So, it’s that time of the month again. As if your period in itself isn’t bad enough, you also have terrible PMS symptoms. For many, it’s the notorious ( and painful) cramps. Maybe you look or feel a little bloated, or maybe the scale confirms that you are a little heavier when you’re menstruating. Your face may be breaking out, you may feel exhausted, or you may even have joint pain (1). Being on your period is a pain in multiple ways, but there are some things you can do to ease the pain of your physical pain. Read on for five things you can do to ease period pain.
We know, exercising may not be the first thing you want to do when you start your period. When you have cramps, the idea of moving may sound impossible. However, exercise is a proven way to ease period cramps (2). The reason that exercise helps you feel better while on your period is two-fold. First of all, exercise sends out endorphins in your brain. Endorphins help block pain receptors, so it’s almost like your body found a way to ignore the pain from the cramping. Secondly, exercise helps with blood circulation. During your period, this can help the blood flow, which can stop the painful cramping (3).
Water is a simple remedy for many types of discomfort, and period cramps are not excluded from its powers. Dehydration can lead to cramping while you’re on your period, so take special care to get enough each day when you’re menstruating. You’ll want to shoot for 64 ounces per day, but drink more if it’s hot outside or you’re exercising (4).
3. Skip the coffee
While on your period, you’ll want to do your best to avoid caffeine. Your blood vessels narrow when you drink caffeine, which can lead to worse cramping when you’re on your period (5). Food can give you energy, too, so you can eat the right foods to get you the energy you usually get from your morning coffee.
Know anyone who uses a heating pad when they’re on their period? There’s good reason so many people do. Heat can help muscles relax, which might be the remedy your body needs to ease the cramping you are experiencing. You could rest a heating pad across your stomach, or you could really relax with a nice, warm bath (6).
While medicine is an obvious way to help pain of any kind, there are many options when it comes to dealing with period-related pain. First of all, you could use birth control in some form to ease your pain. One of the possible causes for period cramps is hormonal imbalance. So, if you take a form of birth control, like the pill, that helps regulate your hormones, you may stop getting period cramps (7). If you’re not looking to use a form of birth control, there are other options, too. Over-the-counter medicine, like ibuprofen, can help fight cramps. Best of all, ibuprofen can make you feel better quickly. However, you’ll want to only take ibuprofen when you actually feel cramps, otherwise, your body may become desensitized to the benefits (8).