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Ways to Relieve Menstrual Cramps

Women's Health 101: How to Relieve Bad Cramps

When bad cramps strike, it's hard to put your head in a positive place. Cramps that double us over in pain are caused by uterine contractions and are often exaggerated from emotional stress. Since this special time happens every month, it's hard when this pain gets your spirits down or cramps your style. Luckily, there are plenty of ways to deal with the pain and general malaise of pesky cramps.

Bring the heat: To increase blood flow and ease the pain, apply heat to the area. While some people love drawing a big hot bath, using a heating pad can be a much easier — and faster — solution.
Go for easy exercise: A little gentle activity, like walking, can help alleviate your cramps. If you don't feel like moving too much, try some relaxing yoga poses that open your hips and stretch out your lower back and abs.
Open the medicine cabinet: If your pain is really bad, take some ibuprofen instead of acetaminophen. It's more effective at soothing menstrual cramps. If alternative medicine is more your style, studies have shown that Chinese herbs may help more than conventional pain relievers.

Want to learn how to eat to ease your cramps? Just keep reading.

Enjoy omega-3s: Get your fill of foods rich in good omega-3s like salmon and walnuts. They can help block the production of prostaglandins, which are responsible for large muscle contractions (like the ones made by your uterus that cause you pain).
Alter your diet: Certain foods with extra salt, dairy, sugar, alcohol, spices, and caffeine will only aggravate your menstrual symptoms. Instead, opt for a diet full of fiber-rich foods to help ease digestion during your cycle to alleviate any extra issues.

Image Source: Corbis Images
moonlite moonlite 9 years
When I became a vegan I noticed that my cramps, which had always been debilitating, suddenly were bearable. I still get slight aches now, but I barely notice it because it's nothing compared to the agonizing pain I had to deal with before.
Allytta Allytta 9 years
take NoSpa :)
Tinybubbles_21 Tinybubbles_21 9 years
2 Pamprin (no caffeine), some chamomille tea, my heating pad, and my bed :) I used to get soo sick i had to go to the ER once, and taking some pamprin as soon as i fell it coming on works great!!
Green Green 9 years
the heating pad is a winner :)
DreaAST DreaAST 9 years
Aleve and a heating pad!!!!
beingtazim beingtazim 9 years
a heating pad/hot water bottle and 2 midols work for me - and staying home and lying down on the sofa, too.
emalove emalove 9 years
A heating pad and some Motrin...that's what I do for cramps.
Spectra Spectra 9 years
What gets me through mine is to take 3 ibuprofen as soon as I feel even the slightest cramping. Then I take a warm bath and snuggle with my heating pad for a while. Then I take 1 ibuprofen as needed as the pain comes back. It always works for me. That and my calcium supplements!
wackdoodle wackdoodle 9 years
For the second month in a row I have tried drink Raspberry leaf tea and this stuff has worked. Normally I have vomit-inducing, crippling cramps with leg pain and this month mild mild cramps that were relieved with a hot water bottle for an hour or so. I have no idea why its working - 3 cups a day as my period approaches maybe starting two days before hand then a couple of cups the first day and I'm cramp free. The tea does nothing for my other PMDD symptoms but the pain and bloating and water weight gain were gone.
Novaraen Novaraen 9 years
great timing fitsugar....the "monthly" just came for a visit today and im wishing i was home with my heat pad RIGHT NOW!!!! ;)
Amethyst Amethyst 9 years
Ibuprofen Hot water bottle Hot tea (chamomille or some kind of mint) This is all great to do if you can stay home from work. Usually I just take 2 Advils and bite the bullet. I feel horrible!
CaterpillarGirl CaterpillarGirl 9 years
I have a vibrating heating pad, got it at CVS
FrannyA FrannyA 9 years
It always seems like drinking lots of water helps me out
leahlarocco leahlarocco 9 years
Actually, if you start taking calcium supplements, this has a dramatic decrease in cramping pain. I was amazed when I tried it.
Casasailer Casasailer 9 years
Advil is step 1 for me.
sweetrae80 sweetrae80 9 years
I am having explosive cramps right now so this was just on time!
raieven raieven 9 years
2 Aleve and a hot water bottle is the only thing that works for me.
Renees3 Renees3 9 years
I am ALLLLL about the heating pad. Sometimes I can't even get out of bed, let alone work out. Heating bad and a warm shower usually do wonders for me.
Liss1 Liss1 9 years
Thanks for the tips. My Dr. say's the best thing to take for cramps is Aleve.
ur_momm ur_momm 9 years
exercise and dont drink coffee works for me
aimeeb aimeeb 9 years
Great tips!
Lovely_1 Lovely_1 9 years
Or get your boyfriend to rub your whole body :love:
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