1. Place a heating pad or hot water bottle over your navel. This is an old-school trick that works on a lot of women. The heat will relax your contracting muscles and boost blood flow.
2. Take painkillers or anti-inflammatory medicine. This will stop the production of prostaglandin, a fatty acid that promotes uterine contractions. Just make sure that you don't have any allergies to the meds you take. If you’re still not sure, ask your doctor if they’re safe for you.
3. Exercise. You might not have the energy to do this, but it’s the most important time to be moving around. Here are your options:
- Exercise 30 minutes a day, five days a week.
- Do two and a half hours of moderately intense workouts or one hour and 15 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity, or both each week, plus two muscle-strengthening sessions.
A study has found that regular exercise will cut your period problems in half in two months. It’s best to do it outdoors, since sunlight and motion will boost the production of serotonin, a hormone that can help ease the pain.
4. Wear anion sanitary napkins. Anions, or negative ions, have been seen to reduce severe pain. And sanitary napkins with an anion strip, like those of Jeunesse (available at grocery stores), will allegedly help alleviate menstrual cramps.
5. Take oral contraceptives. The pill will make the lining of your uterus thinner so that there will be less contractions when you get your period. Consult your doctor on which contraceptive is right for your body.
6. Tweak your diet. Twenty grams of fiber in your daily diet can ease the menstrual cramps and the back pains that can come with it, since fiber also lessens the production of prostaglandins. So eat more food rich in fiber like fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.
7. Rub your belly with calendula oil. This has soothed the cramps of 81 percent of women in just 20 minutes. Calendula, or pot marigold, is rich in muscle-relaxing compounds that are readily absorbed by the skin.
8. Do an arch massage. This is based on acupressure or pressure point therapy. It's supposed to stimulate the production of endorphins, another hormone that can relieve pain. Sit somewhere comfortable with the soles of your feet touching each other. With your thumbs, massage your arches for at least three minutes. Here's a video to guide you on which points affect your reproductive organs and how to massage them:
9. Rest. High stress levels will aggravate the symptoms, so do some deep breathing and get some sleep to soothe your body.
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