Nine out of ten women of reproductive age go through some type of painful period each month. Many girls and women will experience period pain at some point in their lives, for some, it’s a monthly occurrence for others it’s sporadic. For those that experience painful periods, the term dysmenorrhea is used.
There are a number of ways to soothe and treat menstrual cramps and it can often be the case to try different treatments until you find something that works for you. You can also read more about period cramps here.
For this blog we have tested different period pain relief product so that you can make an informed decision when it comes to choosing period pain relief products.
What causes period pain?
Period pain is a natural part of the menstrual cycle, it occurs when the muscular wall of the womb tightens which encourages the lining of the womb to shed. When the muscles contract the blood vessels are cut off and starved of oxygen due to being compressed. Chemicals (prostaglandins) are then released which can cause pain.
Period pain can begin a day or two before bleeding starts and can feel like a spasm or a dull ache. The pain can be felt in the tummy, lower back or at the top of the legs.
Along with menstrual cramps, it is common to experience sickness, headaches, dizziness and diarrhoea.
Severe menstrual cramps can be an indicator of an underlining health condition if you have concerns then talk to your doctor.
There are a range of options available to reduce period pain many of which are natural remedies that can be implemented easily.
It is often thought that it’s best not to exercise whilst having a period however, taking part in an aerobic activity releases endorphins that can help block pain centres in your brain.
It’s an individual choice on how much exercise you do or which activities you wish to take part in. It may be that walking is enough for you and helps to relieve cramps, for others a cardio workout is the answer.
Exercise not only helps with the physical pain and discomfort of periods but can also help to improve your emotional state and increase circulation which can have a positive impact on managing pain.
Anna, our marketing guru, loves working out during her period. She says " I actually feel good after my workout and they work brilliant for period cramps."
Getting enough sleep or resting allows the body and mind to slow down, and unwind. We read and hear so much about self-care and taking time for ourselves but do we really do it?
During your period, taking time to rest is important and this doesn’t just mean sleep it can also mean practising yoga, meditation, pilates or going for a walk. Restoring your body and light exercise can be effective ways to reduce or combat period pain.
Tried and tested by our CEO and she says " on the heavy day of my period all I want to do is rest and recover. It recharges my energy and I feel great the next day"
A small Danish study revealed that Omega 3 fatty acids and Vitamin B foods had an impact on treating menstrual cramps, as they reduce inflammation and decrease pain.
Omega 3 fatty acids can be found in fish such as salmon, tuna, mackerel and sardines, also in walnuts and avocados.
Vitamin B is contained in meat, leafy greens, dairy, beans, peas and tuna.
Supplements can also be used alongside a healthy and balanced diet. Always check with your doctor or nutritionist before taking supplements or drastically altering your diet.
Heat & Massage
Having a bath, reaching for the hot water bottle or a heat pad is an effective and comforting treatment to period pain.
Heat works as it increases the blood flow which delivers oxygen to the womb. This can be coupled with a light circular massage of the lower stomach.
This is a great way to force yourself to slow down, practise self-care and take care of that period pain.
CBD oil is a cannabinoid and comes from the marijuana or hemp plant but does not have an effect on the psyche which gives someone a ‘high’. It generally comes from the hemp plant and is not addictive or illegal.
CBD oil helps with menstrual cramps as it increases blood flow which in turn reduces inflammation, it can be used in various forms such as tablets, creams, gels, and oil drops.
More research is needed into CBD oil and its effects before it is accepted into western medicine.
Our take on CBD oil, it doesn't relief any cramp but helps you relax, which is amazing. So you can use CBD oil but you will have to use either hotter bottle, painkiller etc to go with it.
For those who have painful periods on a regular basis, it is advisable to maintain a healthy and balanced lifestyle throughout the monthly cycle, this will help the body to prepare for each period and hopefully reduce discomfort and pain.
Period Pain Relief Patches
We were send some period patches by BeYou to try for period pains. We have been trying it for a couple of months now and so glad to say they actually work very well for cramps in lower abdomen.
It comes as a pack of 4 strips in a packet. All you have to do is peel it patch and happy in the area where you are having cramps. Easy to use and it release a menthol small and tingling sensation.
Downside it when you peel it off, it was bit painful and it is disposable. But overall, they work and would be perfect travel companion, when you don't have access to hot water bottle .
The Bottom Line
Period pain is normal but that doesn’t mean you have to suffer, there are natural treatments to help manage and ease the pain.Finding the right pain reliever is individual and what works for some may not work for others. It may be a case of trying a few options and/or combining treatment options.
If period pain becomes unmanageable or you are unsure on a treatment option then it’s advised to seek medical advice.