Taking vitamin C for immunity and calcium for strong bones is common knowledge — so why do we need to turn to the group chat for advice when it comes to periods? To really invest in your sexual and reproductive health, you may want to be proactive instead of just dealing with uncomfortable PMS symptoms.
Get started by brushing up on these six herbs, extracts, and other supplement ingredients that may help promote everything from bladder health to getting aroused. Spending a little extra time on self-care for your whole body — yes, including your vagina — can help you feel better all cycle long.
If you've had a UTI before, you know the warning signs — feeling like you need to pee all the time, the impossible-to-ignore burning sensation — and know when it's time to call your doctor. Since one in five women will experience a UTI at some point in their lifetime, it's also worth taking extra care of your urinary tract before you get one. The humble cranberry has been used to support urinary-tract and bladder health for decades. Rather than drinking glasses of cranberry juice, opt for a supplement with a clinically studied dose of 500 mg of cranberry extract.
Just like the gut, the vagina also has its own microbiome full of beneficial bacteria and microorganisms. Keeping all of those bacteria in balance is key to maintaining your vaginal health. That's where probiotics come in. OLLY Happy Hoo-Ha contains two strains of lactobacilli, bacteria naturally found in the vaginal tract, to keep things in balance.
Depending on where you are in your cycle, you might be constantly ready to get hot and heavy with your partner — or prefer rolling over in bed and saving intimacy for another night. If you're tired of waiting for your mood to line up with date night, try a supplement with ingredients that support arousal, like ashwagandha. This trendy botanical extract has origins in India, where it has been used for centuries to support arousal, stimulation, and sensations. Yes, please.
Cravings are such a common PMS symptom that they've become a stereotype at this point; no, not every person wants chocolate during their period, but many of us have experienced cravings before. There's nothing wrong with indulging a little now and then, but if you'd like to reduce the likelihood you'll crush a family-size bag of chips, you can try supplements with ingredients that support your appetite and metabolism. One key ingredient is chromium, a trace mineral that can both reduce cravings and support a healthy metabolism. Try it in OLLY Combat Cravings, which contains a clinically studied dose of chromium alongside ginger, green tea, and goji berry.
Each week of your cycle can feel like a roller-coaster ride. Happy one minute, tearful the next, irate the next — that's not a ride we'd like to take again, let alone every month. Look for supplements with ingredients that can help reduce irritability, like dong quai. This root is often used in traditional Chinese medicine to smooth out mood changes.
Raise your hand if you've been personally victimized by bloating. Feeling your belly swell up like a balloon is never comfortable — especially when it's caused by PMS symptoms rather than something you ate. Try supplements with ingredients that go after the bloat at its source, like dandelion extract. Dandelion promotes healthy digestion and reduces water retention. It's particularly helpful when paired with other digestion-friendly ingredients, like fennel, ginger, and digestive enzymes in OLLY Beat the Bloat.
Design: Marissa Dickson