This menstrual cramps post was created in partnership with Sunny Bay. I was not financially compensated for this post but did receive a sample for review purposes. As always, all opinions are entirely my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that support me!
Menstrual cramps or dysmenorrhea happens quite often in women during their periods. Dysmenorrhea is a condition of cramping pains that occur in the lower abdomen.
Millions of women across the world face menstrual cramps at some point in their periods. Some women experience it lightly while a few experience it severe enough to interfere with daily life.
Severe dysmenorrhea may have additional symptoms like nausea, vomiting, headache, and in extreme cases, unconsciousness.
Though one can gain relief from cramps with pain killers, many women resort to home remedies that provide natural relief from the extreme pain. Here are a few to consider.
According to studies, physical activity and exercise help reduce the pain caused by menstrual cramps.
Indulge in light exercises like walking or stretching during menstruation. It may reduce pain to the extent that you wouldn’t have to take any painkillers later.
Yoga is also a good exercise that helps to prevent menstrual pain by releasing endorphins.
Red wine is perhaps one of the best home remedies for easing menstrual cramps. It acts as a shield to physical pain and traumas and helps lift menstruation's mood swings.
Red wine consists of resveratrol, the oxidant with anti-inflammatory properties. Studies show that it helps increase blood circulation in the body and helps prevent cancerous growth and scar tissue formation.
Heating pads help reduce the pain of menstrual cramps significantly.
In fact, heat can be just as effective as painkillers. Just apply it to your lower back and abdomen or wherever the pain is most intense.
Continuous low heat can work wonders. One of our favorite ways to do this is with the extra-large body heat wrap from Sunny Bay.
Sunny Bay Body Heat Wrap
This microwavable heat wrap is much larger than your typical heating pad, which we love. It can fully cover your aching abdomen or lower back with ease.
It's recommended to heat the wrap for 2 minutes, flip, and then heat in 10-sec increments until it reaches your desired temperature.
For us, a total of 5 minutes in a 1200 watt microwave was perfect. We heated it for two minutes and then in one-minute intervals until 5 minutes was reached.
It gets nice and hot but not so hot that it burns you. It retains its heat nicely making it perfect for period cramps!
The Sunny Bay Body Heat Wrap can also be used for cold therapy. Simply, place it in a plastic bag and freeze for an hour or so.
We love its versatility!
Its trendy buffalo plaid fleece cover is nice and soft and can be easily removed to wash. The inside features whole wheat kernels that typically can stay warmer for longer than a typical hot water bottle.Over half of women who menstruate experience period pain (dysmenorrhea) for one to two days every month. Here are some ways to ease the pain at home!Click To Tweet
However, in a pinch and without access to an awesome heating pad like this, you can take a warm bath instead.
Mental stress is one factor that can lead to menstrual cramps.
Studies show that it causes cramps and can make your period start earlier than expected. As such, it is best to avoid anything that gives fire to psychological stress.
Another useful method that eases menstrual cramps is massaging with oils. Massage therapy can reduce and relieve any pain.
A relaxing 20-minute massage can help ease dysmenorrhea.
Massage the area with analgesic essential oils to get immediate relief. Popular choices are peppermint, helichrysum, marjoram, and rosemary essential oils.
Often, women face bloating and water retention from certain foods during menstruation. It is smart to avoid foods like fatty and salty snacks that can increase menstrual cramp pain.
One should also avoid excessive alcohol, caffeine, and smoking during menstruation to prevent the onset of cramps. Instead, try ginger tea or hot water with lemon to relax your body.
While one should avoid the above foods, they can take a diet full of yogurt, nuts, chicken, water, leafy green vegetables, and flaxseeds to tackle periods and cramps.
These foods contain a quantum of vitamins, manganese, iron, and omega-3 acids that reduce symptoms like pain, bloating, and inflammation.
Many herbs have anti-inflammatory properties and antispasmodic elements. These compounds are useful in easing menstrual pain.
Some of these herbs include:
- Chamomile tea: It is a nerve relaxant and helps alleviate muscle spasms by increasing urine glycine content. It is also rich in anti-inflammatory compounds that prevent the occurrence of prostaglandins. Prostaglandins are the cause of nausea and headache during menstruation.
- Fennel seeds: It helps counter nausea, weakness and prevents uterine contractions that occur with menstrual cramps.
- Ginger: Ginger is like the herb version of ibuprofen. It is a useful pain relief herb.
- Chinese herbs: Herbs used in traditional Chinese medicine like angelica root, licorice, cinnamon, and red peony bark are the best herbs to alleviate menstrual cramp pain.
- Pycnogenol: Pycnogenol or pine bark taken with oral contraceptives helps to reduce menstrual pain significantly. The herb also diminishes the need to take a painkiller for the cramping.
- Turmeric: Turmeric root consists of curcumin that helps to relieve PMS symptoms in women. The compounds in the curcumin help to reduce inflammation and ease fluctuating moods during menstruation.
Water is a solution for almost all body functions, even for menstruation. Drinking plenty of water helps avoid bloating and dehydration.
It is advisable to drink warm or hot water instead of cold water during menstruation to help relax cramped muscles.
If drinking plain water is not your thing, you can add a dash of lemon, drink juice, or eat vegetables and fruits that have high water content.
Vitamin D helps to reduce the pain intensity by preventing contractions in the uterus and the occurrence of prostaglandins in the bloodstream.
One can get a regular supply of vitamin D from sunshine or by taking vitamin D supplements regularly.
Acupuncture and Acupressure
Acupuncture and acupuncture are two of the most used treatment methods to counter cramps and pain during menstruation.
These treatments include stimulating trigger points of the body to bring relief from the menstrual cramps.
Menstrual cramps are a frequent occurrence, and women should know effective ways to deal with the discomfort.
If the pain worsens or you experience excessive bleeding even after implementing the above remedies and taking OTC medications, please consult a doctor as soon as possible.