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The Ultimate Guide to Relieving Menstrual Cramps

Let’s fight cramps!

Cramps happen when your muscles work super hard to push out your period. Your uterus has a layer of muscle and together with the muscles in your lower tummy area, they contract during your period to push your period out from the uterus and exiting from the vagina. When you sneeze and you feel a bit of period shoot out down there, that’s the exact same thing! When you sneeze, it makes your muscles in your lower tummy area tighten up and contract, pushing out your period! Period cramps are usually felt in one or more of these areas: • A cramp at the lower part of your tummy • A backache usually at the lower back area • An ache along the inner thigh area Cramps hurt but they don’t have to with our ultimate tips for cramp relief.

What are the best ways to fight cramps?

1. Apply heat to the cramp You can use a hot water bottle or an electric heating pad. Hold it against your cramp for as long you need. If you’re using a hot water bottle, it may get cold before your cramp goes away and that’s ok. Just refill your bottle with more hot water. Why it works Applying heat directly to the cramp will relax your sore muscles. It also increases blood flow to your sore muscles, providing you with sweet relief and comfort!

2. Rub your tummy with your hand We’re not always at home where we can fill up our hot water bottles. But don’t worry, not all hope is lost! Rubbing your tummy with your hand can produce enough heat to soothe a mild cramp. Why it works This works in the same way as applying heat to the cramp. It relaxes your sore muscles and increases blood flow providing relief and comfort.

3. Enjoy a hot beverage A nice hot tea or hot yummy soup can warm up your tummy and soothe your tummy cramps! Many girls find that the opposite is also true. Ice-cold drinks can make cramps worse so you may want to skip the ice! Why it works This works in the same way as applying heat to the cramp but instead, we’re doing this from the inside!

4. Take ibuprofen Ibuprofin, also commonly known as Advil, acts as a painkiller. Although it is available over the counter, it is also a drug so please consult your doctor before taking it. Why it works Ibuprofin works by suppressing the effect of prostaglandins secreted by your body. Prostaglandin causes your uterus to contract which can cause menstrual cramps.

5. Have an orgasm! You can achieve an orgasm through masturbation or sex. Yes, you can even do it during your period! Why it works Orgasms give you a rush of endorphins, a neurotransmitter that can inhibit pain. Orgasms also increase blood flow to your lower tummy and genital area providing relief and comfort.

6. Exercise! You may not feel like getting up and moving but exercising will actually help reduce pain from menstrual cramps! When you get a good workout, your body releases a neurotransmitter called endorphins that act as a natural pain killer. Why it works Endorphins fight pain by inhibiting pain and reducing our perception of pain so your menstrual cramps feel more manageable.

7. Eat food rich in Magnesium Eat foods such as dark leafy greens, nuts and seeds, fish, beans and lentils, whole grains, avocados, bananas, and dark chocolate. Why it works Magnesium is an essential mineral that acts as a muscle relaxant. It soothes aching cramping muscles and lower back pain. It can even lower prostaglandins which may cause your muscles to over contract causing painful menstrual cramps.

8. Get enough Potassium in your diet Eat foods such as dark leafy greens, yogurt, fish, bananas, avocados, white mushrooms, and baked potatoes. Why it works Potassium is another essential mineral that allows your muscles to function properly, including your uterine muscles that may cramp up during your period. Too little potassium and your muscles may cramp painfully when they don’t need to.

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