Cramps are uterine contractions caused by prostaglandins, a hormone-like substance. The contractions help get rid of the uterine lining that is shed during your period. Usually the pain is mild, but sometimes it can be severe.
Apart from reaching for the painkillers, what are the best tactics to deal with period pain?
1. Rest and relaxation
R&R is very important at this time of the month. Relax by meditating or practicing yoga. Get enough sleep before and during your period to help you cope with any discomfort.
2. Consider exercise
You may not feel like it but aerobic exercise can make you feel much better. In fact, studies have shown that ‘that time’ of the month is actually a brilliant time to exercise.
If you’re not up to that, even some gentle stretches will help ease cramps. Even that sound like a bad idea? Then don’t do it! This is the time to be listening to your body and only you know what you feel up to.
3. Hot baths and heat pads
Some like it hot! A soak in a warm bath can do wonders to get rid of cramps. Or try a hot water bottle or heated pad.
4. Consider supplements
Talk to your doctor about supplements. Vitamin B1 and magnesium have been shown to help some women with period pain.
5. Talk to your doctor
If your period pain is severe, it’s worth talking to your doctor about medical options that might be right for you. Hormonal contraception may be an option, for example.
Other things to make that time of the month easier
For a start, you need to make sure you’re using the best female protection for you.
Don’t miss our top 5 ways to deal with PMS either either.
Let us know how you tackle cramps
We’d love to hear your thoughts. Maybe you’ve got a tip that might help other women?