From The Straits Times    |

Image: Dennis Galante / Corbis

Aah…the time of the month…when we have no choice but to let our hormones take over and mostly make us feel lousy. Period pain is just one of the things we have to deal with during this time. Menstrual cramps happen when the uterus contracts to help release the uterine lining; if it contracts too strongly, it presses against blood vessels in the region and cuts of the supply of oxygen to the muscle tissues in the uterus, which results in pain. While popping painkillers is the quickest way to ease the pain, here are some natural remedies you may want to try.

1. Move It

Even though you might not even feel like getting out of bed, getting some exercise will certainly lessen your cramps. You don’t have to go to the gym, just go on a brisk walk or do some yoga. When your body pumps more blood, endorphins are released and this helps to reduce cramps. Exercise consistently a few times a week and you’ll see that your cramps will get better over time too.

2. Heat It Up

Using a heat pad is an excellent way to ease cramps as heat helps to relax the contracting muscles in your uterus. Place it over your lower abdomen and lower back, for best results. If you don’t have a heat pad, soak a towel in water, wring out the excess water then heat it in the microwave for a minute. If you don’t have time to sit with a heat pad, take a hot shower instead.  

3. Sun, Sun, Sun 

Make sure that you’re getting enough vitamin D as it helps to reduce menstrual cramps. If you never go out in the sun and prefer to stay in the air-conditioned indoors (we don’t blame you!) instead, it’s time to soak up some sun and some vitamin D in the process too. Or take supplements to boost your vitamin D intake. 

4. Drink Up

Stay hydrated and drink lots of water. Warm or hot water is especially recommended as it helps to increase blood flow to the skin and to relax cramped muscles. Chamomile tea is also highly recommended as a pain-relief – there have even been studies that have proven its effect.

5. Get Freaky

Orgasms help to relieve cramps as blood flow increases at the moment of climax. And, since orgasms also release endorphins, you’ll also feel better overall, then they’ll relax you and put you to sleep so you’ll forget all about your cramps for a while.


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