Period cramps are extremely common across all women who menstruate.
In fact, more than half of women who menstruate suffer from period cramps (also called dysmenorrhea) for at least a day every single month. Ouch!
Dysmenorrhea won’t cause any lasting harm to your body and usually doesn’t signal anything more serious than just normal period cramps, but that doesn’t mean that it’s not painful and unpleasant.
That’s why in this article you’re going to find the best ways to relieve the pain associated with period cramps and give you the relief you’re looking for.
If your period cramps don’t respond to any of the remedies in this article, it’s important that you talk to your doctor to make sure that your pain isn’t due to a more serious condition.
Without further introduction, here are some of the best ways to stop period cramps in their tracks and relieve your pain.
The Best Ways To Relieve Period Cramp Pain
1. Vitamin B1 Is Your Ticket Out Of Pain
Researchers at the Global Journal of Health Science discovered that vitamin B1 helped women who were having menstrual cramps.
Just 100mg per day of vitamin B1 was enough to give participants in the study the relief they were looking for. Those who were taking vitamin B1 reported significantly less pain than those who weren’t. (1)
In addition, participants in the study who were taking vitamin B1 also reported that their pain and cramps didn’t last nearly as long as those who were in the placebo group.
2. Heat Up With A Heating Pad To Melt Away Cramps
Heating pads are an excellent way to cut down on the pain of period cramps and help you to feel better.
In, fact, a study done by Evidence-Based Nursing in 2001 discovered that heating pads were just as effective as ibuprofen when it came to reducing and managing the pain of period cramps. Those findings were confirmed by a 2014 study in the Journal of Physiotherapy which found that heat was extremely effective at mitigating and reducing period pain. (2)
In the study from 2001, women were assigned to one of 4 groups. Either they used heating pads and ibuprofen, just ibuprofen, a heating pad and a placebo pill, or no heating pad and a placebo pill.
Every group outperformed the control group, which was given no heating pad and just a placebo pill.
In addition, women who were using only heating pads reported that they experienced faster pain relief than those who were using only ibuprofen. Women who used heating pads found that they experienced relief in 90 minutes, whereas women who were only taking ibuprofen found that it took nearly 3 hours to experience pain relief.
Finally, those who were using both heating pads and ibuprofen reported that the heat completely went away, compared to women in the control.
3. Try Consuming More Magnesium To Ease Period Pain
Magnesium is an element that does a huge amount of things to keep your body healthy – even reducing the pain of period cramps. Besides that, it also helps your body have regular muscle and nerve function.
A scientific review of several different dietary studies and other research in 2001 found that women who got the daily recommended dose of magnesium reported less period pain and cramping than women who did not.
And the best part about magnesium is that it’s relatively easy to get as much as your body needs from your diet. Even if you can’t – magnesium is simple to take as a supplement and will help deal with the pain of period cramps. (3)
Women of childbearing age have a recommended daily dose of 320mg of magnesium. If you eat a cup of cooked spinach, you’ll get 157mg, and a cup of cooked black beans will give you 120mg.
There’s no known amount of magnesium that is a recommended dose for relieving period cramps, so talk to your doctor about how much magnesium is right for you and your body.
4. Use Tea To Treat Menstrual Cramps
Teas have been used for centuries as herbal remedies for a truly enormous amount of different maladies and conditions, and painful menstrual cramps are no exception. (4)
The science is still out, but people have been using herbal teas for hundreds of years to treat different ailments. If you’re looking to soothe menstrual cramps, try cramp bark as a remedy.
Take 2 teaspoons of cramp bark and put it in fresh clean water, then bring the water to a boil. Let it simmer for no less than 15 minutes to create your tea. You can have the tea up to 3 times per day.
Peppermint tea is also an amazing herbal remedy for period cramps. If you want even more relief, try to start drinking the herbal tea of your choice up to 5 days before you think your period might start.
Don’t take cramp bark if you’re on blood pressure medication like diuretics or lithium, and always talk to your doctor before trying a herbal remedy. Some herbal teas contain compounds that mimic estrogens, so talk to your doctor about what’s right for you.
5. Eat Healthier And Dissolve Away Period Cramps
Low fat vegetarian diets have been found to have big effects on period cramps and reported period pain in many women. By increasing the number of vegetables in your diet and decreasing the amount of fat, you can get your body healthier and reduce your period cramps at the same time.
That’s because low fat diets actually reduce inflammation in your body, which can help get rid of the painful symptoms of period cramps.
If you’re not ready to go full vegetarian, one way to improve your diet and improve your overall heath is to try to get rid of the unhealthy saturated fats in your diet and replace them with healthier, unsaturated fats.
You’ll find unhealthy saturated fats in many animal products and processed foods. If you’re looking for good, unsaturated fats, look no further than olive oil, fish, vegetable oils, and nuts. (5)
If you can get between 25 and 35% of your daily calories from healthy fats found in those foods, you’ll be doing well – and you should also experience less painful period cramps!
6. Keep Hydrated To Wash Away Period Pain
There is a lot of connection between staying hydrated and reducing period pain. If you’re drinking enough water, it actually prevents your body from retaining too much water. That means less bloating!
Plus, there are too many health benefits that come along with staying properly hydrated to list. You’ll be greatly improving your overall health, as well as improving how you feel. (6)
Try drinking warm water to get the most benefit for period cramps. Since warm water has a way of relaxing and unknotting strained muscles, it can help massage away your period cramps and have you feeling better.
7. Try Proven Painkillers For Period Cramps
While some people like to shy away from medicine when treating period cramps, there’s no denying how effective several medicines have proven at managing and relieving pain.
Anti-inflammatories like ibuprofen have been proven effective at reducing the pain that comes with period cramps. Not many people know that period cramps happen because the body releases substances called prostaglandins… and when you take anti-inflammatories like ibuprofen it actually lowers your body’s prostaglandin production and reduces the pain that you feel. (7)
Just make sure that pain relievers like ibuprofen are right for you by talking to your doctor before taking them to relieve period cramping and pain.
8. Try Acupuncture To Relieve Cramping
Acupuncture can be an effective treatment at reducing and relieving the pain that goes along with period cramps.
That’s because acupuncturists believe that acupuncture works as an anti-inflammatory, which helps to keep your nervous system relaxed and keep period cramps at bay.
A scientific review of six studies from 2011 found that acupuncture and acupressure both had some effect at dealing with period pain, but that more study and trials were needed.
Either way, some relief is better than no relief at all, so if you’re adventurous and not squeamish about needles, acupuncture could be a great way to help relieve your pain. (8)
9. Take Fish Oil For Pain Relief
Remember the study all the way back in remedy #1 about vitamin B1? Those researchers from the Global Journal of Health Science in 2014 were also looking at fish oil – and found that it’s also effective at treating period pain.
Participants who took 500mg of fish oil each day reported significantly less period pain than the placebo group.
Fish oil also is said to have several health benefits, and fish oil supplements are taken by many people to promote health – so if you want to get rid of period pain and also give your body a supplement that can help you feel better faster, try fish oil! (9)
10. Add Endorphins To Relieve Pain
Endorphins are a neurochemical that improve your mood as well as relieve pain and help you feel better. They’re released by several different things.
Most notably, exercise has been proven to release endorphins and make people feel great. Endorphins are behind what people refer to as a “runner’s high.”
Scientists published a study in the Journal of Family Reproductive Health in 2015 that indicated a link between stretching and aerobic exercise and reduced period cramps and period pain.
Obviously, getting a good workout in can be the last thing on your list of priorities when you’re suffering from period cramps, but if you can tough it out the endorphins released from your workout can help relieve your symptoms and get you feeling better. (10)
11. Try Aromatic Essential Oils To Relieve Pain
Researchers published a study in the Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology Research in 2012 that linked essential oils with menstrual cramp relief.
The researchers instructed the two groups of participants to massage either essential oils or an artificial fragrance onto their lower abdomen who were experiencing period cramps.
The essential oils used were lavender, marjoram, and clary sage, and they wree diluted to a 3% concentration.
While both groups in the study reported less pain, the group using the essential oils experienced significantly less pain, as well as significantly shorter period cramp duration. (11)
12. Try Birth Control For Fewer Period Cramps
Birth control pills have actually been demonstrated by scientists to relieve period cramps.
A review of 10 studies from 2009 found that all types of birth control pills gave subjects pain relief from period cramps, and were effective at reducing the cramps. (12)
13. Get Good Sleep To Cut Down On Pain
Getting the right amount of sleep is critical for your body to function at its best, and if you’re trying to keep yourself feeling as good as possible it’s super important to get the rest your body needs.
However, when your body is at the greatest risk of experiencing pms symptoms and cramping, that’s the most important time to make sure to get good, uninterrupted sleep.
If your sleep gets interrupted and your body isn’t getting enough rest, it can cause symptoms like period cramping, irritability, and fatigue. (13)
That’s because your body needs the total relaxation that comes with good, healthy sleep. If it doesn’t get it, it makes your body more prone to cramping up.
So try to keep your sleep routine consistent, and get the best, healthiest, and most uninterrupted sleep that you can. It will help you feel better and more at your best, and can also stop period cramps from cramping your style.
The Best Ways To Get Rid Of Period Cramps
- Vitamin B1 is your ticket out of pain
- Heat up with a heating pad to melt away cramps
- Try consuming more magnesium to ease period pain
- Use tea to treat menstrual cramps
- Eat healthier and dissolve away period cramps
- Keep hydrated to wash away period pain
- Try proven painkillers for period cramps
- Try acupuncture to relieve cramping
- Take fish oil for pain relief
- Add endorphins to relieve pain
- Try aromatic essential oils to relieve pain
- Try birth control for fewer period cramps
- Get good sleep to cut down on pain