Period pain and cramping affects many people during menstruation, and in the days leading up to it. For some, these aches and pains can be mild and merely uncomfortable; for others, they can be extremely painful, and even impact day-to-day life.
Unsurprisingly, as women, this means we are often looking for the next best thing to tackle period pains and to make that time of the month that little bit easier.
In fact, we’ve started to get pretty inventive with our period pain cures. From the traditional to the more unusual, we’ll be exploring the weird and wonderful ways that women can get rid of their period pains…
The Classic: A Bubble Bath
We’ll start with a period pain cure that’s wonderful, rather than just weird. It’s a classic: the time-tested, fool-proof bubble bath.
Heat is scientifically proven to cure period pains – it relaxes the uterine muscles and boosts your blood circulation, which soothes painful cramps. And what better way to relax than to have a hot bath?
You can also add a few drops of essential oils like lavender to your tub to upgrade bath time. Lavender, in particular, is great if you’re suffering from pains due to its anti-inflammatory properties.
If you don’t have a bathtub in your house or apartment, don’t worry – you can achieve the same results with a hot shower.
Alternatively, you can invest in a hot water bottle or a heat pad and apply it straight to your stomach, where it can work its magic and ease your pain. By applying this heat directly to the affected area, heat receptors in your body will “switch on,” which in turn blocks the effect of chemical messengers that cause pain to be detected by the body. So get comfy, put on a pair of pajamas and some period underwear (check out this range from Knix for leakproof and comfortable) and cosy up with a hot water bottle.
The Delicious: Dark Chocolate
When we’re struggling with period pains and cramping, we often find ourselves reaching for a bar of chocolate to comfort ourselves. In fact, a recent study shows that chocolate is the ultimate period food craving.
Well, here’s the good news: among the many surprising health benefits that eating dark chocolate offers is the ability to soothe period pains.
While too much sugar is bad for your cramps, dark chocolate contains lower levels of sugar, but still supplies you with a magnesium-rich pick-me-up. This means it’s great for alleviating painful cramps and can also boost your endorphins (happy hormones). So, the next time you demolish a bar of chocolate while you’re on your period, know that you can do it guilt-free.
The Tangy: Pickle Juice
For those of you who have been drinking pickle juice as a hangover cure, this might not be a surprise. And, on the other end of the spectrum, athletes have been using pickle juice for years to relieve muscle cramps after exercise.
So how does it work? Well, no one’s entirely sure, but it’s thought that the pickle juice replenishes the electrolytes and sodium that you lose when you’re playing sports, drinking, or on your period. This helps your body to stay hydrated, which will calm down cramps and beat bloating.
There are plenty of women out there who swear by pickle juice as a period pain fix, so the next time you’re feeling achy, just grab that jar of pickles!
If the idea of pickle juice doesn’t appeal, then there are many other types of food that can help you to get rid of painful cramps. In fact, different foods can help at different phases of your cycle – read this post for the best foods for each phase of your cycle.
The Sporty: Tape Up Your Stomach
This one is a favorite among the fit: kinesiology tape.
If you’re unfamiliar with the term, it’s the elastic cotton tape that athletes use to support any injuries or sore bits, so that they can still participate in games or races (you’ve probably seen marathon runners wearing it, or maybe people at the gym).
Recent research suggests that taping around your pelvic region can help to relieve cramps and pains during your period, so head to your nearest sports store and give it a try. You can pair this with some high-waisted period panties to make yourself feel as comfortable and supported as possible when you’re feeling that darn period pain.
The Downright Weird: Smearing Period Blood on your Face
If you’re looking for a downright bizarre period pain cure, then check out what this lady is doing: smearing menstrual blood on her face.
That’s right, according to one woman (and maybe more, we don’t know), giving yourself a period blood facial is the answer to period pain.
She’s been applying her period blood to her hand and face for the last year as part of a menstrual meditation ritual, and she’s noticed her cramping has completely gone.
While there’s no science proving that this method works, there’s nothing to say it’s bad for you either. So if you’re feeling brave, why not give yourself a period facial?
Welcome to the weird and wonderful world of period pain cures. Some of these work better than others, and some may not even work at all… Which one will you try out first?