How to relieve painful periods: we talk about it!
When each of your menstrual cycles arrives, it's the same: you writhe in pain, are exhausted, insult the whole world and feel like you're no longer the same person. Menstrual pain , also called dysmenorrhea , is pain that occurs just before or at the start of your period. They are caused mainly by the contractions of the uterus which expels the uterine mucosa which had developed to prepare the implantation of the egg: the latter not having been fertilized, the body gets rid of it and... ouch. In this article, we offer you a range of solutions to relieve your painful periods : medical solutions, natural solutions, food-related solutions... find here all the solutions to relieve your painful periods .
Relieve your menstrual pain: medical methods
The medical solution to relieve menstrual pain is often the first that menstruating people resort to; Following this part, you will find natural solutions to relieve your painful menstruation . This being said, it is important for us to talk about medical solutions to deal with painful periods because it is often an effective, quick and inexpensive response.
Anti-inflammatories and analgesics
“ If you take medication too often, you will get used to it and the molecule will no longer be effective ”: perhaps you have already heard this phrase and perhaps this is the reason why you do not Don't take too much medication or hesitate to take it for something as “stupid” as period pain. Except that pain is never stupid and period pain can be particularly severe. So put these thoughts out of your head and agree to take medication when the pain is too strong.
Medicines that can help you combat pain are:
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) : NSAIDs calm menstrual pain. These medications (ibuprofen, flurbiprofen, naproxen, etc.) slow down the production of prostaglandins, which are largely responsible for uterine contractions. They thus reduce the number and frequency of uterine contractions and reduce menstrual pain.
- Analgesics: An analgesic is a medication that reduces or eliminates pain without treating the cause. Paracetamol (contained in particular in Doliprane) is an analgesic which can help alleviate painful periods.
- Antispasmodics: Antispasmodics such as Spasfon may be helpful in relieving pain associated with uterine contractions. However, health authorities believe that their effectiveness is low. Adverse effects are rare (allergic skin reaction).
If these medications do not work for you and the pain related to your period remains too intense during several consecutive cycles or on a regular basis, it is important to consult a doctor.
See a doctor
It is not normal to be in pain during your period. If the previous anti-inflammatories and analgesics are not enough to calm your period pain, it is essential to consult a general practitioner and/or a gynecologist . These healthcare professionals will ask about your symptoms and may conduct additional tests to determine whether the cause of the pain is natural or related to a specific condition, such as endometriosis or PCOS. Whatever the reasons for your pain, he or she may prescribe hormonal contraceptives, the influence of which may have a positive effect on your period pain.
By acting on hormones, hormonal contraceptives can regulate your cycles and reduce the symptoms you feel during them (menstrual pain included). In general, we recommend that you consult a doctor for your pain and to choose your contraception (hormonal or not): he will be able to support you in this choice and carry out examinations if he thinks it necessary.
Here is a list of hormonal contraceptives available today:
- Contraceptive pill: The pill is an oral contraceptive. To be taken continuously or three weeks out of four depending on the type of pill chosen, it helps regulate the body's hormones.
- Contraceptive patch: The patch is a hormonal contraceptive that usually sticks to the upper arm. It must be glued every week for three weeks. On contact with the skin, it then distills the hormones.
- Vaginal ring: Also called a contraceptive ring, the vaginal ring is a flexible ring made of porous plastic that contains hormones. It is inserted deep into the vagina and with body heat, the hormones diffuse through the vaginal wall and pass into the blood. Like the patch, it is worn three weeks out of four.
- Hormonal intrauterine device (IUD): The hormonal IUD (not to be confused with the copper IUD which does not contain hormones), formerly called the hormonal IUD, is a device that is inserted into the uterus by a gynecologist. It then releases the hormones it contains. It has the advantage of being able to be preserved for several years if it is well supported.
Foods to favor and avoid to reduce the risk of having menstrual pain
We are increasingly aware of it: diet is linked to the health of the body. It provides us with vitamins and nutrients that help us get through everyday life in better shape. The menstrual period is no exception. Discover foods to eat just before and during your period to help reduce the risk of period pain. More generally, listen to your body and adopt the diet that makes you feel good when your period arrives.
Choose foods rich in magnesium and omega-3
Among the nutrients of interest for limiting menstrual pain and migraines associated with the PMS period, we find magnesium and omega-3 fatty acids. Their joint action is interesting. Indeed, magnesium tends to relax muscles and balance the nervous system, while omega-3 fatty acids act on neurotransmitters: the ideal recipe to support your fight against menstrual cramps!
- Almonds: rich in magnesium, omega-3, fiber and vitamin E, almonds can be interesting!
- Oily fish: Oily fish, such as salmon, mackerel, tuna, and sardines, are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, including eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), which have anti-inflammatory properties.
- Flaxseeds: Flaxseeds are a vegan source of omega-3 fatty acids, particularly in the form of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). Omega-3 fatty acids have anti-inflammatory properties.
Eat whole, organic fruits and vegetables, preferably
Menstruation is usually accompanied by intestinal disturbances. If these are in no way related to the contractions of your uterus, the combination of intestinal disturbances and menstrual cramps is no fun! Drinking a lot and eating foods rich in fiber will help you combat these transit problems.
- Bananas: Bananas contain vitamin B6, which may benefit some women by reducing symptoms associated with menstrual pain. Vitamin B6 plays a role in regulating hormones and may alleviate symptoms of discomfort during the menstrual period.
- Apples: Apples are rich in fiber and antioxidants, especially vitamin E. The latter helps reduce inflammation related to menstruation and strengthen the immune system.
- Kiwifruit: Kiwifruit is a nutritious fruit rich in vitamins, including vitamin C and vitamin K, as well as dietary fiber.
- Raspberries: In addition to being rich in vitamins B, C, E and K, raspberries contain dietary fiber, minerals such as potassium and magnesium, and antioxidants that contribute to overall health and prevention of diseases.
- Strawberries: Strawberries contain vitamins A, B, C, E and K in addition to dietary fiber and minerals such as potassium and magnesium. They are therefore very beneficial for health and dietary diversity.
- Broccoli: Broccoli is an excellent source of various vitamins (A, B, C, E, and K) and essential health nutrients, such as the minerals potassium and magnesium.
- Kale: Kale is one of the vegetables richest in vitamins and essential nutrients among leafy greens. It contains vitamins (A, B, C, E and K), dietary fiber and minerals like potassium, calcium and magnesium.
- Spinach: Spinach is a leafy green vegetable packed with essential vitamins and nutrients. Known to be rich in fiber and iron, it also contains minerals such as potassium, calcium and magnesium.
- Carrots: Carrots are well known for being an excellent source of vitamin A, particularly in the form of beta-carotene, a precursor of vitamin A. Vitamin A is particularly essential for the immune system. Carrots also contain dietary fiber, minerals such as potassium, magnesium and phosphorus, and antioxidants.
- Ginger: Ginger is a root that has been used for centuries for culinary and medicinal purposes due to its many health benefits. It is particularly recognized for its anti-inflammatory and anti-nausea properties, but also for its help with digestion and pain management.
In general, a varied and balanced diet provides your body with the minerals and vitamins necessary for its functioning – and a body in good working order will be even more ready to respond to the attacks of menstruation!
Foods to limit
Several foods should be limited during your period because they tend to exacerbate the pain you may feel. It's the case for :
Exciting caffeine-based drinks: Several effects of caffeine (its vasoconstrictor effect, the fact that it contributes to gastrointestinal irritation or even its diuretic effect) amplify the effects linked to menstruation. This is why reducing your caffeine consumption can be beneficial if you suffer from your periods.
⚡ Caffeinated drinks include coffee, but also tea, mate and matcha. Theine and caffeine are in fact one and the same molecule which has a different name depending on the drink from which it comes. This is why it may be more interesting to favor infusions during your period to hydrate yourself.
- Foods that are too fatty and sugary: Avoiding foods that are too fatty and too salty during your period can help reduce the discomfort and symptoms associated with dysmenorrhea. In fact, these can amplify the inflammation you suffer from during your period as well as the phenomenon of water retention. However, it is quite common to have cravings and desires for sugar and fat just before and at the start of your period: try to juggle your desires, your feelings and your pain as best you can.
- Alcoholic beverages: In addition to not having any nice interactions with the medications you may be taking to limit your menstrual pain, alcohol has several effects that can amplify your pain and your feeling of discomfort: dehydration and increased inflammation. Consumed in excess, alcohol can even have effects on your hormones and create an imbalance that causes your pain.
- What about gluten-based products? You may have heard that you should avoid gluten-based products because they tend to create inflammation and amplify pain. This is true if and only if you are gluten intolerant.
More generally, if certain foods are recommended or not recommended during your period, it is essential to trust yourself. With the years and experience of your menstrual cycle , you certainly know your body well and know what is good for it and what not. Listen to yourself!
Remember to hydrate yourself
Finally, don't forget the basis of all articles that talk about diet and health: remember to hydrate properly. Periods affect your entire body: drinking water regularly helps it function well and prevents and limits pain. Having a 1L bottle is a good way to force yourself to drink a certain amount of water, but you can also rely on drinks like herbal teas if water bothers you. Please note: tea, matcha and coffee are not recommended during your period because they contain caffeine, we'll talk about that a little further down!
🌈Our favorite product: Venus painful period herbal tea, by Mijane
What if you combined hydration with taking a herbal tea to limit your pain? Discover Mijane's Painful Rules Venus herbal tea , 100% natural and organic, made in France, with 6 plants all from organic farming, organic CBD flowers and dried fruits.
⚡If you suffer from endometriosis, this herbal tea contains medicinal sage which may be contraindicated in the event of this disease: seek the advice of a specialist.
5 natural remedies to relieve period pain
If pain medication isn't enough to soothe your period pain, we offer 5 other natural methods aside from food to help relieve your period pain.
The origin of menstrual pain being linked, most of the time, to the contraction of the uterus, applying heat can be a solution to reduce your pain. Indeed, heat is a muscle relaxant. You can apply it using a hot water bottle (⚡be careful not to place it directly on your stomach to avoid burns!) or by taking a hot bath. It will relax you and relax your muscles at the same time: it's a win-win situation! 😉
Practicing physical activity
Although it's not necessarily the first thing that gets you excited about getting your period, exercise and sports are actually a good way to relax. On the one hand, doing sports allows you to focus on something other than the pain. And on the other hand, the endorphin generated by practicing sport helps calm menstrual pain. So if you feel like you can exercise during your period, give it a try!
Adopt the belly massage
Massaging the sensitive areas helps heat them and as we have just talked about, the heat will reduce pain locally!
To accompany you in your massages, make them more sensory and soothing and provide better relief, here are two of our favorite products in store:
- 🌈 Jho soothing balm , a balm to apply locally to sensitive areas . With a slightly minty hot-cold effect and 100% natural ingredients, its virtues are both calming for lower stomach or back pain;
- 🌈 Happy Cycles soothing body serum from Miyé, a serum that has a texture similar to massage oil . This natural treatment is decongestant and soothing and allows you to massage painful areas, such as the stomach and chest.
As its name suggests, electrostimulation consists of electrically stimulating the muscles, through electrodes placed against the skin, to soothe pain. cel
🌈 Our favorite product: The Bluetens electrostimulation device
The Bluetens period pain relief electrostimulation device is a small box extended by electrodes and controlled via an application to install on your smartphone. We like its effectiveness (we had several of our consumers test it before offering it on our store), its ability to reduce severe pain (it is interesting if you have endometriosis) and its small size which allows it to be used continuously, at home or outside.
Phytotherapy , which consists of treating yourself using the medicinal power of plants, can also be your ally in fighting your period pain .
⚡Although plants are natural, they are used for therapeutic purposes and that is why it is worth consulting a doctor before using them. Indeed, they can conflict with treatments you use and they have contraindications like “classic” medications.
On our store, find two of our favorite medicinal plant products to relieve your period pain:
- 🌈 CBD oil 10% from Équilibre CBD , a sublingual oil perfect for starting to take CBD and discover its effects on you and your menstrual cycle. CBD is both relaxing and anti-inflammatory, actions that can help you find relief!
- 🌈 Menstrual pain relief food supplements from Twenty-Eight , a treatment of plants selected for their effects and their ability to reduce menstrual pain. Like any dietary supplement treatment, we recommend that you test it for 3 consecutive menstrual cycles to see the effects on you.
Relaxation can also help reduce your pain
Because periods are also often accompanied by fatigue, rest and relaxation techniques are also quite beneficial to help you better manage pain. There are several practices that invite you to focus on your feelings and sensations. This is the case of :
- Meditation: Activity which consists of refocusing on oneself and one's sensations, meditation can be practiced in different ways, guided or not, with music or not. It's up to you to see what type of meditation relieves you!
- Yoga: There are different forms of yoga, including particularly gentle and slow forms, allowing you to exercise while focusing on your feelings. Why not try ?
- Sophrology: Sophrology is a relaxation technique which consists of working on breathing. It is used in particular for the management of pain and stress and could be of interest in the context of your menstrual pain.
These techniques can help relieve your pain , but don't feel guilty if you don't have the time to put them into practice. Our lives are sometimes intense and it is not always easy to find the time to integrate this type of practice into your schedule. Even more, they will certainly be ineffective for some of you... We are not all sensitive to the effects and benefits of relaxation. If what makes you feel good and helps you forget the pain is going for a drink with your friends and do it! If you prefer to eat ice cream rolled into a ball in a blanket, go for it!
Pay attention to your lifestyle
This certainly won't surprise you: the healthier you live your lifestyle, the more you'll limit your risk of having period pain . Indeed, fatty foods, alcohol and tobacco do not mix well with your uterus!
- Food: We saw this a little earlier in this article. A balanced and varied diet will help your body better cope with the discomfort and fatigue generated by menstruation. Favoring an organic diet will also limit the ingestion of pesticides and other endocrine disruptors.
- Tobacco: According to several scientific studies, people who smoke are more likely to have increased menstrual pain. Chemicals found in tobacco smoke, such as nicotine, can unbalance the body's hormone production. Furthermore, tobacco has a vasoconstrictor effect which can cause greater contractions of the uterus during menstruation, thus causing greater pain.
- Alcohol: Alcohol helps amplify the pain and discomfort you may feel during your period. Even more, it can lead to interactions with the medications you take at this time to better manage pain. This is why reducing your alcohol consumption can be good for you.
- Good sleep: Sleeping well, deeply and long enough, helps regenerate your body and your cells. It's also a way to combat fatigue when you have your period.
We're still moderating: you know it as well as we do, we're all different... If some women suffer enormously during their periods while having a perfectly balanced life, others will have nothing even though they don't always be careful... So don't feel guilty if you make any mistakes, no one is perfect and even less so when our period is approaching!
But why do we have period pain?
Menstrual pain is of two types. We therefore speak of primary dysmenorrhea when it concerns pain of natural origins in young girls, and of secondary dysmenorrhea when the pain is linked to a pathology. It is therefore completely possible to suffer enormously without suffering from an illness! If your menstrual pain is severe and recurring, talk to your doctor who will have you undergo additional tests to understand the origin of your pain and treat it, if necessary.
Heredity and genetics
We are not all equal when it comes to periods and menstrual pain. Heredity and genetics play a huge role in pain and more broadly in the symptoms felt when menstruation approaches and during it! If you are regularly doubled over by your periods, talk to the women in your family to find out if they suffer from the same symptoms: it is highly likely that this is the case!
Prostaglandins are substances that cause uterine contractions and facilitate the expulsion of the uterine lining. They are secreted by the uterine lining itself. An excess of prostaglandins causes an abnormal increase in contractility and tone of the uterine muscle: in other words, an excess of prostaglandins increases the occurrence of contractions. More common, the latter deprive the uterine muscle of oxygen by compressing the small vessels and this causes pain.
This situation is often observed in young girls, in the months following the first period and is called primary dysmenorrhea . It is very common and regulates itself, most often, after a few years.
Secondary dysmenorrhea appears later, in menstruating people who, until then, had little or no painful periods. The pain may be accompanied by other symptoms (bleeding between periods, abnormally heavy periods , pain during sexual intercourse, etc.). In this case, the trace of a health problem is most often sought!
Endometriosis is a disease linked to the functioning of the endometrium. In a healthy woman, not carrying the disease, it develops on the wall of the uterus during the luteal phase to accommodate the fertilized egg and disintegrates when there is no pregnancy. But some women have an endometrium which extends outside the uterus, without being absorbed, creating adhesions in the organs surrounding the uterus (particularly in the intestines). It is these adhesions that create significant pain. The diagnosis of this disease can take a long time and no treatment exists today: we know how to slow down the disease (thanks to taking hormones such as the pill) and limit the spread of the endometrium, thanks to surgery.
Adenomyosis is a disease similar to endometriosis. Indeed, it is characterized by the proliferation of the endometrium inside the uterine muscle (while endometriosis is characterized by the proliferation of the endometrium outside the uterus). Just like endometriosis, adenomyosis generates adhesions and severe pain . Treatment depends on the patient's pregnancy plan and can go as far as total removal of the uterus.
Uterine fibroids (also called leiomyomas) are benign smooth muscle tumors of the uterus. They can cause pain, abnormal uterine bleeding (outside the period of menstruation) and sometimes cause urinary and intestinal symptoms. Depending on their location in the uterus, they may need to be removed through surgery.
Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)
Polycystic ovary syndrome is a common endocrine disorder (estimated to affect 1 in 10 women) that affects the ovaries in menstruating people of childbearing age. It is characterized by the presence of multiple cysts in the ovaries. Menstrual pain is one of its consequences , as are menstrual irregularity and hormonal imbalances leading to acne, increased hair growth (hirsutism) or even hair loss.
Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID)
Pelvic inflammatory disease is a polymicrobial infection of the female genital tract: it affects the cervix, uterus, fallopian tubes and ovaries. An abscess may form and require surgery if the disease is not treated with anti-inflammatories in time. This disease can be caused by sexually transmitted infections.
We mentioned it a little earlier in this article, some lifestyle factors can cause pain or even amplify it.
Scientific studies show that smoking tends to increase menstrual pain. The vasoconstrictor effects of tobacco seem to be involved, as do the various harmful particles contained in the smoke. Quitting smoking can help limit this pain – in addition to having other benefits for your health. If you are considering stopping reducing your cigarette consumption or quitting smoking, we can only recommend that you contact a toxicologist to support you in your project.
Stress has a significant impact on hormones and in particular on the sexual hormones which regulate the menstrual cycle . Disrupting them is likely to disrupt your cycle and cause or amplify your menstrual pain. In general, reducing your daily stress level is beneficial for your health and we can only advise you to look for solutions to feel better on a daily basis.
🌈 We offer you different solutions in our store to lower your stress level, such as CBD. The sublingual CBD oils that we told you about earlier are excellent allies for reducing your stress (and what's more, they help reduce period pain!).
Obesity and overweight
Without necessarily creating period pain, overweight and obesity can contribute to amplifying them, for the same reasons that stress can increase period pain: hormones. Overweight and obesity are one of the causes of hormonal imbalance and the latter can affect the pain you feel. Consult a doctor to learn more and find solutions to feel better during your period.
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