Ten Ways to cope with menstrual cramps.

[AD] I’ve been living with my monthly visitor on and off since I was approximately eight years of age. I was a very early bloomer, so I rightly consider myself a well-versed veteran on the subject of menstrual cramps.

[AD] This post may contain affiliate links and/or gifted products. WUKA kindly sent me two pairs of period underwear to test and review. My opinion is my own. Please see the disclaimer for more information.

I’ve been living with my monthly visitor on and off since I was approximately eight years of age. I was a very early bloomer, so I rightly consider myself a well-versed veteran on the subject of menstrual cramps.

What causes menstrual cramps?

To put it bluntly, menstrual cramps are caused by the uterus contracting. The hormones involved in pain and inflammation trigger the contractions so that it’s easier for the unfertilised egg and lining to be shed. The higher the level of these hormones (prostaglandins), the more painful the contractions.

To read more check out this post by WUKA.

HemppureCBD.
Is extreme menstrual pain normal?

Throughout my life, I’ve suffered from extremely painful menstrual cramps. But it was completely normal, right? That is until I spoke with a doctor in Belfast approximately five years ago. She referred me to a gynecologist for an investigation into suspected endometriosis. This led to a three-year wait for a simple consultation. After an hour in an overcrowded waiting room in late 2019, I was dismissed with pain killers and no further action. Not even the scan that was initially suggested.

Your sexual health is just as valid and important as any other part of your body. Yet, as the owner of a uterus, I often feel embarrassed to talk about it. But it’s important that we educate ourselves, advocate for ourselves, and don’t allow ourselves to be spoken over.

You can find out more about menstrual cramps and the variety of issues that can arise by visiting Everyday Health.

10 ways to cope with period pain.

Medication.

Personally speaking, I’m useless during my period unless I have some sort of pain killers or anti-inflammatories. It’s a good idea to always carry a supply of paracetamol with you. But if you find that you need something stronger, don’t be afraid to speak to your doctor about alternative medications to help manage the pain.

*Be aware that some painkillers can be addictive. Use with caution and in moderation.

Heat.

According to Jackie Thielen (M.D), the uterus is a muscle and so anything that helps relax muscles, like applying heat, can be beneficial for menstrual cramps. I couldn’t agree more! During my period I like to curl up with a hot water bottle, microwaveable wheat bag, or heat pads if I’m on the go.

I recently bought myself a wonderful hot water bottle from WUKA. Unlike my usual hot water bottle, it secures snugly around my waist so I can wear it around the house without holding onto it. It’s also versatile and can be used on both your back and your lower abdomen at the same time due to its length.

Alternative menstrual products.

“It’s true that people often experience less cramping with free bleeding and create less waste material by not using tampons, but there are other options that can more hygienically accomplish these goals.”

Heather Rupe, DO

It’s not overly well known but another way to alleviate period pain is by switching up your sanitary products. Tampons can be painful, sanitary towels can feel like wearing diapers and free-bleeding, although a valid movement, isn’t always practicable. But if you’re looking for a more sustainable and less risky alternative, WUKA period underwear are environmentally friendly and can hold up to three tampons worth of menstrual blood.

I’ve never used anything other than sanitary towels before so I was initially hesitant to use the WUKA underwear. Due to the heaviness of my flow, it was suggested that I use them on medium to low flow days. I was pleasantly surprised to find them not only extremely comfortable but also reliable! And the best part? My trousers remained stain-free!

WUKA also offers a ‘My First Period’ kit for young people about to embark on a new chapter in their lives. It comes with three pairs of underwear, a wash bag, a wire-free bra-let and a fact book all about menstruation!

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???? Menstrual Cramps are the DEVIL! [In association with @WUKA]⠀ ⠀ I’ve been living with my monthly visitor on and off since I was approximately eight years of age. I was a very early bloomer, so I rightly consider myself a well-versed veteran on the subject of menstrual cramps. ???? ⠀ ⠀ I’ve never used anything other than sanitary towels before so I was initially hesitant to use the @WUKA underwear. Due to the heaviness of my flow, it was suggested that I use them on medium to low flow days. I was pleasantly surprised to find them not only extremely comfortable but also reliable! I was able to move around more freely than usual &, above all else, my jeans remained stain-free! ⠀ ⠀ Interested in learning more? Check out the link in the bio ???? (this has taken ALOT of courage to post & I’m trying not to judge my thighs but here they are. Big, scarred & blemished but beautiful all the same.)

A post shared by Chloe || Recovery & MH Blog (@nyxtrix) on

Yoga poses.

I couldn’t let a month go by without talking about yoga and it’s benefits. You might not feel up to the task, but believe me when I say it helps.

There are certain stretches you can do to help alleviate the tensions in both your stomach and lower back. A study published in The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine saw twenty students participate in an hour-long yoga session once a week for three months. The results found that those who took part in this study had less intense menstrual cramps than twenty other students who didn’t.

Check out some of these yoga poses to get the most from your practice during your period.

Herbal tea.

There’s nothing better than a cup of tea when you’re feeling rough. That goes double for the herbal stuff. There are a variety of herbal tea blends that can help reduce menstrual cramps, and some can even help with the onset of nausea that some can experience.

Peppermint tea and ginger tea are the two most commonly used remedies for period pain. Both have their own parts to play with peppermint being a natural muscle relaxant and ginger acting as an anti-inflammatory. Like many things consistent use is key and you won’t reap the benefits after just one cup. Replace your caffeine kick with one or both of these teas and drink them throughout the day.

Interested in other home remedies for cramps? Check out this post.

Essential oils.

I’ve talked about the benefits of aromatherapy before, but did you know that they can also help with menstrual cramps? Instead of inhaling the scent, you simply massage it onto the affected area. Provided you’re not sensitive to essential oils, it’s a great and wholesome way to alleviate the pain! Some of the oils I’ve used include Peppermint, Lavender (which is also great for sleep), and Rose.

But how do you use them? You simply rub a small amount into your abdomen once a day until the pain subsides.

Feel good endorphins.

Our body’s natural feel-good endorphins are a great way to combat period pain. There are many ways you can go about releasing these endorphins including exercise, eating certain foods, and even having an orgasm.

Rest!

It might seem self-explanatory but we need to allow ourselves additional time to rest during our period.

Although guilt is usually my default setting when I take time out, it’s the last thing on my mind when dealing with menstrual cramps. I remind myself that I’m in pain, I’m tired and I deserve to rest for putting up with my monthly visitor.

Kick back with some Netflix, cuddle up with your heat pack of choice, and sip on your peppermint tea. The rest of the world can wait.

TENS therapy.

Another non-evasive and drug-free alternative is the use of a TENS therapy machine. Electrode pads are placed on the affected area (in this case the lower abdomen and even the lower back). Soothing electric pulses are sent through the pads, through the skin and down into the nerve endings. These pulses act by suppressing the signals being sent from the source to the brain, essentially dulling the effects of period pains. I’ve known many people in my life to use TENS machines for both back and period pain, and I’ve even used it once myself. If you can get your hands on one I’d highly recommend trying them as an alternative to medication.

Hormonal Birth Control.

Although not a home remedy nor considered an alternative, birth control pills have long been considered a key way to control our periods. Not only do they allow you the freedom to control when they take place, but they can also reduce the pain felt during menstration.

With that being said, please discuss this method with your doctor thoroughly. It’s important to remember that there is no one size fits all when it comes to contraception, and some are more dangerous in regards to side effects than others. While the contraceptive pill may reduce period pain, it can cause blood clotting and can even have detrimental mental health impacts.


Have you any other tips on how to reduce menstrual cramps? What about sustainable products? Have you tried WUKA pants or something similar? Let me know in the comments.

99 comments

  1. I get them very badly *every* *single* month and have fainted because of the pains a few times in my life. Thanks so much for sharing these! I’m hopeful!

  2. I saw a youngest sister suffered menstrual pain during her monthly period. It was a struggle dealing with this monthly visitor. These tips surely help.

  3. This is a very important topic, thanks for shedding light on it. Really love that Wuka has some great pants and water bottles to wrap around your waist. Period cramps are no fun at all

  4. I was on the pill for a long time. But prolonged use led to gall bladder stones and that wasn’t fun either. I would highly recommend switching to natural pads (as in organic cotton) or the washable ones (or underwear) to help with pains as well and seeing a naturopath because doctors are not always listening to women about these issues.

    Great post! We need info like this.

  5. I’m so lucky that because I’m on the pill (actually one of your recommendations) my periods really aren’t that bad, but occasionally I use a hot water bottle and it helps!

    Katie | katieemmabeauty.com

  6. I love this post. I usually use a heating pad, but I’m going to have to try some of these other methods.

  7. I love this post!!!! I use essential oils for my periods. I specially use clary sage but I have mixed lavender and peppermint and it worked well for me too. Us women can’t avoid this so it is great you have these useful tips!!!????

  8. I certainly didn’t know yoga helps. I’ll try that and see how it’ll work for me.

  9. Hot water bag is my go to thing for period cramps and I get very severe cramps and I am in pain almost 3-4 days during periods. I actually had a ovarian cyst when I was just 14 so since then periods have been like a nightmare for me

  10. I usually use a hot water bag when I feel the pain. Thank god, that I don’t feel painful crampings when in periods but I can understand what discomfort it causes along with severe pain. This is such a useful post thanks for sharing your ideas.

  11. Except when I had an inflamed uterus lining when I was 19, I’d never really had any problems with cramping. I used to always wonder why other women seemed to be in so much pain around that time of the month. That was until my 40s when I started getting the occassional omfg-what-the-hell-is-going-on-in-there kind of pain. I find exercise helps a lot for me and that may have been why I didn’t get cramps much when I was younger. My second option is the hot water bottle, so I love that there’s one you can tie to your body!

  12. They were the worst in my 20’s, to the point I could sleep at night. It has gotten better as I have gotten older.

  13. Thank you for these tips. I never thought about yoga or essential oils. Thanks for sharing!

  14. I would strap a hot water bottle to my stomach for the entire day sometimes! I just couldn’t function without the pain relief!

  15. I’ve never heard of that one! I’ll have to look into it. Thank you so much for reading and sharing your experience.

  16. I would be wrong to say I can’t wait to not have it anymore because, as painful as it is, it reminds me that my body is healing.
    Thank you for reading.

  17. I feel the same although mine will probably disappear when I’m a lot younger due to how young it started.
    Thank you for popping in and reading.

  18. Great post. I’m one of the lucky ones I guess as my cramps have always been very mild and only present usually the first day of my menstrual cycle. But I know women who have severe cramps during their cycles. These are great tips.

  19. I love essential oils! I’m also a Yoga teacher so I love all the recommendations you give! Great post!

  20. Experiencing this as I read it ???? Sitting down is always worse for me and it helps a lot to walk around. I used to have really painful experiences before I was on birth control and now luckily my cramps are pretty mild

  21. I love that you have shared this post and I can totally connect with having bad cramps. I get terrible cramps on and off depending on the phase of the moon and love the sounds of a hot water-bottle I do not have to hold on!

    Walking usually helps my cramps, but I can thankfully sleep it off or down a cup of raspberry leaf, oatstraw alfalfa and red clover herbal tea. πŸ™‚

  22. Thank you for all of the wonderful tips. It can be super hard for anyone that has serious cramps going on when it is that “time of the month” and honestly…. I never really had an issues until my mid forties. Now I do have serious cramping and can totally appreciate these tips. I am going to try using my essential oils more πŸ™‚

  23. Periods still seem to be a taboo subject to this day even though about half of the population have them! Thank you for sharing these tips- this can help so many people and help reduce the stigma. I am lucky that my periods are usually not too bad and medication usually really helps my cramps.

  24. Wonderful post. I neglected severe period pain and bad bleeding for a couple of years and ended up getting endemetriol cancer. Thankfully they caught it early and in fine. If your pain is more than any of these really good remedies can help, make sure you get tested ASAP. Great post.

  25. Such an important topic to be speaking up about! I suffer pretty badly each month and had never considered trying yoga to help, but definitely will now. Thanks for sharing πŸ™‚

  26. I’ve heard some great things about these period pants! I don’t have periods – I haven’t had a period in around 4 years now but when I did I suffered with pretty bad cramps for the first day. I was glued to my hot water bottle and spent hours in the bath! I would always just go super gingerly with myself on my period – loose, baggy clothes, chocolate and chill.

  27. A friend of mine goes through hell every month, I already flipped her your post, thank you so much., I hope this helps her.

  28. You’ve got some great suggestions here. I don’t menstruate anymore but when I did it was almost unbearable – I found a combination of meds, heat, and peppermint tea usually helped quite well. Not always practical though! I went to an all girls school and it was quite common for everyone to be walking around with hot water bottles in Sixth Form ????

  29. Such an important post!! It is essential that we talking about subjects such as these. So many amazing tips that I know will help so many people.

    Rachael x

    https//www.fromrachaelclaire.com

  30. I’ve been lucky that I haven’t suffered with menstral cramps before but I know my friend suffers really bad with them and she finds that heat from a water bottle really helps. She’s on medication for them too but heat is her preferred method. Thanks for sharing these other tips. I’ll let her know so she can take a look herself πŸ™‚

  31. Thanks for these tips! Am kind of familiar with other ones as I also go through severe pain during my first days. I also drink coke (not cold) hahahaha im not sure if it is scientifically proven but it helps x

  32. This a very interesting blog, I personally have never had menstrual cramps but my little sister gets them really bad. I have not tried WUKA pants or a similar product but I really want to!

  33. I haven’t had any trouble with menstruation and pain as such until I hit my 40’s. Every cycle since then was different, pain is very evident and sometime intolerable.

  34. I get such bad menstrual cramps it’s not even funny!! Thank you so so so so much for this post and for the insight. I have essential oils, so will look into it.

  35. I am very thankful for my body and very little of menstrual cramps. I don’t do anything special but I drink a lot of herbal tea during the first day and am generally ok. I too noticed that different period products affect my feelings so I use reuseable pads or sanitary panties during the first day. but again, my flow is not heavy and feel safe. Menstrual cup is perfect for any other days

  36. My cramps have always been SO bad but heat helps SO much! I have been wanting to try some of these panties, I will have to look into it

  37. This is such a widespread problem for so many women, I have 3 sisters and they all have the same issue, some worse than others and to think that this goes on well past age 50 is just worrying.

  38. Indeed this is very deep and meaningful..it is really amazing that how you have raised and shared such important information…this blog post and these all tips and ideas are indeed really very useful and helpful..Thanks for sharing this..Great work…

  39. Oh yeah I had Naproxin as well it made me feel so sick! Totally agree too, some people just don’t appreciate how poorly it can make you feel! x

  40. Your post is very useful and helpful! It must be very painful when someone suffers from menstrual cramps.

  41. CBD has been SO helpful to me for menstrual pain. I haven’t discussed it here because I do plan on talking about it in another post. If I get the go ahead on that post I would love your input! x

  42. I tried the pill but it made me feel worse. But I understand that it can be quite different for some than it is for others.
    Thank you so much for popping in and reading. x

  43. Thank you so much for popping in and reading. I was told they would ease after having a baby. I haven’t had a baby yet but I wasn’t willing to have one just to try that theory out! x

  44. I’ve struggled for years too. I was given Naproxin and some other pills but they bugger up your stomach. It’s all but ruined my stomach. Honestly, sometimes I don’t think people appreciate just how horrible some others get it when on their period. I’ve been told to ‘buck up – it’s not that bad’ by other people, cis-women especially.
    Thank you so much for popping in and reading pet! x

  45. Ive never had a very painful cramps but my sister had and she was not able to walk properly. But it was when we were 20something and we did not havs a chance to try that underwear

  46. Very informative post especially for the public. It is important that we should bring awareness about these things. Keep writing

  47. I’ve only got one way to deal with them, get me hot water bottle and lie down. I might give a yoga pose a try the next time too.

  48. As a long term pill user, I almost forgot how period pain felt like. For me, the pill was a life savior, with more benefits than side effects.

  49. This is something that affects quite a few of us. I made tincture mixes myself and found these useful as my pains could be crippling. Essential oils can help with mild pain.

  50. Brilliant post, it is such an important subject, one that still has such a stigma to it. Which is ridiculous.

    I didn’t use to suffer too badly until I lost weight and they became crippling. Thankfully it has improved but I do find heat to be really comforting and ease the pain x

  51. I love this post and thank you so much for raising some awareness on a topic that’s still considered embarrassing even in this day and age! I suffered terribly when I first started my period and was given hospital grade painkillers which did the job but they made me feel incredibly weak and out of it which wasn’t ideal when I was doing my GCSEs! While they helped with the pain they didn’t stop the heavy flow which kept me off school more times than I care to count and it wasn’t until I was put on the pill that I finally got some relief. I love the idea that WUKA do a hot water bottle that you can strap around your waist, I think I might have to invest! I’ve always been quite dubious of alternative sanitary products but this period underwear sounds pretty good – I especially love how they do a first period kit too, that’ll come in handy for so many young girls! xx

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