I was recently asked: "What should I do about painful periods? People have told me to just stick it out and deal with the pain but I honestly can hardly move."
As a wellness coach, I've spoken with gynecologists, physical therapists (including pelvic floor specialists), and hundreds of everyday women about the most integrative approaches. Here is my top list on dealing with period cramps during that time of the month. 1. It's okay to take painkillers; it doesn't mean you are "weak" or you need to learn to "tough it out".
Drug naming guide: Ibuprofen... known to most people as the brand "Advil"
Naproxen... known to most people as the brand "Aleve" Acetaminophen... known to most people as the brand "Tylenol" (also known to people outside of the USA as "paracetamol") 2. Drugs can have side effects so it's best you take the minimum dosage necessary. 3. Consider switching off at between NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen and naproxen) with Acetaminophen to reduce the likelihood of side effects from taking too much of one thing at one time.
4. Try a reusable heating pack: the heat therapy can relax the muscles of the uterus, increasing blood flow and easing pain. Heat the pack in the microwave for 30 seconds at a time (flip it over between each heating) to prevent overheating. 5. Talk to your doctor. If you have extreme pain, it could be caused by conditions that are invisible to the naked eye, e.g., an ultrasound could uncover cysts that may be causing your pain. Please go to your annual health checkups and bring it up with your doctor. 6. Before, during, and after your period, light exercise will be helpful for body maintenance. 7. Treat your body right by eating well in general. Choose less processed foods and buy organic if you can afford it. Some people swear by ginger tea due to it's anti-inflammatory benefits, so if it helps you, give it a try!
8. If you haven't already, talk to your doctor about birth control. Birth control can help regulate your period and greatly reduce period pain. There are different forms from the pill to an IUD, so see which option can be right for you. Hopefully with these techniques you can have a less painful period. Your health is important so be your body's advocate!