Severe Menstrual Cramps: How to Deal With a Painful Period

Updated on October 22, 2017
Kristen Haynie profile image

Kristen hails from Modesto, CA. She is self-employed, raises chickens in her backyard, and bakes her own bread.


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.

Apply Heat

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.

Avoid Caffeine

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.

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.


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    • profile image


      2 years ago

      Okay good thing i found this information i really need it

    • profile image

      charlotte douglas 

      5 years ago

      I'm a 21 year old female and i have severe cramps and i recently found out that i have dismenorrhea and the bad cramps started once i turned 13 years old and has gotten and i don't know what to do and i actually on it now and I'm in so much pain

    • Kristen Haynie profile imageAUTHOR

      Kristen Haynie 

      7 years ago from Scotia, CA


      I am so sorry to hear this. I know that it can be quite debilitating to have such severe cramps. Thank you for the idea, I've never heard of the BrainSync method. I will have to give it a try!

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      I am over 40 years old and have been getting painful periods since I was 13. I experience severe pain in my lower abdomen and lower back, vomiting, nausea, diarrhea and have almost fainted a few times. Last year, I had to visit the emergency room 3 times. I've tried Premenstrual Tension from BrainSync Technology and I saw that if I listen to this for about 3-4 days before the strike I am more present more able to handle myself… and this helped immensely. Give it a try This has helped a lot.

    • Kristen Haynie profile imageAUTHOR

      Kristen Haynie 

      8 years ago from Scotia, CA

      Omara Prossy,

      I am so sorry to hear about your menstrual pain! I really hope that one or more of these methods help you. If you find something else that helps you, please do share! I wish you well.

    • profile image

      omara prossy 

      8 years ago

      I am going through one of the worst moments of the year earlier on i had irregular periods and i thought thats what caused the pain but even when the got regular the cramps still did not disappear i have tried every thing even the home remedies, the medications could work but now also are too slow but i will try some remedies above i hope they will help .Thanks 4 the advise

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      I have Dysmenorrhea [The medical term for heavy/painful periods]. These suggestions really do help!

    • Kristen Haynie profile imageAUTHOR

      Kristen Haynie 

      8 years ago from Scotia, CA

      Oh, no! That is the worst! I, too, went through a time when nothing but prescription meds helped the pain. For some reason, that only lasted for about a year. Now, the home remedies are working just fine again. I am so sorry you have to go through this. I know how painful it can be, and how it can interfere with your life.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      I am dealing with severe pain and natural remedies do not work for me so I need presc. Meds!!!

    • Kristen Haynie profile imageAUTHOR

      Kristen Haynie 

      8 years ago from Scotia, CA

      Thank you for this input! I will definitely have to try this out. I love the fact that it's all organic!

    • Elsa-s Blend profile image

      Elsa-s Blend 

      8 years ago from Orlando Florida and Jamaica

      All that as been said is in fact true but I must add that their is infact an herbal tea that does get rid of the pain during menstruation. This tea is call Elsa's Blend, Elsa's Blend is a 100% organic herb that is in the form of a tea bag and is prepare as such. Elsa's blend herbal tea act as a fast relieve for menstrual cramps and produced no side effect.. information about this herb can be viewed on my hub page or at its facebook link :


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