- Women's Health
7 Proven Home Remedies for Period Cramps
Period cramps, officially known as dysmenorrhea, affect women of all ages, but particularly younger women just beginning their periods and older women entering the menopause stage of their lives. However, some women feel more pain than others, suffering severe discomfort throughout their lifetimes.
The most common types of pain include sharp stabbing pains, which can often be so painful that the woman in question may double over in pain. Then there are feelings of being dizzy, nauseous, sick, and a constant nagging pain, which may cause the woman to feel like she is being dragged down inside of her.
Although there isn’t a ‘one size fits all’ cure, there are a number of trusted and proven home remedies for period cramps that have been passed down through the years. Most of them work for all women, but be sure to try them all to see which works best for you, so you can simply use it when the need arises.
The best thing about these methods is that they are all natural remedies for relieving pain, and therefore you will most likely not suffer from any side effects, as they involve virtually no risk at all. They’re also free or extremely cheap for those on a budget, and can be done instantly in the comfort of your own home (or should that be discomfort?).
Let’s jump right into the first of the 7 methods.
Apply heat to the area of pain
This is a great, easy method of reliving period cramps, requiring just a hot water bottle and a place to lay down.
The method is simple: fill the hot water bottle up with hot water, possibly boiling, but be careful not to burn yourself. Then, with the hot water bottle sealed, lay down and place the hot water bottle wherever the cramp is. Then, lay down until the pain is gone – this could be anything from 10 to 60 minutes, whatever feels right with you. Then, get up and resume your day – pain reduced!
Warm bath or shower
Following on from applying heat directly to the area of pain, the next method is to simply take a nice warm bath or shower. This will relieve the pain of the cramp by working in much the same way as the method above – the heat will loosen the muscles, leading to a reduction in discomfort.
Although this may go against how you feel, stretching is an extremely effective way of relieving period cramps. Of course, you may just feel like laying down and curling up into a ball with the pain, but this is not advised, as it will do absolutely nothing to help. Instead, you should do some light stretches – perhaps a basic yoga stretching routine.
Make sure it isn’t anything too strenuous, but do put the effort in, and by the end you’ll feel. Below is a fantastic yoga video that’s primarily focused on menstrual pain, suitable for beginners and experts alike.
Related to stretching and yoga, light exercise is a way to take the ideology behind moving about a little further. Moving about will help a huge amount is and is often underrated, but it’s crucial for relieving the pain. Simple light exercise, such as swimming or a brisk walk will do wonders, as opposed to staying sedentary.
Remember that you need to keep the exercise light, so if you are thinking of going to the gym and running 20 miles before lifting some heavy weights, bear in mind that this is probably a bad idea and could even make the pain much worse. Keep it light and fun, and that’s how you’ll feel at the end.
Do you suffer from severe period cramps?
Take a Vitamin or Multivitamin
Several studies have shown that severe period aches and pains may be related to a lack of iron or other mineral/nutrient. For those that eat a healthy diet rich in fruit and vegetables this may not apply, but for others, taking an iron vitamin in particular can help. Alternatively, a multivitamin specifically for women or fish oil will undoubtedly help. The best advice here is to take these regularly, even daily, as the best effects will come after a decent length of use, such as a month. If you suffer from severe pains every month, this is a great way to relieve the pain for the long-term.
Below are a few personally recommended vitamins and supplements directly aimed at reducing menstrual pains and period cramps.
Sometimes the best way to relieve the pain is to simply relax and rub yourself on your tummy. Although for most women the light exercise and stretching step works wonders, for others this may be just the ticket, especially if the sufferer is experiencing any back pain during period and doesn’t feel up to the task of exercising.
Simply lay down in a nice, warm comfortable place, then gently rub your tummy, in a sense massaging it. The key word here is gently, as too hard and you may make the situation worse. Although it sounds simple, give it a try as you may be surprised at how effective this little method is.
The last remedy here should be saved until the end, if none of the others have worked. In particular, ibuprofen is recommended because it targets the site of pain directly, and can work quickly too. Many women swear by ibuprofen, and to a lesser degree paracetamol, and they may work for you too.
However, as this is a purely home remedies for period cramps article, it is advised to not take the medication for your period cramps until you have tried the other methods first. Saying this, you should always consult a doctor if you feel that the cramps are just too painful or unusual, and they will be able to direct and advise you on the best course of treatment – many of which are actually listed in this article.
I hope you’ve found this article useful, and I’d love to hear what has worked or works well for you. Leave your suggestion or comment in the comment box below, and good luck – I hope you feel much better after trying these!