatments for menstrual cramps that can go a long way to improve your quality of life during that time of the month. A little help from a doctor might be the best way to stop dreading your periods.
What Helps With Cramps
Here are a some things that can help ease cramps:
Over-the-counter pain medicine like ibuprofen , naproxen , oracetaminophen . Always follow the instructions on the bottle. Talk with your doctor before taking pain medication if you have an allergy to aspirin or severe asthma.
Hormonal birth control .
Acupuncture and acupressure.
Transcutaneous electric nerve stimulation therapy that uses mild electric currents to stimulate your nerves to relieve pain.
Certain vitamins and herbs like vitamin B1, fish oil, fenugreek, ginger, valerian, zataria, and zinc sulfate.
Cramps are a pretty normal part of getting your period, but sometimes people have period cramps that are so painful its hard to do everyday things . If your period pain is really bad, and over-the-counter medicine doesnt help, talk with your doctor. They can help with other ways to manage the pain, or they may want to check to see if theres something more serious going on.
Cramps that are really bad may be a sign of:
Pelvic Inflammatory Disease an infection in your reproductive organs.
Endometriosis a condition where the lining of your uterus grows outside of your uterus.
Adenomyosis when the tissue that lines your uterus grows into the muscle wall of your uterus.
Uterine fibroids non-cancerous tumors that grow inside your uterus, in the walls of your uterus, or on the outside of your uterus.
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Period Pain Caused By Contraceptive Devices
An intrauterine device is a type of contraception made from copper and plastic that fits inside the womb. It can also sometimes cause period pain, particularly during the first few months after it’s inserted.
You may notice a change in your normal pattern of pain if your period pain is linked to a medical condition or a contraceptive IUD. For example, the pain may be more severe or it may last much longer than normal.
You may also have:
See a GP if you have any of these symptoms as well as period pain.
Ways To Relieve Menstrual Pain
Ways to relieve menstrual pain can be easy, time consuming, difficult, or therapeutic but whatever they are, we need them! The time of month that all women dread is the time of month that causes severe pain for over half of the women in the world. And I dont mean your average run-of-the-mill menstrual pain. Im talking menstrual pain that is severe enough to keep you home from work. Yes, there are women who deal with that! Are you one of them? Then you need to read this article with ways to relieve menstrual pain.
Menstrual pain does not have to be something that controls your life. Instead, it can be something that you deal with and go on with your activities as normal. If you have to deal with severe menstrual pain, be assured that there are ways to relieve menstrual pain. Keep on reading this article if you would like to know 9 ways to relieve menstrual!
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