Some women dread it. Others welcome it. But all women between the ages of 10 and 50 will experience their menstrual cycle at one time or another. These 5-7 days are filled with resisting cravings, buying tampons, pads or a reusable menstrual cup, and of course, dealing with cramps.
Menstrual cramps are a reality for one in four women. 80% of females experience some form of menstrual cramps and discomfort – some mild and others severe enough to interfere with everyday life.
There are a variety of ways to treat and relieve the pain brought on by a woman’s monthly cycle. Over the counter pain medication is always an option. Brands like Midol and Pamprin are designed specifically to treat these types of conditions. But if you prefer not to take medication, there are alternative methods.
Here are five of the most common and effective ways to safely treat menstrual cramps.
- Herbal Tea
Herbal teas are used to address a number of medical conditions including common colds, sleeping disorders, and they also aid in weight loss. These natural leaves are said to bring relief from menstrual discomfort as well.
The most common herbal tea used for this purpose is known as cramp bark. It’s suggested you boil 2 teaspoons of this bark in water and let it steep for 10-15 minutes before drinking. This can be done up to three times per day. You can also indulge in tea and peppermint oil, which can be a tasty alternative. Chamomile tea is another popular option for pain relief and relaxation.
There is no proof that these herbal teas have any medical component that treats the inflammation caused my a women’s menstrual cycle, but the warmth of the tea combined with the calming and soothing ingredients most herbal teas contain, can lead to a state of relaxation and lessen your pain.
- Oils and Vitamins
Just as peppermint oil can be added to your tea, other oils can bring you much-needed relief – specifically fish oil and fish oil supplements. Fish oil can actually help to reduce the inflammation caused by your menstrual cycle and can even help treat those suffering from endometriosis.
We already know that vitamins work wonders for our bodies – providing us with the nutrients our bodies need to function and perform at optimal health. So it’s no surprise that a vitamin can help treat period cramps.
Many women actually have a vitamin B1 deficiency and don’t even know it! Lack of this important vitamin can manifest itself as cramping, fatigue, and muscle pain. You can find relief and an extra boost of vitamin B1 by consuming more lean pork and fish or beans. B6 is another B vitamin that might help ease your pain. B6 brings magnesium into your cells, relaxing your uterus. This vitamin can be found in bananas, pork loin, and fortified cereal.
- Heating Pad
Have you ever experienced back pain or sore and tight muscles? If so, your doctor or chiropractor may have suggested using a warm compress or heating pad to help alleviate the pain. This same theory applies to the cramping you feel during your menstrual cycle.
The muscles of your uterus contract during your period. This contraction is the shedding of the uterus lining and can be quite painful. Applying a heating pad or even indulging in a hot bath can actually help relax the muscles and reduce the restriction of blood vessels, improving blood flow and bringing you relief.
We know – the last thing on your mind when you’re smack in the middle of your menstrual cycle is exercise. But it’s been proven that exercise can actually help make you feel better! Not only does it offer actual pain relief, but the endorphins released during exercise can help improve your mood.
Beta-endorphins released during exercise act as your body’s natural morphine. In addition, these endorphins burn the chemicals released during your cycle that cause muscle contraction – known as prostaglandins.
To find pain relief from exercise, you don’t need to hit the gym hard and lift weights for hours. A nice, brisk walk, bike ride, or swim is enough to get your heart rate up and release those much-needed endorphins into your body.
Who knew that period pain relief could be so much fun? Right up there with exercise, sexual interaction might be the last thing on your mind during this time of the month. But there are some pretty compelling facts that deserve consideration.
Before you climax, the uterus is in a state of relaxation. As you climax, blood flow to the area increases and those lovely pain-relieving endorphins mentioned earlier are instantly released. This can actually bring on pain relief seconds after your orgasm.
Orgasms are also proven to completely relax your body, mind, and muscles, which elicit a feeling of euphoria. You might even need a nap following your experience. During sleep, you won’t be aware of your discomfort and can actually wake feeling more refreshed.
Let Your Body Help You
Many of the medical answers we seek can be found within ourselves and period cramp relief is no different.
By incorporating certain foods and nutrients in your diet, you can actually help alleviate your discomfort. Exercising helps nourishing your body and mind in a variety of ways. Menstrual cramp relief is simply an added bonus!
Try some of these easy, at home treatments the next time your monthly friend rears its ugly head. You’ll likely feel more relaxed and energized than you ever thought possible during this time of the month.
Article Submitted By Community Writer