10 Ways to Ease Menstrual Cramps
Eileen Bailey | July 30, 2014
Menstrual cramps can range from mild to severe. You might feel only slight discomfort, or you might have throbbing pain in your lower abdomen. They can start one or two days before your period begins and last for several days after. Whether the cramps are just a nuisance or they interfere with your daily life, continue reading to find ways to help combat the pain.
Use a heating pad
When your cramps strike, think heat: Little else is more soothing than a hot water bottle or heating pad when you are enduring horrible cramps.
When you have cramps, the last thing you want to do is get up and move, but mild exercise can actually help reduce the cramps. Try taking a walk or riding your bike, or even try doing yoga. Make sure you pick an exercise you enjoy.
Stay away from caffeine
We know how difficult it is for some people to stay away from coffee, but it can really exacerbate cramping during your period. Caffeine can also increase tension by constricting blood vessels, which can worsen menstrual cramps. Coffee may also irritate the stomach.
Try sitting and sleeping in different positions
You might find that lying on your side with your knees bent helps relieve the pain, or you might find another position feels better. Try experimenting with different positions to find what works best for you.
Change your diet throughout the month
A number of different supplements may reduce the pain. Omega-3 fatty acids, calcium citrate, vitamin D, vitamin E, and magnesium all may help, according to the University of Maryland. As with all medications and supplements, it is important to talk to your doctor before taking them, especially if you have other health conditions. For example, magnesium can interact with antibiotics, diuretics, and other medications.
Drink chamomile tea
Have an orgasm
Take over-the-counter pain relief medications
If non-medication techniques don’t work, over-the-counter pain relief medications might do the trick. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as ibuprofen and naproxen, can help reduce the pain associated with menstrual cramps.