Most women get periods once a month, yet many still haven’t found a way to deal with the symptoms. Fatigue, cramps, and constant bleeding make anyone want to crawl back into bed for a week. But periods don’t have to feel this bad. Keep reading to discover a few ways to make your period less punishing.
Hormonal birth control has been a period relief treatment for years and a good reason: It works. The combination birth control pill contains synthetic estrogen and progestin. The estrogen stops your body from ovulating at the beginning of the month. As the month progresses, progestin prevents the uterine lining from growing. Most birth control pills have a week where users take a placebo instead of hormones. This makes your hormone levels fall, causing withdrawal bleeding. Since withdrawal bleeding isn’t an actual period, users won’t experience many negative symptoms associated with menstruation. Users can skip this placebo week and begin their next pack of hormonal birth control, preventing bleeding altogether. This is healthy and lets you wear your favorite white jeans all month.
Your uterus is a large muscle that contracts to shed its lining during your period. These contractions (aka cramps) can range from mild to debilitating. Usually, taking over-the-counter pain medication will help. But, if your cramps are in full swing before taking medication, it might be a while before the pain subsides. This is where Heat may come in handy. Using Heat eases cramps by naturally increasing your body’s blood flow to your uterus. This helps relax your muscles, reducing pain. Many women find that applying heating pads to their lower back or abdomen reduces cramping. However, a warm bath should do the trick if you don’t have a heating pad.
Many people are squeamish about having sex during their period. However, period sex is not as scary as it sounds. No, your partner won’t get covered head to toe in blood. But you may find some symptom relief in the process. When you have an orgasm, your body releases a rush of oxytocin and dopamine. These feel-good hormones provide a natural form of pain relief. The big O may also help shorten your cycle. When you climax, your uterus contracts, pushing blood out faster. So, if you’re looking for a way to make your period more fun, have sex with yourself or your partner.
Leaving the couch is likely the last thing you want to do while in the throes of PMS. But a little light exercise might be what you need to start feeling better. Research shows that exercise helps improve PMS symptoms like low energy and depression. Furthermore, moving your body increases blood circulation, providing another form of pain relief. However, it’s essential to listen to your body during this time and participate in activities that feel good. This may mean trading out your HIIT workouts for yoga or replacing a heavy lifting session with lighter weights. Having less energy during this time is normal, so honor your body. If a walk is all you can muster, that’s perfectly fine.
Getting your period when you’re not prepared is a nightmare. However, wearing period-friendly underwear is a comfortable way to prevent leaks when caught off guard. Raise your hand if you’ve ever started your period and didn’t have a tampon. Period underwear is designed to look like regular panties, so you can wear them all month long. Since they’re reusable, they’re a sustainable alternative to traditional period products. This lets you save money while you’re saving the planet. Many women with lighter flows are comfortable just wearing this underwear. However, if you have a heavier flow, you must change them more frequently or use a menstrual cup.
While you’re probably aware that a sweaty workout may lead to dehydration, you might not know your period can, too. Progestin and estrogen have a significant impact on your hydration. When these hormone levels drop around your period, you’re more likely to become dehydrated. This may cause you to retain water, leading to uncomfortable bloating. If you struggle to drink enough water throughout the day, you can do a few things to help. One trick is to make your water more exciting. Adding fruit or carbonation will take your water from bland to tasty, encouraging you to drink more. Other people find it helpful to track their water intake. There are numerous apps you can use to make tracking your water easier.
Chances are, you already reach for a bar of chocolate as a comforting snack when Aunt Flo comes to town. It turns out that this tasty treat is an excellent remedy for cramps. The cacao in a chocolate bar is jam-packed with antioxidants that improve blood circulation. This, in turn, reduces cramping. When choosing chocolate, look for a bar with at least 70% cacao. Since this magic ingredient contains the most antioxidants, you want as much os possible. Additionally, you need to ensure your chocolate doesn’t have too much sugar. While some sugar is okay, consuming high amounts can make inflammation worse. You don’t have to be miserable for a week every month. By implementing the tips above, you can improve the symptoms associated with your period and get back to living life.