For years I thought menstrual cramp pain was completely normal and just a part of being a woman. But after rarely experiencing period pain over the last few years, I can assure you that it’s while cramping is common, it is NOT NORMAL.
Not only is it not normal, but there are also things you can do to reduce pain when it comes. From instant menstrual cramp home remedies to long-term lifestyle changes.
Why Do We Get Cramps?
Menstrual cramps are usually caused by excess prostaglandins. In general, prostaglandins aren’t bad because they help the body recover from injuries and infection and also help the uterine lining shed.
However, too much inflammation can make the body produce more of the hormone-like substance and trigger more painful uterine contractions.
Ways to Reduce Menstrual Cramps Instantly
It’s better to take a proactive approach to preventing period pain. However, there are some home remedies that may help more immediately.
1. Drinking herbal tea
Ginger, turmeric, and red raspberry leaf teas all have properties that reduce inflammation and improve circulation to the uterus.
Each tea ingredient has a different cramp-combating ingredient, which you can read all about in my post about herbal tea.
These are my current favorites:
2. Heat application
Heating pads can provide almost instant relief for some women. I like the microwaveable heating pads that seem to hold heat longer. Another option is these instant pads that you can wear under your clothes. If you want something that is more wearable without being single use, this heating belt is also a great choice.
3. A TENS device
TENS stands for transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation, which uses electrical currents to stimulate the nerves for therapeutic purposes. Several of these devices have popped up on the market. While I haven’t tried one myself, they seem to have really great reviews from fibroid and endometriosis sufferers.
4. Get some movement in
I know the last thing you feel like doing is moving. But hear me out on this one. A few minutes of stretching or a leisurely walk can help with circulation. Plus, it’s free.
5. Try legs up the wall
This restorative posture can help bring more blood flow to the uterus and ease cramping.
Long-Term Ways to Reduce Menstrual Cramp Pain
Now that you can reduce menstrual cramp pain in the short-term, it’s time to think about long-term solutions. These are ways to reduce menstrual cramp pain that have worked for me long-term:
1. Eat more anti-inflammatory foods
Berries, wild fish, ginger, and turmeric are all foods that help reduce inflammation and have antioxidant properties. Eating these foods on regular basis and BEFORE your period starts will help with the pain.
2. Reduce your stress levels
I know this one’s easier said than done, but stress has a major impact on your hormones. If reducing stress factors isn’t feasible, tools like prayer, meditation, and mental health therapy can be helpful in reducing the impact of stress.
3. Do regular mild exercise
Low-intensity exercises like walking, some forms of yoga, and stretching can improve circulation and improve lymphatic drainage without adding additional stress to the body.
4. Stay hydrated
Drinking water with minerals and electrolytes and herbal teas helps the body rid itself of waste and keep your cells functioning properly.
5. Increase your magnesium intake
Magnesium has been shown to help with muscle contractions, including in the uterus. Foods like nuts, bananas, and leafy greens are high in magnesium. Even magnesium baths during the luteal phase can help.
Your Menstrual Phase Survival Kit
These are the products in my arsenal that help make my menstrual phase much more bearable:
Skinny dipped almonds with dark chocolate
Red raspberry leaf tea
You’re now one step closer to eliminating or at least reducing menstrual cramp pain. After all, painful periods do not have to be a part of your reality. Let me know in the comments which one of these tips helped you the most!