Severe menstrual pain affects many women before and during menstruation.
Although some women experience only mild cramps, others are not so lucky. In some cases, menstrual pain can be extremely severe and cause serious problems in everyday life.
If you suffer from cramps every period, there are sure steps to get rid of menstrual pain naturally.
In the rest of the article, read 10 proven ways that can help you relieve menstrual pain without pills and get back on track with your busy life.
How to relieve menstrual pain naturally
1. Use a heating pad
Using a heated patch or wrap on your abdomen can help relax the muscles of your uterus. These muscles cause period pain. Heat can also increase circulation in the abdomen, which can reduce pain.
According to studies, wearing a heat pack for cramps is actually more effective than taking over-the-counter pain relievers such as paracetamol (acetaminophen).
In addition to effectively relieving pain and spasms, research has also shown that the use of heat packs reduces fatigue and mood swings, which are common occurrences of taking medication.
Patches for stomach heat can be found at your local drugstore and online. They are extremely easy to use. Just open them up and stick them on your belly.
Electric heaters and hot water bottles are not as convenient to use as plasters. But they are a good choice if you spend some time at home and don’t need to move much.
2. Massage the abdomen with essential oils
Research suggests that some essential oils can ease cramps when massaged onto the abdomen, especially when used in an oil blend.
Oils that appear to be most effective in reducing menstrual pain, due to their ability to increase circulation, include:
- a rose
You can find essential oils online or at your local health food store.
Before using essential oils, you should mix them with a carrier oil, such as coconut oil or jojoba oil. Carrier oils work by safely “injecting” the essential oil into your skin and helping to spread the oil over a large area.
After the oil mixture is ready to use, rub a few drops into your hands and then gently massage your tummy.
Experts say massaging in a circular motion for just five minutes a day before and during menstruation can help relieve pain and increase circulation in the abdomen.
According to recent research, low- to moderate-intensity aerobic exercise can help reduce the pain caused by menstrual cramps.
In the same study, scientists found that women who did 30 minutes of aerobic exercise three days a week for eight weeks showed a significant reduction in menstrual pain.
To fit your aerobic exercise into your schedule, consider cycling to work, dancing to your favorite tunes, or playing a sport you enjoy.
4. Warm bath
Soaking in a hot tub is another way to surround your pelvic muscles with the warmth they need to relax.
You can boost the pain-relieving power of a good soak by adding a few drops of essential oils – such as lavender, sage or rose – to your bath water.
Try to relax in a warm bath for at least 15 minutes to get the most out of it.
5. Do yoga
One study suggests that, like aerobic exercise, yoga may also be beneficial in relieving period pain.
In this study, it was found that women who participated in a 60-minute yoga class once a week for 12 weeks showed a significant reduction in pain.
If you want to try yoga, look for classes with a physical component and a relaxation component. Research suggests that this combination is most effective in reducing pain due to menstrual cramps.
6. Take supplements
Several studies suggest that different types of nutritional supplements can help relieve menstrual cramps. Some promising supplements include:
- vitamins B6, B1, E and D, magnesium and zinc
- vitamin B12 and fish oil
You can find nutritional supplements at your local pharmacy or online. Use as directed and talk to your doctor if you are taking any other pills as they may interact with the supplements.
7. Avoid caffeine and salty food
While supplements can help ease pain during your period, it’s also good to avoid certain foods that can cause water retention, bloating, and discomfort.
Some foods to avoid when you have cramps include:
- salty food
- Greasy food
A low-fat vegetarian diet can help reduce pain and premenstrual syndrome (PMS) symptoms, according to research.
8. Stay hydrated
According to experts, you are more likely to have abdominal cramps during your period if you are dehydrated.
The goal is to drink up to eight 3 dl glasses of water a day. You’ll need more if it’s hot, if you’ve been exercising, or if you’re just thirsty.
9. Try acupressure
Acupressure is a non-invasive Chinese medicine treatment used for many health problems. This treatment involves using your fingers to press hard on certain parts of the body to relieve various symptoms.
According to one study, massaging the area above the ankle in a circular motion can relieve menstrual pain.
The way to do this is:
- Measure a few centimeters from the inner bone above the ankle.
- Rub the area firmly for several minutes.
- Repeat daily as needed before and during menstruation.
10. Herbal teas
Herbal teas are warm and soothing, and in some cases the herbs themselves can be beneficial.
Some manufacturers market teas such as chamomile, dandelion, red raspberry and fennel as relief for menstrual cramps. However, there is little evidence to support this, but it is definitely worth a try. It might just work for you!
You can find herbal teas at any health food store or online.
What causes period pain?
Period cramps are caused by contractions in the uterus. These contractions are triggered by changing hormone levels in your body. When you have your period, your uterus contracts and expels mucus, which is released through the vagina through the blood.
Some women are more likely to experience period pain. Risk factors include women who:
- are younger than 30 years old
- have heavy bleeding during menstruation
- have irregular bleeding
- have a family history of menstrual pain
- started puberty early (age 11 or earlier)
When should you see a doctor?
Although menstrual pain is very common, severe pain is not normal. You should make an appointment with a doctor if:
- menstrual cramps are so painful that you can’t do your daily activities
- you started having severe menstrual cramps at or after age 25
Extreme pain before or during your period can be a sign of a more serious medical condition that requires treatment, such as:
- pelvic inflammatory disease
- sexually transmitted infections
- uterine fibroids
- cervical stenosis
Get rid of menstrual pain naturally
Menstrual cramps are very common, but there are times when they can interfere with your daily life. Fortunately, there are natural steps you can take to get rid of the pain and discomfort caused by those pesky menstrual cramps.
However, if the pain does not go away after a few days or is so extreme that you have difficulty functioning, be sure to see your doctor.