17 March 2014

How to Stop Period Cramps

For some women, their period means days of extreme pain.  Learning how to stop period cramps can help make this week of the month easier for most women.  These natural remedies for menstrual cramps will help reduce pain and bloating, but they may take some dedication and time to work.  If your periods are very heavy or painful, talk to your doctor.  This blog post is not a substitute for proper medical advice.
How to Stop Period Cramps

What Causes Menstrual Cramps?

Every month, your uterus sheds its lining if the egg was not fertilized.  Your uterus contracts, which helps the lining get shed and causes painful period cramps.   When the uterus contracts strongly, it can press on blood vessels, which cuts off oxygen and causes cramps.

Common Cramp Remedies

Most women turn to ibuprofen or other NSAID pain relievers to curb their cramps.  Some women will take birth control pills to reduce cramps.  Talk to your doctor about these remedies before you try them.

Natural Remedies for Menstrual Cramps

If you are looking for a more natural way to learn how to stop period cramps, there are plenty of ways.  Most women will find relief from natural remedies.  Some work quickly, and some take a few months to see results.

For quick results, try one of these natural remedies for menstrual cramps:

  • Use a heating pad to relax the muscles.
  • Exercise
  • Gently massage your abdomen.  
  • Do yoga.
  • Take a warm bath.
  • Get plenty of sleep each night.
  • Drink plenty of water.  
These will all bring immediate or almost immediate relief.  You can certainly combine these in any combination for more relief.  For example, I find that alternating between a heating pad and massage for 20 minutes at a time brings a lot of relief.  

Lifestyle Changes

The remedies mentioned above work quickly, but in order to prevent painful period cramps, you might need to make some lifestyle changes.  Hormone imbalances may be to blame for your cramping, so keeping hormones balanced can greatly reduce your pain each month.

Try to drink plenty of water every day to keep your body hydrated.  This is especially important during your period, but getting enough water every day can also help prevent painful periods.

Eat a healthy diet with whole grains and only healthy fats.  Some women notice  their their cramps are greatly reduced when they avoid polyunsaturated fats.  Instead, look for healthy fats such as coconut oil and the oil found in nuts or avocados.

Grains, vegetable oils, and dairy can cause inflammation in some women, which can increase cramping.  Try eliminating these from your diet for three months or longer to try to reduce cramps.

How do you stop period cramps?

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photo via marin / freedigitalphotos.net