According to statistics, about 90% of menstruating women experience symptoms before or during menstrual periods. Menstrual cramps are one such symptom felt by more than half of women. Having to deal with it monthly and with significant discomfort, during such times, try these home remedies to soothe your menstrual cramps naturally.
Why do you get cramps?
Each month, the uterus develops a thick inner lining preparing itself for a possible pregnancy. When the ovum is not fertilised, periods occur, and the inner lining is shed through vaginal bleeding.
Prostaglandins are chemicals released by the body to trigger muscle contractions helping the uterus shed its inner tissue lining at the end of every menstrual cycle. Such contractions may cause cramps in women leading to discomfort.
Home remedies to relieve menstrual cramps
The following are some trusted remedies that help reduce pain due to uterine contractions.
1. Heat therapy
Place a heating pad on your lower abdomen and lie down for a while. If you don’t have a heating pad, you can also use a hot water bottle or warm cloth/towel. A warm bath or warm shower is also a great remedy to relieve menstrual cramps.
When you apply heat in this manner externally, it helps relax the uterine muscles, thereby relieving the cramps.
2. Warm drinks
You can also complement the external heat therapy by consuming a warm drink to aid the process internally too!
Commonly available herbal teas such as ginger tea, fennel tea, raspberry leaf tea, turmeric tea, chamomile tea, peppermint tea or cinnamon tea are all great choices.
3. Essential oils to the rescue
Massaging with essential oils or adding them to your bath is another effective way to reduce menstrual pain.
Lavender oil, cinnamon oil, clove oil, peppermint essential oil are some of the great choices. You can also find essential oil blends specifically for relieving menstrual cramps. You can massage the essential oils onto your lower abdomen or add a few drops to your bath. In fact, you can start doing it even before your period starts as a preventative measure.
Tip: Make sure you add essential oils to a carrier oil before applying them to your skin. And, if you are using it for the first time, it is best to do a patch test to make sure there is no adverse reaction.
Yoga can be yet another tool in your menstrual cramp relieving kit. Here is a list of poses, most of them quite doable to beginners as well, that can be extremely helpful.
- Cat cow
- Bound angle
- Seated straddle
- Child’s pose
- Reclined twist
- Corpse pose
If your menstrual cramps are painful but allow you to go about your day, try any of these remedies for pain relief. However, if the pain makes you miss school or work, you must visit your GP for advice. Also, remember not to take OTC pain relievers without medical advice.