Most women experience menstrual cramps at some point in their lives. The severity of these cramps can range from uncomfortable to excruciating pain, making it difficult to participate in everyday activities.
Cramps can begin a couple of days before your period starts and may continue throughout.
Painful periods are an unfortunate reality for many women, but there are ways for you to get relief. In this blog, our experts at Beth and Howard Braver, MD, go over some options for easing painful periods.
You may feel like exercising is the last thing you want to do during a painful period, and that’s understandable. But certain exercises such as yoga, running, and even some light weightlifting can help ease those uncomfortable cramps.
Practicing yoga calls for bringing attention to and controlling your breath. The deep and consistent breathing increases blood flow and has a calming effect, which can relieve some of your pain.
Aerobic exercise, such as running, is great for relieving cramps. In addition to increasing blood flow, aerobic exercise releases endorphins, which reduce pain, improve mood, and make you feel good. Something as simple as a brisk walk should do the trick.
Light weightlifting has the same effect. Whatever exercise you do, go at a pace that’s comfortable and effective for you. And don’t overdo it.
A warm bath or shower can relax you after a long day. The same idea goes for relieving menstrual cramps. The warm water eases cramps and lower back pain. If you’re taking a bath, try adding aromatherapy oils to your bathwater to help with mood and overall relaxation.
If you don’t feel like getting in the bath or shower, a heating pad works in the same way. Apply heat to the areas where you feel discomfort to relax your muscles and increase blood flow, which in turn relieves the pain.
Take an over-the-counter pain reliever
Pain relievers like ibuprofen or acetaminophen can work wonders for your painful menstrual cramps. When exercise, hot showers, and heating pads fall short, take some pain medicine.
Always follow the directions on the bottle and call us if you have any conditions that may be exacerbated by pain medicine.
Consider hormonal birth control
If all else fails, hormonal birth control may be the solution. We often prescribe birth control pills to help ease period pain, in addition to making your periods lighter and more predictable.
The pills reduce the amount of prostaglandins, chemicals that your body makes in order to help the muscles of your uterus contract and shed its lining. The result is fewer contractions and therefore less pain.
Schedule a well-woman exam so we can determine whether birth control is a good choice for you and discuss your options.
We know how uncomfortable getting your period can be. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Call us or book an appointment using our online tool. We have offices in Hollywood and Aventura, Florida. Stop your painful periods from getting in the way of the things you love to do.