Bloated; uncomfortable; persistent - period pain can be pretty gruelling. Us ladies here at Expert Home Tips know just how painful periods can be, and we want to lend a helping hand to anyone suffering.
Today we're sharing some vital information, such as what causes period pains, how to get quick period pain relief, and our top natural remedies for period pain that are sure to have you feeling much better in no time at all.
It's time to beat PMS once and for all! Check out our period pain tips below and learn how to manage them once and for all.
What is a period?
Menstruation is the breaking down and expelling of the thick lining of your uterus. This thick lining is produced during the menstrual cycle to provide the conditions needed if an egg where to be fertilised - i.e if you were to fall pregnant.
If you don't fall pregnant, the thick lining is no longer needed, and, therefore, it breaks down and exits through the vagina, resulting in the blood and tissue called a 'period'.
What causes period cramps?
We all know period cramps happen, and we all know they hurt, but most of us don't actually know what causes them.
Expulsion of the uterus lining doesn't just happen - it requires some encouragement in the form of contractions. These contractions alone can be uncomfortable, but it's the hormones that cause them which are directly associated with period cramps.
The more intense the contractions, the more likely that surrounding blood vessels will also become constricted, which too can lead to period cramps.
There are some more severe causes of period cramps too, including endometriosis, uterine fibroids and pelvic inflammatory disease. If you suffer from extremely severe, persistent period cramps, book in to see your local GP.
Period pain relief
As period pain is, most commonly, the cause of the natural menstruation cycle, it can't always be avoided. However, there are several ways to get period pain relief, most of which are incredibly simple and natural.
Get period pain relief, fast, with our top remedies.
Period pain remedies
1. Be kind to yourself
Period pains happen, and that's ok. When they do, you don't have to be a martyr and soldier on as normal.
Don't feel guilty about taking a bit of time out for yourself - spending an evening slobbing around in your comfies, an hour in the bath, or ordering a take away because you can't be bothered to cook.
Sometimes 'pushing through the pain' only makes things worse when it comes to PMS.
You'll be surprised how much period pain relief simply being kind to yourself will grant you.
2. Period pain pills
As with all things painful, medication can be a great help.
Period pain pills are often branded as such, but the majority can be substituted much more cheaply for ibuprofen or aspirin. These will provide some period pain relief, reduce intense symptoms and and help you get on with your day.
3. Period pain relief using heat
Sometimes the best period pain remedies are the simplest. Lying down in a cosy area with a hot water bottle will do wonders not only for PMS, but your general state of mind too.
As far as we're concerned, it's always a good time for a hot water bottle!
4. Massages can be effective period pain remedies
Remember how your Mother used to rub your 'poorly tummy' when you were younger?
She may not be on hand (or willing)do it now, but that doesn't mean you can't give your own tum some TLC.
Small, gentle, circular hand movements on your lower abdomen can soothe and calm period pain.
5. Exercising can relieve PMS
We're not recommending you go on the biggest hike of your life, but some gentle exercise can provide period pain relief.
Swimming, cycling or a casual walk will often help distract you from the pain, as well as providing some relief.
It may not be a particularly alluring period pain remedy, but it is one that works!
6. Shower power
Is there anything a long, hot soak in the bath can't cure?
Period pain can make you pretty tense, and one of the best ways to counteract this tension is with a warm bath or shower.
Why not light a few candles, put some calming music on and go all out?
7. Birth control pills
More often than not, birth control pills reduce period pain.
This is thought to be because they reduce the hormone-like substances that prompt the shedding of the uterus lining.
Additionally, they suppress ovulation - another factor of menstruation linked to period cramps.
Natural remedies for period pain
You guys know how much we love natural remedies here at Expert Home Tips, so it's only natural that we wanted to share some of our favourite PMS fixes.
Get instant period pain relief with these natural PMS remedies.
8. Herbal tea for PMS
We're always being told how beneficial herbal teas can be for our health. Here's another reason to drink them: they can provide period pain relief.
Peppermint, ginger and chamomile are all popular choices, providing pain-relieving, numbing and calming effects.
Stock up on your favourites today in time for your next period.
9. Fish oil
Next on our list of natural remedies for period pain is fish oil.
Fish oil lowers inflammation, helping to ease PMS and make your time of the month less gruelling.
It's a cheap solution and one we definitely recommend giving a go.
10. Try taking Vitamin D
Vitamin D is another natural remedy that can help reduce inflammation.
This will help make the shedding of the uterus wall less painful, and relieve some of your PMS.
11. Essential oils
If you want to up your massage game, consider adding essential oils.
Lavender, sage and marjoram have all been shown to have a beneficial effect on period pain when used alongside massaging techniques on the lower abdomen.
The smell alone will have you feeling more relaxed!
Check out our 43 uses for essential oils for more great ideas!
One of the natural remedies for period pain that seems to be the most promising is magnesium.
This mineral helps with the functioning of muscles and nerves and has shown to be effective in reducing the severity of menstrual cramps.
13. Herbal supplements for PMS
Another of the natural remedies for period pain some women like to try are herbal supplements.
Of the herbal supplements on offer, popular choices include chaste tree extract, evening primrose oil, black cohosh and St. John's wort.
If you prefer natural remedies, this could be the period pain solution for you.
Do you have any natural remedies for period pain you've found to be effective? We'd love to hear them in the comments below!