Normal period pain is caused by the release of prostaglandins in your uterus. Prostaglandins are hormone-like and have different effects like construction and dilation of blood vessels. More estrogen and less progesterone can mean more prostaglandins and pain. This should improve with a change in diet and supplements, if it doesn’t it’s severe period pain. By this I mean unbearable pain that lasts for many days, can happen between periods and doesn’t improve with ibuprofen like normal period pain. If it’s so painful you vomit or have to miss school or work, it’s severe pain, and not normal. It’s probably being caused by some underlying issue like endometriosis or adenomyosis.
Unbearable period pain is not something you should just “deal with”. It’s something that’s pointing to a bigger issue going on.
Your body is not out to get you. It’s not out to make you miserable. You are your body, and your body is you. You’re not meant to suffer from period cramps, your body just needs a little support.
Women who experience more cramping have higher levels of those prostaglandins we just talked about than women who have low amounts of cramping.
But I need relief now!
You might reach for Ibuprofen, or any number of other pain relievers. Midol was my period drug of choice through high school and college, but I do all that I can to avoid these types of medication these days if I can. But if you’re going to take something don’t overdo it. Start with the lowest dosage and give it time to kick in before taking more.
I’ve never tried it, but I’ve heard more people than I can count talk about the power of Magnesium. It’s said to relax your uterus and reduce the amount of prostaglandins. So you can try taking a daily supplement throughout your cycle to help relieve the pain.
Personally, I find more relief in heat. My two go-to’s are a heating pad or jumping into a toasty tub. And sometimes when my lower back cramps are a bit more than heat can fix I’ll either dig in myself or ask my hubby to give me a quick lower pack rub.
There are also times when I just have to get out of whatever position I’m in. The same goes when I’m experience stomach pain or a number of other ailments. What I often do is go into some variation of child’s pose. And this is another great time for someone to come and push down on your lower back or rub it. There are a number of recommended yoga poses for period pain relief. I never do a routine, I just pick a few that feel good and sit in those for awhile. And you wouldn’t think it relieves pain but it does.
I’m not totally up to date on the use of essential oils, not to mention I gave the majority of my stash to my sister while she was pregnant, but I know there are a number of options for oils to help with any cycle woes you might have. Some I’ve seen mentioned are lavender, eucalyptus, rose, ylang-ylang, chamomile as well as clary sage and peppermint. I have a diffuser that I love to use, even though at the moment it’s just lemon I put in there. There are other methods of using essential oils, so it’s up to you to use what works for you.
I’ve mentioned this one in the past but I really think ditching tampons helped with my periods overall. I now use a combo of a cup and period underwear, but if I’m feeling especially crampy I’ll just avoid putting anything up there and stick with a thicker pair of period underwear.
I really also believe in the importance of being adequately hydrated as well as properly nourished with your fruits and veggies. If there’s ever a cycle (and there’s been plenty) where I’m not drinking enough water and eating a bunch of processed crap, I 100% feel crappier during my period.
None of these are a quick fix pill that many of us wish we had when we’re experiencing gnarly cramps. But the point I want to say today is that if you’re experience pain beyond what can be calmed by what I’ve mentioned today that isn’t normal period pain. You’re going to want to go in and figure out what’s really going on. And don’t take “that’s just part of having a period” as an answer. If you feel like something isn’t right, it probably isn’t.
What are your go to remedies for period pain? Like I said above mine is heat either in a heating pad or a hot bath depending on the time of day.