An estimated 15% of women suffer from severe cramps. If you are one of them, you should consider seeing a doctor to make sure your pain isn't related to something more serious, like endometriosis.
If your pain is less severe, but you still feel like you’re going to give birth to a whale, then these might help you:
1. Consider taking the Pill.
The hormones in birth control pills not only help regulate your period, but they also help maintain a steady level of hormones, which greatly reduces the severity of menstrual cramps.
2. Maintain a healthy body weight.
Fat cells produce estrogen, a hormone that, if imbalanced, also contributes to uterine cramps.
3. Drink lots of water.
If you're well-hydrated, your liver functions better, keeping your hormones balanced. Dehydration can only serve to intensify menstrual cramps. Make sure your body stays well-hydrated prior to, and during your period by drinking plenty of water and fluids. Many nutritionists, homeopathic and naturopathic experts recommend drinking particular herbal teas known for their healing properties. Teas with ingredients such as chamomile, mint, evening primrose oil, fever-few, hops, ginger, thyme, and flax-seed have been proven to lessen the severity of menstrual cramps.
4. Stay away from coffee.
Caffeine, which is most commonly found in fizzy drinks, coffee, and even most teas, is a diuretic, and can make cramps a lot worse.
Exercise regularly. It will reduce your stress level (stress makes cramps feel worse), and it will release endorphins into your system, which will reduce the amount of pain you feel. Menstrual pain can also be eased with some light exercises and stretching, but take it easy! Intense exercises can aggravate cramps. Try yoga, Pilates, swimming, or even just going for a walk. Fresh air can do wonders.
6. Heat is your friend.
Using a heat pad or hot water bottle on your lower back and abdomen can help relax your muscles and relieve the pain. Long, hot baths, steamy showers or sauna baths are also excellent pain and stress relievers.
7. Balance your diet
Leafy greens, like spinach, contain lots of magnesium, which is a natural muscle relaxant. Studies have shown that women with the worst cramping are often magnesium-deficient. Eat lighter meals, but increase your consumption of foods rich in calcium, Omega-3 and B Vitamins. Milk, yogurt, and fish/seafood are ideal foods to consume just prior to, and during your menstrual cycle.
8. Forget that tequila
Salt will contributes to bloating and water retention and next to those sweet treats, salty snacks are what women crave most when they are on their period. Avoid salty snacks and look for alternatives. Alcohol also causes you to retain water. So, if you suffer from bloating and water retention, you better leave that tequila alone.
9. Take a supplement
Various scientific and medical studies have proven that vitamins and certain dietary supplements can help to significantly reduce cramps, and other symptoms. Vitamin E, Thiamine/Vitamin B-1, Vitamin B6 and Omega-3 supplements are proven to reduce cramps and reduce breast pain, while Zinc and calcium reduce cramps as well as bloating and PMS symptoms. Also, women who take calcium seem to suffer less from the pain of menstrual cramps than those who don't.
10. Get a massage
Gentle massage is a great way to combat menstrual cramps, as it serves to relax the nervous system and promote a smooth and even flow of blood. Make an appointment with a massage therapist, and be sure to explain your reasons for seeking a massage. This will help your masseuse to focus on key areas, and avoid any techniques that may aggravate your cramps. In addition to massage therapy, reflexology, acupressure and acupuncture can also help to get rid of cramps.
Do you have any useful tips for getting rid of period pain?