Updated: Aug 7, 2020
Once a month we have a period of a few days where depending on our bodies, we either feel like the world is going to end or we feel absolutely fine. These days are called our period days and for some women, it can feel like the beginning of torture.
Period pain is normal.
First of all, let's understand that period pain is normal to an extent. Younger women are usually the ones suffering from cramps, once the woman becomes older and after childbirth, these pains start to go away, what is not normal is severe period pain. If you are experiencing extreme pains as a cause of your upcoming menstrual cycle, please visit your doctor. Over time we have heard from our grandmothers about different concoctions to take when experiencing our monthly pains, there's teas, herbs, medicines, and the list goes on. Do we really know if any of them help? Not exactly, it's proven that these home remedies won't take the pain away forever, but it will help relieve your momentary symptoms. What do we recommend? Follow along to these easy at-home remedies to help soothe your period pains.
Brew some tea!
Cold beverages are a big no if you're to suffer from period pains, these potentially worsen cramps because they tense up the muscles in your vaginal walls, which is why we always recommend hot drinks to relieve your pains. In countries like Sri Lanka, for many years, koththamalli has been a key component for healing the common cold and decreasing cramps in women. Koththamalli is basically a flavored tea blend that contains coriander seeds and ginger and, in Colombia, cinnamon simmered in water is believed to help reduce pain and nausea. Every country has its own blend, but they all agree that hot drinks are the way to go. We also recommend ginger tea, because studies have found that ginger taken in daily doses can be as effective as ibuprofen, so lay back, relax, and have your daily cup of tea.
Heat can help the muscles of your abdomen relax and boost the blood circulation in your abdomen, resulting in a momentary relief of pain, which is why a heat pad is highly recommended when suffering from serious cramps. You can wear a heat wrap, use a water bottle, or even dampen a towel with hot water, just make sure to keep everything at an adequate temperature to stay away from any burns, this will help soothe the pain over time.
Over The Counter Meds
Over the counter medication can help you better prepare for your menstrual days. OTC medication like ibuprofen or Midol is a good alternative treatment for your period cramps. These should be taken before the pain comes, not during, and always make sure to talk to your doctor first and take as directed.
Periods can be exhausting and stressful and they can interfere with our day-to-day life, but remember that it's okay to just take a moment to breathe and relax, do things that make you feel good, take a nap, listen to your favorite song, binge watch a Netflix show or simply just lay and do nothing. Don't feel guilty because you need time to recuperate, at the end of the day it is your body and you have to do what's best for you to feel better later on.
However, if your pains don't go away and they become too much to handle, pay your doctor a visit and let him/her know what's going on.
Adira advisor and retired Primary Care Physician. We collaborated on various posts with our advisor to bring you information regarding our period health and how to overcome certain issues that come as a result of our period days.
Bavil, Dina Abadi, et al. “Comparison of Lifestyles of Young Women with and without Primary Dysmenorrhea.” Electronic Physician, Electronic Physician, 25 Mar. 2016, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4844476/
Rana, Sarika. “Here's Why You Shouldn't Consume Cold Foods And Drinks While You Are On Your Periods.” NDTV Food, 1 Feb. 2018, food.ndtv.com/health/heres-why-you-shouldnt-consume-cold-foods-and-drinks-while-you-are-on-your-periods-1807438
“Researchers Test Heating Pads as Home Remedy for Menstrual Pain.” WebMD, WebMD, 26 Mar. 2001, www.webmd.com/women/news/20010326/researchers-test-heating-pads-as-home-remedy-for-menstrual-pain