Dealing With Your Monthly Friend

Getting your period can be a painful time of the month for some of us – the pain can range in intensity from dull to extreme cramps. The cramps begin after ovulation (when an egg is released from your ovaries and travels to the  fallopian tube). Pain (known as primary dysmenorrhea) occurs in the lower abdomen and lower back and it can begin a few days prior to you getting your period. Pain can also result due to medical conditions like endometriosis, fibroids, or pelvic inflammatory disease (known as secondary dysmenorrhea). Plus, if you are experiencing emotional or stressful situations, pain can be enhanced. To learn more about the medicine behind menstrual cramps, check out: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/157333.php

These cramps are tedious and can greatly impact your day, but you can definitely alleviate your pain by trying some of the following remedies: 

 

1)   Hot water bottle: 

When your cramps get very severe (and are coupled with headaches), you can definitely invest in a hot water bottle. Research has shown that this works by sending a “mixed” signal to your brain – blocking the pain messages that your brain receives. This deactivates some of those signals and provides comfort. To learn about their research on this particular area check out: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/07/060705090603.htm

To invest in a hot water bottle check out this deal on Amazon.

 

2)   Yoga

During your period the last thing you probably feel like doing is working out, but research shows that this can actually help alleviate some of your pain (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9525266) . In the study, exercise participants typically reported less pain than sedentary women during their period,  so it would not hurt to try some light yoga during this time of month! There are various poses that you can try, some of which include the child’s pose which allows you to stretch some of those back muscles. This pose can reduce tension in the lower back. For similar poses check out: https://www.lunette.com/blogs/news/7-yoga-poses-to-help-ease-menstrual-pain

 

3)   A massage 

Although your local massage therapist might not offer a “moon cycle” massage that specifically targets your lower back pain and period cramps, you can opt for another massage that focuses on those areas. If you feel bloated, crampy, and lethargic, an hour’s worth of this massage might be very effective if you tend to fall on the extreme side of the period cramp’s spectrum. If you end up feeling better, less bloated, and your cramps are not as bad, then you can opt to get massages two days prior to your period. 

 

4)   A day in bed: 

This last remedy is to take it easy. You can spend the day in bed, reading a book, or watching tons of Netflix shows, whilst sipping on tea. Coffee and other caffeinated beverages are not the best option since they can constrict vessels, leading to less blood flow to your uterus, which then increases the severity of cramps (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4962155/). You can also take a warm bubble bath which can also help reduce some of the pain, similar to the hot water bath. 

 

Getting your period might be a hassle, however, you can manage this hassle by tracking the date of your period via the Flo app (you can track your cycle, mood swings, stress levels, etc). By knowing when your time of month is nearing, you can prepare ahead by scheduling a massage and a self-care day. Take this time to really relax and listen to your needs!