While many women experience mild cramping each month before or during their period, severe cramps are a cause for concern. If your cramps aren't alleviated with a small amount of over-the-counter pain relievers or a heating pad, and if you find yourself missing work or other obligations each month, it's time to schedule an appointment with your gynecologist. In addition to seeking medical treatment, here are few natural remedies that may help alleviate your pain and provide some relief before and during your period.
Acupuncture has been shown to reduce the pain associated with cramps significantly for many women. According to experts, acupuncture can help with period pain in several ways. It triggers the release of natural pain relievers in your body, can help stimulate blood flow which reduces the severity of cramps, and may even help to regulate hormones.
Acupuncture does not come with side effects and can be combined with traditional medical treatment, making it an ideal complementary treatment for women who suffer severe cramps each month. Be sure to tell your acupuncturist about your cramps and when your cycle typically begins so they can schedule your treatments appropriately.
Look into Herbal Remedies
Specific herbs have also shown promising effects on painful periods. These herbs include ginger, cinnamon, turmeric, peppermint oil, and a unique herb known as crampbark. You can add fresh herbs to smoothies, make them into your own tea blend, or buy prepackaged tea bags specifically designed for easing cramps and other painful period symptoms. Acupuncturists sometimes offer custom-blended Chinese herbs to their clients as a special add-on service, so this is a great option as well.
Clean up Your Diet
Some women find that their diet has a huge impact on the severity of their cramps as well. In particular, you may want to try avoiding or reducing sugar and processed foods for a while to see if this helps. Just as importantly, be sure to add nutrient-dense foods to your diet every day. These include plenty of veggies and leafy greens, healthy fats, and fiber. When combined with medical treatment and the other tips on this list, a healthier diet can ease your cramps in a serious way.
In addition to these natural remedies, it's important to talk to your gynecologist about your severe cramps in order to determine the underlying cause. Conditions including endometriosis and fibroids can contribute to painful periods, and should be medically addressed.