Are period cramps ruining your life? Are they a minor inconvenience you’d like to eliminate? Or is it somewhere in between?
No matter what, at least one of these methods should help stop your period cramps.
First, a quick backround on my experiences with period cramps…
For the first four years of having my period, I had extremely bad cramping that just kept getting more severe. I would take more than the recommended amount of painkillers and still would still feel their presence! The first night was generally the worst, and I would often wake up in the middle of the night and throw up because my pain medication had worn off and I was cramping really badly.
I was never diagnosed with endometriosis or PCOS by my doctor, just with the unfortunate case of having heavy and painful periods.
I knew I needed to fix this and finally, my junior year of high school I got on birth control which was the best decision I’d ever made. Finally, I got my life back during my period! However, I still have cramps and lower back pain from PMS, but just less intense.
If these methods below can help me lessen my pain, I hope they can help you too!
1. Get on Birth Control
I can’t talk about helping with their periods without mentioning birth control! It changed my life and I would recommend to anyone struggling with extreme pain and heavy periods.
Every person reacts differently to each type of birth control and birth control isn’t the solution for everybody. Talk to your primary doctor or gynecologist to pick one that is right for you.
With that said, I think birth control can help a lot of women and girls who need help with containing their periods.
I chose to go on “the pill” over the other options and it has worked great! Every month there is a set of placebo pills and during that time you should have your “period”. Technically, you didn’t ovulate so it’s not a true period, but you still bleed.
If anyone doesn’t like swallowing pills, there are chew-able versions.
There’s also a version of the pill where you take extended doses of pills and only take placebo ones 4 times a year. Theoretically, you will only have a period 4 times a year but spotting may occur.
What are some other options?
Other forms of birth control that may or may not help your situation are
- Shot (ex: Depo-Provera)
- Implant (ex: Nexplanon)
- Vaginal Ring (ex: Nuvaring)
Planned Parenthood does a great job explaining all your birth control options.
2. Aleve is your new best friend
When I saw ads for Aleve on TV, I never really believed it could work for 12 hours. If that was true, wouldn’t everyone be using it?
I finally bought some Aleve a little before going on birth control and it really does last a long time! I wouldn’t say 12 hours, more like 8-10, but it helped me get through the night!
Pairing an Aleve with some Ibuprofen is a great way to get through a busy day. You have the Aleve working for at least 8 hours and Ibuprofen working for about 4-6 hours, so there’s some buffer room between taking another Ibuprofen so your cramps don’t come back and hit you full force!
Make sure to take your painkillers (especially the larger doses) with food to prevent any stomach pain.
Also, one thing to keep in mind is that Aleve and Ibuprofen are both NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) and you should be careful taking larger doses. Also, they should never be taken during a time you are drinking alcohol.
3. Heating pads are key!
For some reason I was really resistant to trying heating pads. Probably because the only one my mom offered needed to be plugged in to an outlet.
Heat really does work! Painkillers have never helped with my lower back pain during my period but thankfully heating pads do. They don’t work immediately, but the relief is worth the wait.
I currently use, and strongly recommend, the Bed Buddy, from Bed Bath & Beyond. It’s one of their “As seen on TV” products that isn’t a waste of money.
It’s not filled with any liquid that can leak out when put in a microwave (has happened to me). Instead, it’s filled with natural grains, herbs, and flowers. Pop it in the microwave for around a minute and you are good to go!
Similar cuter options can be found at places like Urban Outfitters.
Other options I’ve used are those liquid hot/cold packs and heated patches that stick to your underwear for relieving either period cramps or back pain. These patches are great for school or work where you can’t walk around with a giant heating pad.
4. (Light!) Exercise and Yoga
Exercise… it’s so hard to motivate yourself to exercise when you are immobilized by cramps and PMS.
I’ve found that a happy medium is light exercise like a brisk walk helps to soothe period cramps. However, the relief never lasts long for me.
If exercise works for you, please let me know the secret!
I’ve also read that certain Yoga poses can help relieve period cramps. The one pose I’ve tried is child’s pose and it provides some relief for lower back pain- period related or not.
Here’s a list of some other poses that might help with short videos demonstrating how to do them.
Bonus: THC and cannabis products
One day while tapping through Cosmo’s Snapchat story I found an article testing alternative period cramp cures. One of the only things that really worked for the author was… vaginal weed suppositories. Definitely alternative and definitely not legal in plenty of states.
However, if you live in a state where a product like this is sold and you can legally purchase it, you might want to try these out if the above methods aren’t your thing.
I hope at least one of these methods will help! Comment down below if you have any other suggestions that worked!