A woman can have around 420 periods in her lifetime. These days periods can start from as young as ten years old, leaving girls dealing with monthly bleeds and symptoms until potentially around their early 50s, which is when menopause starts and brings a whole new experience.
Periods are well known for arriving with a range of symptoms from PMS, causing mood swings and fluctuations in mental health, or pain, bloating, cramping, increased appetite, and/or cravings, and much more. No two women experience tiger periods the same way, and as such, not all remedies will work for each woman. But there are some small things you can do to ease any discomfort you feel once your period comes around.
Heat therapy can be extremely helpful in relaxing the body and easing cramps. Using heat pads or water bottles, hot baths and shoes, or a heated blanket can all be great options for reducing period cramps and easing this symptom.
Take OTC Medication
While many over-the-counter (OTC) medications won’t altogether remove the pain from your period, they can help reduce the pain and discomfort you are in. Paracetamol and ibuprofen can be highly beneficial when used in conjunction with each and taken correctly (each one can be taken at regular intervals; paracetamol can be taken four times daily, while ibuprofen can be taken three times daily. By spacing out when you take your medication from the first time you feel pain, you can use OTC medications to help you ease your painful periods.
Birth control methods have long been used to assist with irregular or painful periods. Oral contraceptives and IUDs are effective in helping people who experience a range of symptoms or pain when they get their periods. In some women, an IUD can help to stop or result in periods, while for others taking the pill can not only help with contraception if you are sexually active, but it can regulate hormones to help thin the uterine lining so it sheds easier, making periods more stable and less painful.
Drink More Water
Being properly hydrated can help you to reduce your monthly bloating if you experience it. While it might not eliminate it completely, it can alleviate it and help to reduce the pain associated with bloating. Alternatively, when the bloating and pain hits, drinking warm water or even herbal teas (chamomile and fennel in particular) can help you to reduce pain and bloating when it is at its worst.
While you might want to reach for all the junk food you can find, some foods high in sugars and fats can contribute to your bloating and make you feel even worse. Some foods are thought to have anti-inflammatory properties to help you reduce bloating and offer pain relief, including pineapple, fatty fish, leafy greens, almonds, and walnuts.
Painful periods are sadly all too common; however, it is worth talking to your doctor if you experience any of your period’s symptoms that seem outside of the norm, as they can indicate something else is at play, such as endometriosis. You know your body best, and trying various remedies and medications can help you pinpoint what does and, more importantly, what doesn’t work for you when your period arrives.