Most women experience painful periods at some point in their lives. Painful periods are common— such painful sensations occur before or during a menstrual period.
Each women’s painful period experience is unique—what is a normal mild inconvenience for a specific woman, might not be normal for another woman—who feels severely ill and impacts her ability to carry out daily tasks, each month. The intensity and duration of pain can also change with time or with subsequent menstrual cycles.
During painful periods, there’s nothing more you want than immediate relief. Period pain can be so terrible that doctors have given it a medical name: dysmenorrhea—primary or secondary. So, what are the home remedies for painful periods, and how do you Relief from this?
Home Remedies for Painful Periods – TOC
Causes of Periods Pain and Menstrual Cramps
While cramps are not usually a sign of a serious health condition, however, they could be.
During a period, the uterus irregularly contracts to detach the lining away from the uterine wall, allowing the unwanted tissues and blood to expel from the body through the vagina. Such contractions can feel like painful cramps in the lower abdomen, the lower back, groin, or upper thighs.
Everyone experiences these uterine contractions, but some people just do not notice them. For others, however, the discomfort can be severe and debilitating, along with other symptoms like nausea, vomiting, etc.
In some people, uterine tissue grows outside of the uterus, wrapping around other organs (endometriosis) causing intense pain, heavy periods, or bleeding between periods.
Risk Factors contributing to Periods Pain and Cramps
Following are some of the risk factors that may contribute to the condition:
- Trying to lose weight
- Beginning periods at an early age
- Never being pregnant
- A family history of painful periods
What are the home remedies for Painful Periods?
Here are some natural home remedies for period pain relief.
The uterus is a muscle, so anything that helps relax muscles is beneficial.
Soaking in a hot bath, using a heating pad/heat patch, or placing a hot water bottle against the abdomen can relax the uterine muscles and relieve cramps in the abdomen, back, and legs.
These are common, inexpensive, effective ways to treat period cramps for quick relief.
Engage in light exercise
Instead of strenuous exercise during painful periods, engage in gentle stretching, light exercise, regular brisk walks, and yoga to reduce the pain of period cramps. Such activities release endorphins (feel-good hormones) and promote blood circulation in the pelvis to reduce pain.
Exercise may help in keeping the estrogen at lower levels in the body and can make periods pain-free, that is why physically active people are less likely to experience a painful period.
Massage the pelvic area and abdomen with essential oil
Preferably shortly before the menstrual period begins, massage the pelvic area, abdomen, sides, and back to reduce cramps, relax pelvic muscles and reduce inflammation. It may aggravate symptoms if you use pelvic massage treatment during your period.
It may also be useful to use high-quality lavender essential oil (before the menstrual flow and not during) to further relax the muscles. Alternatively, a few drops of coconut oil, castor oil, rosemary oil, or peppermint oil can also be used oil for an effective abdominal self-massage.
Ongoing acupuncture treatment reduces inflammation, releases endorphins, and helps muscles to relax. This therapeutic practice uses extremely thin needles inserted through your skin at strategic points on your body to stimulate the nervous system and relieve pain.
Use herbal supplements
Herbal products like such as turmeric, ginger, pycnogenol (pine bark extract), fennel, pine bark, and other herbal remedies may help relieve period cramps and to reduce symptoms with their anti-inflammatory properties.
Turmeric tea, ginger tea, or chamomile tea has anti-spasmodic, anti-inflammatory, sedative, and anti-anxiety properties that may make it useful in treating menstrual cramps.
Discuss with the doctor the right quantity, dose, and purity to avoid adverse effects.
Make dietary changes
Making some changes to the diet may reduce periods of pain and menstrual cramping.
Taking a balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, nuts, lean proteins, and whole grains helps the body to stay healthy. Prioritizing a diet rich in fiber and low in oils, spices and refined sugars can help improve digestion and lessen abdominal discomfort during periods.
Increase the liquid intake to keep the body hydrated. Try dietary supplements including vitamin E, omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin B-1 (thiamine), vitamin B-6, and magnesium supplements that might reduce menstrual cramps.
People who consume large amounts of sugary, salty, and fatty foods are more likely to experience period pain.
Take over-the-counter (OTC) medication
If natural home remedies do not relieve menstrual pain, one can try using over-the-counter (OTC) pain reliever medications like aspirin or ibuprofen. They can relieve inflammation, pain, and menstrual cramps.
Glyceryl trinitrate patches also promote muscle relaxation and reduce pain.
Consult with the doctor for the right medicine and its dosage. If the other methods do not provide relief, then a doctor may prescribe birth control pills (if not seeking pregnancy) to reduce the pain of period cramps.
Practicing mental relaxation and mindfulness techniques, such as yoga, meditation, or deep breathing. Psychological stress might raise your risk of menstrual cramps and their severity.
Getting extra rest, especially during menstruation is important.
If a smoker quit smoking or avoids secondhand smoke. Studies show people who smoke cigarettes experience more period pain than those who do not. Therefore, stopping smoking today itself may help reduce period pain.
The Bottom Line
Each monthly period’s experience is unique for a woman.
The discomfort from period cramps can be significant for most women. For some women, the pain and menstrual cramps can be bothersome enough to affect daily activities. While period cramps can be extremely painful, there are many ways to help get rid of that pain. Women can often find relief with self-care and OTC remedies.
If the home remedies for Painful Periods are not effective, doctors can prescribe medications that can help to manage symptoms. When possible, preventing menstrual pain before it starts, is a good method for managing the menstrual cycle. Females may be able to do this by making certain dietary changes or by quitting smoking. Avoiding foods that cause inflammation and increasing foods with anti-inflammatory properties in your diet, can reduce symptoms in the future.
To permanently stop period pain, it is essential to experiment with several treatments or home care options before finding a solution that works and relieves painful periods.