Period Cramps: The What, The Why, The How to Get Rid of Them

by: BRIDGET CONLIN

You know when you get your period and it feels like there’s a karate class taking place in your uterus? Yeah, those are your menstrual cramps, and they suck. Cramps are a pain that should occur only in your uterus but instead radiate in your pinky nail and the only way to help them seems to be curling up in the fetal position. If our bodies are so fantastic, why do we have to endure agony worse than the moment you realize you will never marry Cole Sprouse? Well, I’m here to give you the 101 on period cramps, why they happen, and what you can do to survive.

 

 

Why Do They Happen?

Just to drop a little biology knowledge on ya (other than Mitochondria is the powerhouse of the cell), periods happen when your uterine lining sheds every month. During your time of the month, our lovely lady hormones act as a trigger that prompt the uterus to start contracting and expanding in order to shed its lining. It is the contractions that cause pain much like a muscle cramp you would feel in your leg or ribs while running or exercising. The different is that these can be constant, and last up to a week. Boys will truly never know how hard it is to be a girl ugh.

 

 

How Do I Stop Them?

My preferred method of dealing with cramps has historically been to complain, cry, and eat. Effective, don’t you think? In truth, it does little more than annoying everyone around me. Below, I’ve compiled seven actually effective ways of getting rid of period cramps:

 

1. Drink Tea

If you know me, you know that my answer to nearly every issue is tea. I am a fanatic but there is a method to my madness, ok. Green tea, Peppermint Tea, Fennel Tea and Ginger Tea will be most effective in relieving your cramp and, in fact, can help with the majority of stomach aches and pains you might experience, no matter the reason.

 

2. Essential Oils

I, being the Zenzy Gal I am, enjoy long walks on the beach that end in the Saje store. Or, I just skip the beach altogether and stroll directly into Saje. On my most recent adventure, I discovered the most magical potion of my life (which is precisely why I go)—Saje’s Gutzy Soothing Belly Massage Blend. This little roll-on ball filled with an elixir comprised of Fennel, Peppermint and Chamomile is one of the only things that helps me deal with the most serious of cramps- whether they be induced by my period, food, or otherwise. Roll this bad boy gently on your lower abdomen and experience a sweet, warm sensation that simultaneously appeals to your nasal senses, and relieves pain.

 

3. Cuddle with a Heating Pad

It has been studied that using a heating pad for cramps can be equally as effective as taking Ibuprofen (like Advil). We’re always about the natural route here at Zenzy, so we’re all for this method. Besides, what is more comfortable than lying in bed with a heating pack, and your cat, perhaps? Not much, tis true.

 

4. Work Out… Seriously

It may seem like the last thing you want to do in the midst of cramps is exercise, but activity can boost endorphins and help chase the pain away. Try a simple yoga flow in your living room or, if you can manage it, go on a light jog. You may be surprised with the results!

 

5. Supplement Your Diet

Ha ha I’m not even sure if that’s a pun actually, but incorporating supplements such as Magnesium, Omega Oils, and Vitamin B1 has been shown to help with natural pain relief. In fact, a study done on teens specifically indicated that those who took Omega Oils and Vitamin B1 had significantly less pain than those who did not. Incorporating these supplements into your diet on a regular basis (and not just during your period) is an excellent way to prepare for this vicious monthly attack on your uterus.

 

6. De-Supplement Your Diet with Sugar

 

Ha ha another pun. Got you. In case that wasn’t quite clear, I’m suggesting you cut out sugar from your diet (not permanently, don’t get nervous!). Due to the way sugar digests in your body, it causes inflammation in your body, which increases bloating. Bloating is my personal nightmare during my period, so anything that makes it worse is a big no from me.

 

7. Grab an Extra Cup of Matcha

 

Caffeine is actually a good idea for menstrual cramp symptoms – that’s why you find it in period pain-reducing medicine such as Midol. Caffeine can help reduce the lethargy (low energy) you feel during your period, and can work to ease cramps. It also is high in antioxidants, which helps flush out any toxins in your system. Grab your favorite cup of matcha, and get your day started.

 

 

 

Cramp are unique to each of us, and some girls don’t experience them at all (jealous). That being said, there is a relative spectrum along which you can identify whether or not the amount of pain you are experiencing is considered “normal”. If you can deal with the pain by treating it using any of the above methods, then you are in the “normal” category of menstrual pain and cramps. If, however, you experience pain that disrupts your normal routine (for example, keeps you from going to school), or interferes with your sleep, then you should speak to your family doctor or gynecologist. Symptoms like vomiting, dizziness or a fever are also abnormal, and something you should discuss with a medical professional. Cramps are an unfortunate side effect, but they’re not necessary. Hopefully these tips will help turn your period from pain to… pleasure? Whatever.

 

COVER IMAGE: Pinterest

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