7 Tips to Soothe Menstrual Cramps

“Only women bleed,” crones a 1970s ballad by Alice Cooper. To which we should say, “Yes. Yes we do.” Call it Aunt Flo, the red tide, the curse, or riding the crimson wave, your period is that time of the month when you’re dealing with cramps that pain and hormones that swing. Sure, maybe there are some women out there who enjoy this completely natural monthly event. If she’d like to identify herself, I’d like to her to show me where Santa Claus lives with the Easter Bunny, next door to the Tooth Fairy of course.

Yes, some sarcasm. Maybe I’m PMS-ing. Or maybe most of us think of our periods via John Hughes’ Sixteen Candles, when Ginny Baker spends most of the film cranky and then completely out of her mind (via painkillers) at her wedding. And all because of her period. Bad menstrual cramps are caused by the normal contraction of the uterus, the result of prostaglandins in the body.

So yes, Aunt Flo isn’t a welcome guest. But there are some easy ways to combat the crimson tide.

Walk it off. Some medical professionals suggest that those who exercise several times a week are less likely to experience bad cramps. Even a quick walk can help ease discomfort, as anything that releases endorphins will help you manage pain.

Hit the heating pad. Heat can help with inflammation and reduce the buildup of fluid in tissues. It also eases muscle spasms. Experts urge us to lie on our stomachs while applying the heat or in the most comfortable position possible.

Sleep. Need an excuse to nap? No time like the painful present. It will take your mind off the pain and let you get some much needed relaxation.

Take a hot bath. This will help you relax your abdomen muscles and, more importantly, soothe your mind. For extra effort, bring out the candles and the scented bath oil. Erbaviva makes a great blend with organic and wild-crafted essential oils.

Consider vitamins and supplements. As Dr. Woodson Merrell of Beth Israel Medical Center told ABC News, consider “taking Evening Primrose Oil in a 500-1000 mg dose once a day in capsule form (available at vitamin shops and health food stores) along with 200-400 mg of magnesium and 100-200 mg of vitamin B6 for four to seven days before the onset of your period.” Be sure to consult a medical professional if you are already on certain medications or experience severe periods.

Drink a cup of tea. Consider a cup of green tea. According to experts, green tea is high in phenolics, which can inhibit cramps. Don’t want the caffeine? Think about a cup of relaxing chamomile tea. Better yet, drink it while you’re in the bath.

Go have sex. Yes, sex on your period not everyone’s cup of tea. But an orgasm will release endorphins and oxytocin in the body that will block pain receptors. You will feel better. And remember, not everyone needs a partner to have an orgasm.

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DISCUSSION

16 thoughts on “7 Tips to Soothe Menstrual Cramps

  1. Hi everyone, I realize this got picked up by Yahoo so we have a lot of new readers. First – welcome! Thanks for reading and commenting. Second – let’s keep it friendly when criticizing. Thanks again for stopping by! – Sara, editor

  2. No, it was NOT Molly Ringwald…..it WAS the older sister who was getting married, just as the article said…..get your movie facts straight before responding in an idiotic way.

  3. 1. Another natural remedy that works for many women is Catnip Tea. It is a mild muscle relaxant that targets smooth muscles – which the uterus is.
    2. Not everything has to do with religion, don’t see why it has to be brought up.
    3. Not everyone is Christian, but not every Christian is a bigot – us pagans have more than our share, too – just look at how you “superior pagans” responded! Just because one person brings up ANY religion does not mean that others have to be nasty. Nasty does NOT equal better! That was uncalled for.

  4. Correction: Molly Ringwald took too many muscle relaxants for her wedding in “Sixteen Candles”.

  5. sex does work but a temp fix once the orgasim goes away the pain will make up for its lost time making you suffer i guess the key thing to do is just have non-stop sex from the time your period starts till it ends LMAO like that would ever happen

  6. no becuz that happens to me…it makes my uterus contract more,so thats not true what they sad…i go thru the same thing

  7. When I exercise or have an orgasm on my period, it actually makes the pain WORSE, not better. Some of my worst cramps come right after an orgasm. Should I talk to a doctor about that?

  8. hahaha obviously you have never had sex on your period, alisascott. you think masturbation is a sin thats why your a miserable wretch. deal with your period cramps. oh wait condoms are a sin to so you prob just pop out babies, no menstrual cramps included. pffffffffffft.

  9. There is no such thing as sin. Jesus said so.

    ps. I’m wiccan to but also a student of comparative religion, and religious history.

  10. Okay, you asked for the woman who doesn’t suffer while menstruating to step forward and tell you where Santa live. Well, I don’t know the Easter Bunny or tooth fairy but Santa lives in the heart of every parent, and every child. He is the spirit of giving and of love.

    Now more seriously these are great tips to combat any pain for any time of the month. I may not suffer due to having my period, but I have more then enough pain the rest of the time and these are tricks I regularly use.

  11. Heat actually increases inflammation but it relaxes muscles, so that is why heat helps with cramps. DO NOT ever use heat to specifically reduce inflammation. It will cause more! My mom suggested I put the heating pad on my feet for menstrual cramps when I was younger. It helped me much more than putting it on my abdomen. Strange but true!

  12. Just had a nice soak yesterday. It’s a great idea, and really relaxes the old muscles.

  13. um, i’m pretty sure that baths during your period were always commonly understood as a HORRIBLE idea. especially with bath oils and salts. goodbye cramps, hello yeast infection!

 

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