As a person who has those nasty things, I do go through monthly physical and mental periods of unhappiness and struggle, and I know for a fact that I’m not even the worst one off here, because some people have those far more painfully than I do.
Still, I massively despise those times. The emotional rollercoaster is a separate thing entirely that deserves its own article, really, but physically it’s just the worst.
So I’m here with some tips for your period pains. Follow me.
DO: Take ibuprofen
Advil®, Nurofen, etcetera… Ibuprofen is really the go-to here.
Not only is it a good painkiller as is, but it is also anti-inflammatory and it decreases contractions of the uterus — which are really the main culprit behind most of the period pains.
It works pretty fast, too, so hooray. (Just watch out — if your blood flow is not thin enough, prolonged intake of ibuprofen might increase the risk of clots, so.)
DO NOT: Take Aspirin
Unless specifically advised to, that is.
While Aspirin comes with its own share of benefits, it also comes with downsides. One of the big downsides to look out for when you’re on your period is that it’s a blood thinner.
If you’re in danger of clotting then Aspirin is a big friend for you, but if your blood flow is healthy then you should probably skip out on the Aspirin when on your period.
Because really, thinner blood — heavier flow. Do you want that?
DO: Listen to your body
Does your body feel better when you go through physical activity? Then don’t skip out on the gym — it sucks at the start, but you’ll walk out of there happier.
Does it, on the contrary, feel worse the more you move? Take it easy, then.
Don’t force yourself through things that bring no benefit whatsoever, but do look out for benefits — God knows we need those when on period.
DO NOT: Use a heat pack
I know that I just said to listen to your body — and heat packs do kind of help with pains and cramps, but… they create the same issue as Aspirin does.
Heat has a similar effect on blood flow, and people keep it so close to the uterus when in pain that… yes, it will give you heavier flow.
Heavier flow is not only just annoying (and makes you waste more pads and tampons) it can also be dangerous if too heavy. So think of other ways to deal with this issue first.
DO: See a doctor if the pain is too bad
Some people think that it’s just natural, but it usually isn’t.
Conditions such as endometriosis exist. There’s a number of them, but endometriosis is the most common one; if a person has endometriosis, it means that their uterus lining grows in places other than the uterus. That leads to more severe period pains.
People with PCOS have more painful periods too, sometimes.
If your periods got more painful after you started your birth control then it’s an issue, too. Basically, do see a doctor — you might not even be aware that something’s wrong, as terrible as it is.
DO NOT: Overdose on alcohol and comfort foods
Too much salt, too much alcohol, too much caffeine and even too much dairy can all make you bloat.
Bloating, in turn, leads to more period pains, so. It’s quite simple, really.
If you really want a pizza super bad — try making your own, with, maybe, vegan, or at least less sodium-packed cheeses, for example.
I know that sounds annoying, but being in pain just plain sucks.
DO: Drink a lot of water
No, not Coke. Not coffee, either. Some teas can pass, however.
Still, water is your best friend here. Carbonated drinks are the devil — they 1) make you bloat, 2) give you more cramps. Caffeine was already mentioned above. Juices are sugar overload, unless you invest in no-sugar-added cranberry or orange…
Basically, properly hydrating yourself without unnecessarily holding all that liquid in is key, and water is the one friend that does it efficiently. Water is the designated driver, in fact.