Just about all women know this feeling — you wake up and experience severe abdominal pains that can be compared to a shark munching on your stomach. In most cases, nothing is wrong. They’re likely just period cramps.
It’s said that 84% of women experience menstrual pain and cramps. The pain comes from prostaglandins, which are chemicals that trigger muscle contractions in the uterus. This is why it’s difficult to know how to make period cramps stop.
Prostaglandins also cause the shedding of the uterus lining, which is why most women experience intense cramping in the first couple of days of their period.
Don’t worry, you don’t have to suffer every month. If you’re desperate for period cramp relief, here are 8 safe and natural remedies.
Temperature pain relief is one of the simplest home remedies for menstrual cramps. Certain temperatures can relax muscles and reduce inflammation. Temperature is also soothing, relaxing your mind and body.
Should you use a hot or cold compress for period cramps? Heat is recommended. Heat increases blood flow and nutrients to the area of the body. This relaxes muscles and treats inflammation.
You should place a warm compress for severe menstrual cramps relief. If you don’t have a warm compress, wet a washcloth or hand towel and heat it up in the microwave for 30 seconds.
Baths also help decrease pain and swelling, but most women won’t want to take a bath during “shark week.” As an alternative, you can take a steam bath or sit in a sauna. Steams and saunas also cleanse the body of toxins, enhancing your overall health.
2. Wear Loose Clothing
Most women don’t exactly feel cute during that time of the month, which is why you will likely wait and wear your tight clubbing dresses after your period. But wearing loose and comfortable clothing can also reduce and prevent cramps.
Tight clothes around the stomach further compress your abdomen, intensifying PMS cramps. Wear loose clothing, such as oversized t-shirts and hoodies. You also shouldn’t wear tight pants. Opt for sweatpants or leggings that sit comfortably on the waist.
Exercise is the last thing you want to do when you’re in the fetal position, dying of pain. But trust us, it works. Exercise releases endorphins, which are known as the body’s natural painkiller. Certain types of exercise also strengthen muscles, reducing the sensation of muscle contractions.
But be careful when you exercise. Intense exercise isn’t recommended because of the many changes your body is enduring.
Instead, stick to aerobic exercise to enhance heart health and keep your blood flowing. Great examples include jogging, power walking, and bike riding. Stretching and yoga are also great choices when suffering from muscle pain and stiffness.
Many supplements can reduce pain, including menstrual cramp pain. This includes:
- Omega-3 fatty acids
- Vitamin E
- Vitamin B-6
- Vitamin B-1 (also known as thiamin)
While the menstrual pain relief properties of some of these vitamins aren’t proven, the studies done are promising. For example, vitamin B6 interacts with enzymes that help fight pain. Magnesium also helps muscles relax, preventing the pain from muscle contractions.
When taking vitamins, make sure you read the manufacturer’s instructions. You should also get these vitamins from natural sources whenever you can.
Acupuncture is the practice of inserting needles in specific points of the body, known as “acupoints.” This is a traditional Chinese practice that affects the brain and body.
Depending on the severity of your cramps, the acupuncturist will insert between four and 10 needles and will leave them in as long as 30 minutes,
Acupuncture relieves pain because acupuncture increases endorphins and also affects the part of the brain that governs serotonin. Impacting the pleasure regions of the brain while releasing “feel good” chemicals decreases pain.
Acupressure is similar to acupuncture because it targets specific points of the body. Instead of needles, acupressure uses gentle stimulation on the skin’s surface.
A professional stimulates these points with their palms, fingers, or elbows. This way, acupressure is more similar to a massage.
Acupressure is effective against pain because it can block nerve pulses to the brain. This therapy targets many of the same points that acupressure does, releasing feel-good brain chemicals to reduce pain.
If you’re wondering how to reduce menstrual pain instantly, you can also try doing acupressure on your own. The acupoint for stomach pain is located two inches above the wrist joint, on the palm side. The area will be sensitive. Press on this point and hold for two-three minutes.
7. Herbal Medicine
Herbalism uses healing benefits from many plants. Some common plants used in pain relief include fennel and pycnogenol.
Fennel is especially useful against period cramps because it contains anethole, which calms cramps. This herb is also filled with phytochemicals that include phytoestrogen, which acts like the hormone estrogen in the body.
You can crush fennel and add it to tea, your meals, and even baked goods. Fennel has a sweet licorice flavor, which makes it a delicious and versatile herb.
Pycnogenol is also effective because it shuts down enzymes involved with inflammation. You can find pycnogenol supplements.
Cannabidiol (CBD) is extremely popular because of its myriad of health benefits. CBD is a cannabinoid in the hemp and marijuana plants that works within our natural endocannabinoid system. There are cannabinoid receptors throughout the body, which is why CBD enhances our overall health.
For example, there are cannabinoid receptors in the immune system, which is why CBD is a powerful anti-inflammatory agent.
If you’re still unsure of the benefits, there are many CBD guides available. In addition, CBD can reduce anxiety, depression, and other mental health symptoms that spawn during PMS.
How to Make Period Cramps Stop: Try These Natural Remedies
Most women suffer every month while on their period, and cramps are usually the culprit. If you’re wondering how to make period cramps stop, there are several natural and effective remedies to make that time of the month less painful.
Do you need more health advice? Continue reading our health section!