Severe Menstrual Cramps: How to Deal With a Painful Period
For many women, including me, menstruation can be very painful. During your period, muscles in the stomach contract, which causes cramping. This cramping is commonly uncomfortable, and even quite painful. Sometimes they can even be so painful that they disrupt everyday life, stripping you of your ability to function normally. Unfortunately, cramps are not always easy to get rid of. Here is a list of home remedies that I've found tend to help dull the pain, at the very least.
Applying heat to the area will help relax the muscles, reducing cramping. There are disposable heating pads available at your local drug store. Try to find ones that are reusable, and that securely strap around your waist, as these work best. Check out the microwavable ones that I've listed on the right.
Don't have a heating pad handy? Try a hot bath. The warm water will do just as well, and a nice hot bath will help you to relax all over, not just in your abdomen.
Get Some Exercise
I know that all you want to do when you have cramps is curl up in bed and sleep it off. Unfortunately, this is only a temporary fix, and you can't stay in bed throughout your entire period. No one has that many sick days. Instead, get up and go for a walk. A little bit of mild exercise will stimulate your circulatory system, increasing blood flow to your muscles. This will help tame the cramps.
This is the one that I hate most, but it's true. Caffeine, when consumed on a day that you're experiencing cramps, can actually make your cramps worse. Caffeine is a stimulant, and it speeds up your system. To get rid of your cramps, you want to slow it down and relax. Sorry, but you'll need to opt for decaf until you're cramp-free.
Drink Lots of Water
Of course, this is something you should be doing anyway. Your body needs plenty of water to function properly, and dehydration can definitely worsen your menstrual cramps. If you are among those who don't like drinking water, try a flavored water (try to get one that isn't loaded with sugar), or maybe even decaffeinated tea. However you can keep yourself well hydrated, do it.
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This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.