Menstrual cramps are a very common symptom of the period that occurs just before a few days of menstruation or in the initial few days of this monthly cycle. For some this is a not a big deal however for the majority of women this is a very problematic concern as it interferes with their day to day life activities.
However, the good news is that you can get relief from this issue with the help of some effective natural remedies for menstrual cramps. Menstrual cramp usually is a natural phenomenon and it occurs as a result of uterus contraction that prepares itself for releasing the period fluid. However, in some cases, it occurs as a result of some underlying conditions like uterine fibroids, endometriosis, etc.
In such cases treatment of underlying issues can bring relief from this monthly discomforting issue. Menstrual cramp occurs in the lower abdominal area or pelvic floor. The symptoms vary in severity from mild level cramps to deliberating cramps.
If your menstrual cramp is occurring as a normal symptom of the period cycle then it’s better that you avoid taking over-the-counter pain killers for its treatment. Instead of that, you can try many homemade remedies to relieve this issue that will not only bring immediate comfort from the cramp but will also help in performing your day to day life activities very actively.
Why Menstrual Cramps Occur
During and just a few days before the beginning of menstrual flow it is normal to feel discomfort in your abdomen, lower back, and thighs which goes away on its own as your period days proceeds. This kind of cramp or discomfort occurs because of the womb contracts and relaxes in order to shed the built-up lining. This activity results in cramps as your muscles are at work.
Apart from cramps some other issues that occur just before and in the initial few days of the menstrual cycle include headache, diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting in both girls and women. In many cases after delivery women stop getting the menstrual cramp either completely or notice it in very mild intensity.
However, it is not yet clear why some women face painful menstruation experience and some do not. Still, some factors which are closely associated with the intense menstrual cramps include-
- You have just started menstruating
- Girls below the age of 20
- Heavy blood flow
- Sensitivity to prostaglandins hormone or overproduction of this hormone as it influences womb
- Having the first child
- Growth in womb or endometriosis.
- Usage of birth control pills.
For the mild level to temporary cramps home remedies are the best option to choose for getting comfort. However, if it is beyond your tolerance limit then consultation with a doctor is a must to confirm whether any underlying condition is causing this issue or not.
9 Natural Remedies for Menstrual Cramps
You can get instant relaxation from your menstrual cramp by applying heat to your abdominal area. It works equally as you get results from an over-the-counter medication for relieving the menstrual cramp. You have lots of options to get heat therapy benefits like you can use a heating pad, heat patch, or even a hot water bottle.
When you place a hot water bottle or heating pad on your lower abdomen it relaxes the contracting muscles in the uterus that helps in easing cramps. The application of heat not only relaxes the uterine muscles but also its surrounding muscles as well that helps in relieving your cramp and discomfort associated with it.
Other than that you can even sip a warm fluid or soak your body in a warm water bathtub which will gently ease your discomfort and pain and will give immediate relaxation to your whole body. A hot shower is also a good idea to ease your cramping caused by menstruation. You can also place the heat pad on your lower back to relieve the back pain which is also as common as lower abdominal cramp during and before the menstrual cycle.
Practice Gentle Exercise
It might sound surprising to some women, the advice to exercise when you are in the mid of extreme pain and discomfort but trust me it really works. We are not telling you to indulge in strenuous exercises instead you only have to do a very light and gentle form of workouts to ease your menstrual cramps. It provides immediate relief from your condition.
You only need to do gentle stretching, do a brisk walk, and go outside for a walk, etc. Even though it feels impossible for you at your current situation, still get up and move you will see a reduction in your cramping level.
When you exercise your blood circulation to the pelvic area increases which are your pain region. Also, it helps in releasing endorphins hormone that works against the prostaglandins that are the hormone-like substances responsible for uterine muscle contraction during the period. Endorphin is known as a natural pain reliever which you can easily increase just by practicing a few gentle exercises during your menstrual cycle.
As per the health specialists, women who are regular victims of menstrual cramps should practice workout not only during the menstrual days for relieving the abdominal cramps but also before that every day for keeping their overall body’s health in a strong and healthy position.
This practice will slowly reduce the cramping intensity which you usually get during the menstrual cycles. It is now proved in researches that exercise impacts positively in getting rid of cramps.
Massaging is another effective natural technique to relieve your menstrual cramp. You can take someone help or can do even self-massaging around your abdominal area which will immediately soothe and calm your agitated pelvic muscles and help it get relaxed immediately. For massaging purpose you can use coconut oil or essential oils or baby lotion.
You simply need to rub the massaging oil over your skin and you will soon start noticing its positive result in the form of cramping reduction. A simple massage therapy application for about 20 minutes’ time is enough to relieve your menstrual cramp along with providing other benefits of massaging into your skin.
In a study report that was conducted in the year 2010 by Trusted Source on 23 women having menstrual cramps caused by the Endometriosis condition. It is found in this research that massaging help in a significant reduction in their menstrual cramp not only for the time being but later on as well.
In the massaging therapy for menstrual cramp relaxation, specific points are pressed as well as the hands of the therapist move around the abdomen, side, and back of the affected woman.
Essential Oils Massage
Essential oils remain rich with many vital properties that have tremendous health benefits. Hence when massaging is done with these oils you get complete health benefits of their blend along with getting an instant feeling of relaxation.
In a study conducted in 2013 on two groups of girls students with menstrual cramps. One group was given massaging with only almond oil and another group was given massaging with the blends of essential oils consisting of clove, cinnamon, rose, and lavender oil, using almond oil as base oil.
At the end of this research, it is concluded that the group who got massaging with essential oils blend got a significant improvement in their menstrual cramps than the group who got massaging only with almond oil or carrier oil.
This shows the effectiveness of essential oils blends on aching muscles over the simple carrier oils. However, to increase the effectiveness of carrier oil few drops of any essential oil can be added for the self-massaging purpose to get relaxation from the period’s abdominal cramp.
Massaging with Sesame Oil
Sesame oil is one of the most popular oils, which is in use since very old times in Ayurveda for Abhyanga that is the daily Ayurvedic self-massage. This oil is rich in linoleic acid, has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
Use this oil for massaging your abdominal area and its surrounding areas as well to get relief from menstrual cramps. Through massaging it starts its working procedure very easily by absorbing inside your skin and start showing its positive result by reducing and relieving the period cramps completely.
This oil has other health benefits as well with its potent properties like it has natural SPF property that means it protects against UV rays damaging which are the major cause of skin health damages. Also, it is a great stress buster so you can get relief from your stressed mind with the usage of this oil.
One of the easiest trick and remedy that you can apply to get rid of your abdominal cramp caused by period is by drinking a hot herbal tea that is too simple to make and have amazing health lifting benefits. Herbal tea remains loaded with natural herbs that have healing properties. Thus helps to relieve your discomfort with its natural warming and soothing ability.
In fact, some herbal teas are specially marketed with the claim to give instant relief from the menstrual cramps like Red raspberry, Chamomile, Fennel, and Dandelion teas. However, there is limited evidence available to support this claim. Still, people who have used these teas especially for relaxation from their period cramps have seen improvement in their condition.
One of the prominent Ayurvedic Expert suggests to prepare a herbal tea with easily available herbal ingredients in your home such as ginger and black pepper and add little sugar to taste but don’t use milk in this tea. This herbal tea works great in relieving your menstrual cramps.
Especially ginger reduces the level of prostaglandins which play an important role in increasing the menstrual cramps. Another benefit of drinking herbal tea is that if your period is irregular then also it works effectively in making the period regular. Also, it relieves the fatigue issues associated with the menstrual cycle.
Some other herbal tea options that you can easily avail in the market either online or in a local retail shop include Cumin seeds tea which has anti-inflammatory and anti-spasmodic properties and Chamomile tea which reduces the production of prostaglandins and relaxes uterus that helps in relieving menstrual cramps and other discomforts associated with this monthly cycle in women.
Fenugreek seeds are another natural remedy to relieve and calm down your menstrual cramps naturally. This ingredient has many vital health benefits as it is loaded with healthful properties. This seed is mostly popular for its benefits in aiding weight loss, boost metabolism, and improves the kidneys and liver health.
However apart from these health benefits, one can also use these seeds for coping with menstrual cramps and other common discomforts. This formula is very easy to use. You only need to soak fenugreek seeds in a glass of water for 12 hours and then drink it directly. It starts working on its targeted job very quickly that you can feel by the way of reducing your period pain. It is a safe trick and effective as well for every woman who has to struggle every month from the menstrual cramp issue.
Increase the Level of Magnesium in Your Diet
The health specialists and dietitians say that the dietary magnesium has the ability to cope up with the menstrual cramps. This healthy mineral is easily found in many food products such as yogurt, almonds, spinach, beans, and peanut butter that you can easily avail in your nearby market.
These healthful natural sources of magnesium must be used in your day to day diet routine to keep your overall body fit and strong so that during and before the menstrual days you won’t get weak or has to suffer from pre-menstrual syndromes such as abdominal cramps and fatigue.
You can also have magnesium supplement as well as they also fulfill your everyday necessity of this vital nutrient. However, if you are planning to take its supplement then do consult with your doctor regarding its accurate doses recommendation for you that depends on your cramping severity and other specific factors.
Practice Some Yoga Poses
Yoga is a great remedy for many health issues. You can grab the benefit of different beneficial yoga poses for getting rid of your menstrual cramps as well. Doing simple stretching as well as relaxing poses are great relievers for cramps associated with menstrual cycles every month.
It prepares and keeps your body so fit and strong that with the time you will simply stop noticing this cramp completely. A study conducted on 20 students who participated in a weekly yoga program for one hour, once in a week continuously for three months’ time. It was found at the end of this study that the participants who had yoga practices experience very minor level menstrual cramping than before that simply occur as a result of the yoga practices just for few days over the three months period.
To get the yoga asanas to benefit for relieving your period days distress you can practice it during your period days or on a regular basis as well. However, it is advised to avoid the inverted yoga poses such as shoulder stand during the period days as it can interfere with your normal period flow.
Yoga asanas that you can practice during your period days for relaxing your muscles and to ease the cramping and discomfort include Shavasana, Pranayama, etc. Also, you can simply lie on your back with knees bent for instant relaxation from the menstrual cramps. These yoga poses are highly safe to practice at this time and are a great natural relaxing technique to relieve your body discomfort and pain.
There are some alternative therapies as well for treating the menstrual cramps however not all of them are well studied. Still, some effective alternate therapies are there that one can apply to cope up with menstrual cramps problem including-
Acupuncture is a traditional technique to cure many health conditions and this helps in relieving the menstrual cramps as well. In this treatment technique, extremely thin needles are inserted through the skin at the strategic points in the body. This procedure helps in relieving menstrual cramps very efficiently. It helps in releasing endorphins and reduces inflammation that all help in relaxing the contracting muscles that are responsible for this monthly cramp and other discomforts. However, for the best result, you should take the ongoing sessions of acupuncture instead of depending on a single session.
Acupressure is another effective alternate treatment technique for coping with menstrual cramps issue. This involves stimulating specific points of the body which are pressed gently with your fingers tip, which has linked with the body pain. Thus with the stimulation process, you naturally feel relaxed and comfortable. It is a highly safe procedure however you have to be persistent with this for the best result. There is a limited number of researches available on the effect of acupressure for menstrual cramps relief. Still, this technique must be tried as it gives better results than a placebo.
Dietary supplements are a great source of essential nutrients for your body that helps in coping with the menstrual cramps concern. Dietary supplements for Vitamin B-1 (thiamine), Vitamin B-6, Vitamin E, Magnesium, and Omega 3 fatty acids work great on boosting your inner health and manages to reduce and eliminates the monthly cycle abdominal cramps problem very effectively.
Some of the herbal products such as fennel, pycnogenol, or a blend of some products may bring relief from the menstrual cramps. However, if you have any specific health issue then you should consult with your doctor first before taking these herbal medications on your own.
Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS)
In this alternate treatment procedure, the TENS device is connected to the skin with the help of adhesive patches having electrodes in it. These electrodes provide a varying degree of electric current for stimulating nerves. This therapy works by stimulating the threshold for pain signals and by releasing the natural pain killer of the body that is endorphins that fight against the menstrual cramps. In a study report, TENS gave better rest than the placebo test in women affected with menstrual cramps issue.
The above mentioned alternate therapies are beneficial however it is suggested to try the natural remedies for menstrual cramps relief which are easy to practice and are a hundred percent safe. Moreover, in most cases, women experience positive results with their application. So make your period days happy one with our natural remedies to cope up with your menstrual cramps and other discomfort associated with the monthly cycle.View Article Sources