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Period pain – NHS

Period pain is common and a normal part of your menstrual cycle. Most women get it at some point in their lives.

It’s usually felt as painful muscle cramps in the tummy, which can spread to the back and thighs.

The pain sometimes comes in intense spasms, while at other times it may be dull but more constant.

It may also vary with each period. Some periods may cause little or no discomfort, while others may be more painful.

Sometimes you may get pelvic pain even when you do not have your period.

Causes of period pain

Period pain happens when the muscular wall of the womb tightens (contracts). Mild contractions continually occur in your womb, but they’re usually so mild that most women cannot feel them.

During your period, the wall of the womb starts to contract more vigorously to help the womb lining shed as part of your period.

When the wall of the womb contracts, it compresses the blood vessels lining your womb. This temporarily cuts off the blood supply – and oxygen supply – to your womb. Without oxygen, the tissues in your womb release chemicals that trigger pain.

While your body is releasing these pain-triggering chemicals, it’s also producing other chemicals called prostaglandins. These encourage the womb muscles to contract more, further increasing the level of pain.

It’s not known why some women have more period pain than others. It may be that some women have a build-up of prostaglandins, which means they experience stronger contractions.

Period pain caused by a medical condition

Less commonly, period pain can be caused by an underlying medical condition.

Period pain linked to an underlying medical condition tends to affect older women. Women aged 30 to 45 are most commonly affected.

Medical conditions that can cause period pain include:

  • endometriosis – where cells that normally line the womb grow in other places, such as in the fallopian tubes and ovaries; these cells can cause intense pain when they shed
  • fibroids – non-cancerous tumours that can grow in or around the womb and can make your periods heavy and painful
  • pelvic inflammatory disease – where your womb, fallopian tubes and ovaries become infected with bacteria, causing them to become severely inflamed
  • adenomyosis – where the tissue that normally lines the womb starts to grow within the muscular womb wall, making your periods particularly painful

Period pain caused by contraceptive devices

An intrauterine device (IUD) is a type of contraception made from copper and plastic that fits inside the womb. It can also sometimes cause period pain, particularly during the first few months after it’s inserted.

You may notice a change in your normal pattern of pain if your period pain is linked to a medical condition or a contraceptive IUD. For example, the pain may be more severe or it may last much longer than normal.

You may also have:

See a GP if you have any of these symptoms as well as period pain.

How long period pain lasts

Period pain usually starts when your bleeding begins, although some women have pain several days before the start of their period.

The pain usually lasts 48 to 72 hours, although it can last longer. It’s usually at its worst when your bleeding is heaviest.

Young girls often have period pain when they begin getting periods. Read more about starting periods.

Period pain that does not have an underlying cause tends to improve as a woman gets older. Many women also notice an improvement after they’ve had children.

Treating period pain

In most cases period pain is mild enough to treat at home.


You can take ibuprofen and aspirin to help manage your pain.

However, do not take ibuprofen or aspirin if you have asthma or stomach, kidney or liver problems. Aspirin should not be taken by anyone under 16 years of age.

You could also try paracetamol, but studies have shown that it does not reduce pain as well as ibuprofen or aspirin.

If ordinary painkillers do not help, your GP may prescribe a stronger painkiller, such as naproxen or codeine.

Other self-help measures to try

You could also try:

  • stopping smoking – smoking is thought to increase the risk of period pain
  • exercise – you may not feel like exercising during a painful period, but being active may reduce pain; try some gentle swimming, walking or cycling
  • heat – putting a heat pad or hot water bottle (wrapped in a tea towel) on your tummy may help reduce pain
  • warm bath or shower – taking a warm bath or shower can relieve pain and help you relax
  • massage – light, circular massage around your lower abdomen may also help reduce pain
  • relaxation techniques – relaxing activities, such as yoga or pilates, may help distract you from feelings of pain and discomfort
  • transcutaneous electronic nerve stimulation (TENS) – a small battery-operated device that delivers a mild electrical current to your tummy to help reduce pain

When to see a GP

See a GP if you have severe period pain or your normal pattern of periods changes – for example, if your periods become heavier than usual or irregular.

Pelvic examination

The GP may want to feel your tummy (abdomen) to check it feels normal.

If your symptoms are unusual, the GP may carry out an internal examination, sometimes known as a pelvic examination. This can be helpful in diagnosing or ruling out other causes of your period pain.


You may be prescribed the contraceptive pill. It can ease period pain because it thins the womb lining and reduces the amount of prostaglandin your body releases.

A thinner womb lining means the muscles of the womb do not have to contract as much when it sheds. Your period will also be lighter.

If the contraceptive pill is not suitable for you, the contraceptive implant or the contraceptive injection are good alternatives.

The Mirena intrauterine system (IUS) can also sometimes help with painful periods.

Referral to a specialist

If your period pain has not been controlled after 3 months of treatment with painkillers or a suitable hormonal contraceptive, your GP may refer you to a specialist, which will usually be a gynaecologist.

The specialist will carry out further tests to help confirm or rule out an underlying medical condition. Tests you may have include:

  • a urine or blood test
  • pelvic ultrasound – where high-frequency sound waves are used to produce an image of the inside of your body; it’s painless and will show any abnormalities in your reproductive organs
  • laparoscopy – under general anaesthetic, a small cut is made in your abdomen through which a fibro-optic telescope is inserted; it can be used to look at your internal organs as well as take samples of tissue (a biopsy)
  • hysteroscopy – allows the inside of the womb to be examined using a fibro-optic telescope; it’s passed through your vagina and into the womb to check for abnormalities

Treating an underlying medical condition

If your period pain is caused by an underlying medical condition, your treatment will depend on which condition you have.

For example, if you have pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), you may need antibiotics to treat the infection, while fibroids may need to be surgically removed.

Period pain and fertility

Period pain that’s part of your normal menstrual cycle will not affect your fertility. However, if the cause is a medical condition, this may affect your fertility.

For example, endometriosis and pelvic inflammatory disease can cause scarring and a build-up of tissue in your fallopian tubes, making it harder for sperm to reach and fertilise an egg.

Video: Menstrual cycle

This animation explains in detail how the menstrual cycle works.

Media last reviewed: 21 October 2020
Media review due: 21 October 2023

Page last reviewed: 07 August 2019
Next review due: 07 August 2022

How to Relieve Painful Menstrual Cramps

Period cramps are annoying, aggravating and at times, downright terrible – and they may be a regular part of the menstrual cycle for more than half of women who have periods.

When you’re having menstrual cramps (also referred to as dysmenorrhea), you can have pain in your belly, hips, lower back, and even your inner thighs. The pain in your belly may also be accompanied by pressure, and in severe cases, loose stools, upset stomach, and vomiting.

Even though your menstrual cramps may be normal, it doesn’t mean there’s nothing you can do to relieve the pain. Here are a few things you can do (besides eating chocolate).

Apply heat

Do you need relief from your period cramps right away? Lying down with a heating pad is one of the best ways to relieve menstrual cramps. In fact, keeping heat applied to the area of your belly where the pain is the worst can be just as effective as using a pain killer like ibuprofen.

But since you can’t stay connected to a heating pad all day, try taking a warm bath, using a hot water bottle, or applying a heat patch instead. The key is to keep the heat as continuous as possible.

Over-the-counter medication for period cramps

Many of the same over-the-counter pain relievers you use for headaches can also help relieve menstrual cramping pain. These include ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB), naproxen (Aleve), and even acetaminophen (Tylenol). You should start taking a pain reliever when you begin feeling symptoms of period cramps and continue taking the medicine for two or three days, or until your symptoms are gone. For severe menstrual cramps, your doctor may recommend a prescription anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID).

Exercise or have sex

Need a reason to work out during your period? The endorphins produced while exercising or having sex can help relieve your menstrual cramps. Any type of exercise, whether it be aerobic or simply stretching has been found to lessen the pain of your cramping.

Birth control for period cramps

When you have period cramps you just can’t seem to relieve with the methods mentioned above, your doctor may prescribe birth control, which provides your body with hormones that may reduce your menstrual cramping. Talk to your doctor about your birth control options. They include birth control pills, injections, a patch, or an intrauterine device. Such a wide array of birth control options are available that there should be something that will work for your lifestyle and individual needs. Just make sure to let your doctor know you’re hoping to find a birth control option that will provide relief from your menstrual cramping.

Alternative medicines

Some women have found success with alternative medicines. Some of these include:

Things to avoid

While many things can help reduce pain from menstrual cramps, there are also a few things you should try to avoid. These include stress, alcohol, and caffeine, all of which can make your menstrual cramping worse. Limit these things as much as possible during your period.

Do you need to see a doctor?

If your menstrual cramps are unusual or severe, or if they last more than a few days, you may want to see your doctor. Painful period cramping is treatable, so anytime you’re worried about your symptoms, it’s a good idea to talk to your doctor.

Your doctor may perform a pelvic exam to make sure everything is normal. They may also ask you questions about your menstrual period history, suggest lifestyle modifications, or even recommend and prescribe medicines that may help relieve your painful periods.

10 Ways to Relieve Period Cramps – Health Services – University of Illinois Springfield

While menstrual cramps can be painful, you can take many routes to relief and get rid of the pain.

More than half of women who menstruate report some pain from period cramps for a day or two each month, according to the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. While menstrual cramps, also called dysmenorrhea, are usually not a sign of a serious health condition, they can put a crimp in your lifestyle.

To help with the pain, here are 10 safe and effective tactics. If your period cramps seem severe or you don’t get relief despite trying some of these options, check with your doctor to rule out more serious health issues.







A heating pad can be just as effective as medication to treat menstrual cramps.

1. Improving Your Diet Will Help Alleviate Period Cramps 

Research has shown that reducing fat and increasing vegetables in your diet may help ease monthly cramps. “A low-fat diet actually decreases overall levels of inflammation in the body,” says Aldo Palmieri MD, an ob-gyn at UCLA Health and a professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine in Los Angeles. A low-fat, vegetarian diet not only helps your health generally, says Dr. Palmieri, but it can have an indirect yet noticeable effect on menstrual cramps, too.

Trying to achieve a healthier diet? To start, swap out less healthy fats like the saturated fats found in animal products, and choose healthier ones like unsaturated fats found in olive oil, suggests the American Heart Association (AHA). And if you’re having dairy, pick low-fat or fat-free products. Overall, try to get 25 to 35 percent of your total daily calories from healthier fats found in fish, nuts, and vegetable oils, the AHA suggests. A balanced plate is essential; examples can be found at the healthy eating plate site from Harvard University in Boston.

2. Pop a Safe Painkiller to Cut the Inflammation

Not everyone wants to turn to medicine to soothe period cramps, but moderate use of a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medication (NSAID), such as Advil (ibuprofen) or Aleve (naproxen), can help, Palmieri says. Menstrual cramps occur because of local release of substances called prostaglandins, he explains, and NSAIDs lower prostaglandin production and decrease overall inflammation and pain.

Check first with your doctor to be sure NSAIDs are a good choice for you, especially if you have a history of bleeding or kidney issues. And read the label for dosing instructions to be sure you don’t accidentally take too many.

3. Some Herbal Tea Varieties Can Calm Cramping

Certain teas may help relieve menstrual cramps, says Sonya Angelone, a registered dietitian nutritionist in the San Francisco Bay area.

Research on herbal teas for menstrual pain relief is scarce, say experts, but teas have been used traditionally and can help. Because some of the herbs may act as estrogens, ask your doctor first before using one, especially if you have a history of a hormone-related cancer or take blood-thinning drugs.

One example of an herbal tea that people use for menstrual discomfort is cramp bark, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center in Baltimore. Boil 2 teaspoons of the bark in a cup of water, simmer for about 15 minutes, and drink it three times a day. Be sure to clear this remedy with your doctor first, especially if you’re on diuretics for blood pressure or on lithium.

Tea with peppermint oil may also help, Angelone says. She advises her patients with cramps to start sipping the whichever tea gives them relief a week or so before they expect their period. Ask your doctor if that might work for you.

4. Try Fish Oil and Vitamin B1 for Natural Relief

Another natural route to period cramp relief is taking fish oil supplements, vitamin B1, or both, according to research published in September 2014 in the Global Journal of Health Science. Scientists assigned 240 teens with menstrual cramps and other pain to take B1 and fish oil, B1 alone, fish oil alone, or a placebo. The teens took 100 milligrams (mg) per day of B1 and 500 mg daily of fish oil supplements.

When the teens reported their pain, those taking either the fish oil, B1, or both had significantly less pain than the placebo group. The pain also didn’t last as long if they took fish oil or B1.

5. Acupuncture May Help by Relaxing the Nervous System

Acupuncture can help relieve cramps, says Jeannie Bianchi, a licensed acupuncturist in San Francisco. “We’re relaxing the nervous system,” she says, which causes more robust blood flow to the internal organs. Acupuncture is also thought to have an anti-inflammatory effect.

In a January 2011 Cochrane review, experts looked at six studies that observed the effects of acupuncture on period cramps. They compared acupuncture with no treatment or conventional treatment (such as anti-inflammatory drugs) on 673 women. In another four studies, they compared the effects of acupuncture versus no treatment or conventional treatment in 271 women.

Overall, they found that both acupuncture and acupressure could reduce pain, but concluded that more evaluation was needed.

6.  Massage With Essential Oils for Pain Relief

Massage with certain aromatic essential oils (such as lavender essential oil, clary sage essential oil, or marjoram essential oil) can also relieve menstrual cramp pain, according to a study published in May 2012 in the Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology Research. Investigators assigned 48 women with menstrual cramps and other symptoms to massage either essential oils or a synthetic fragrance on their lower abdomen. The women used a mixture of diluted essential oils from the end of one period to the beginning of the next. Lavender, clary sage, and marjoram were used in a 2-1-1 ratio, and the essential oils were diluted to a 3 percent concentration overall in an unscented cream (a solution created, for example, by adding 3 milliliters (ml) of essential oils to 97 ml of an unscented cream).

Women in both groups reported less pain, but the essential oils group did better. Based on the women’s reports, researchers found that the duration of pain was reduced from 2.4 to 1.8 days after self-massaging with essential oils.

Just be sure you’re using essential oils safely. The National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy suggests diluting pure essential oils in an unscented cream or lotion or other type of oil before using directly on skin to avoid irritation and other problems.

7. Curl Up With a Heating Pad to Ease Period Cramps

“[Use of] a heating pad has been studied, and it seems to work,” says Palmieri. Indeed, one small study published in 2001 in Evidence-Based Nursing found that topically applied heat was just as effective as ibuprofen for period cramps. Examples of over-the-counter medicines containing ibuprofen include Advil and Motrin.

The researchers assigned 84 women who had cramps to one of four groups. One used a combination of a heated patch and ibuprofen (200 mg every 6 hours). A second group used an unheated (placebo) patch and ibuprofen. A third group used a heated patch and a placebo pill. A fourth group, the control, was given an unheated patch and a placebo pill.

Over the two study days, the women using heat plus ibuprofen, heat alone, and ibuprofen alone reported greater pain relief than those on the placebo. Women using heat with ibuprofen did not report differences in pain relief compared with those using ibuprofen alone. But with heat, they experienced faster improvement in pain relief: about 90 minutes after starting, compared with nearly three hours for those taking medicine alone. More women who used both heat and ibuprofen reported complete pain relief compared with those in the control group, the researchers found.

A review of studies published in March 2014 in the Journal of Physiotherapy found that heat reduced women’s period pain significantly.

8. Boost Those Feel-Good Endorphins With Exercise (or Orgasms)

In addition to their pain-relieving effect, endorphins can also boost your mood. Having an orgasm releases endorphins, Palmieri says. Working out does as well. Perhaps the last thing you want to even think about while in the midst of cramps is exercise, but activity can boost endorphins and help chase away pain.

A report published in March 2015 in the Journal of Family Reproductive Health indicates that both aerobic exercise and stretching helped soothe period cramps for 105 students in the study.

9. Up the Magnesium in Your Diet to Help Nerve and Muscle Function

Dietary magnesium seems to help ease the pain of cramps, says DeJarra Sims, ND, an assistant professor of naturopathic medicine at Bastyr University’s California campus in San Diego and the author of Your Healthiest Life Now. A Cochrane review of dietary and other remedies published in 2001 concluded that getting enough magnesium can help relieve pain.

Magnesium is found in many foods and as a supplement if you can’t get what you need from your diet. Magnesium helps regulate nerve and muscle functioning, among other vital tasks; researchers who evaluated the evidence on magnesium call it a promising treatment for menstrual cramps. But they cannot recommend a specific dose, because researchers have studied various doses. The recommended dietary allowance of magnesium for women of childbearing age is about 320 mg daily. An ounce of dry almonds or one half cup of boiled spinach each has about 80 mg.

Dr. Sims says the dose you may need depends on the severity of your cramps and other factors. Ask your doctor about the best magnesium intake for you.

10. Birth Control Pills May Lessen Painful Cramping, Too

The odds are that your birth control pills may help relieve painful cramps, as reported in a Cochrane review of 10 studies that was published in October 2009. Experts didn’t find any difference between low- or medium-dose estrogen contraceptives in producing pain relief for period cramps. But oral contraceptives come with side effects for some, which may include spotting, breast tenderness, nausea, and low sex drive — in addition to a higher risk of blood clots.

Source:  https://www.everydayhealth.com/treatment/womens-health/ways-to-relieve-period-cramps/?slot=1&eh_uid=81133606&xid=nl_EHNLhealthyliving_2020-02-15_19456131&utm_source=Newsletters&nl_key=nl_healthy_living&utm_content=2020-02-15&utm_campaign=Healthy_Living

12 Foods That Help With Cramps for Period Pain Relief

Finally, tofu is also high in magnesium. If you’re not a huge fan, try adding baked tofu to your salad in place of your usual protein.

9. Turmeric

lacaosa / Getty Images

Turmeric can also potentially provide some relief. A lot of the pain that accompanies cramps is caused by inflammation, and there are few foods as great at battling inflammation as turmeric.

Add this beautiful yellow spice it to your rice, scrambled eggs, potatoes, whatever in order to reduce inflammation and, hopefully, pain.

10. Beans

Eskay Lim / EyeEm / Getty Images

Foods rich in thiamine can also be powerful period pain fighters. “One study has shown that 100mg per day of Thiamine can be helpful,” says Dr. McClellan. Some thiamin-rich options to consider eating during your period include legumes and pork.

11. Brown rice

Seksak Kerdkanno / EyeEm / Getty Images

Brown rice packs a double punch for period cramps: It’s rich in magnesium and thiamine.

12. Fortified cereal

Mira Kryvtsova / Getty Images

You may want to stick to thiamin-fortified foods like breakfast cereals. The reason? “Cooking food rich in thiamine reduces the amount of bioavailable thiamine from that food source,” explains Dr. McClellan.

Foods to Avoid on Your Period

The golden rule when you’re dealing with cramps? “Avoid foods that can contribute to inflammation or cause GI upset like sugar, alcohol, soda and fried foods,” says Malone. If you’re sensitive to dairy, add that to the list as well.

Dr. McClellan also advises avoiding or at least minimize their alcohol and caffeine intake. That might mean replacing your morning latte with a small cup of green tea, which can effectively reduce some bloating (and potentially reduce cramping in the process). As for happy hour? You may want to skip it altogether.

At the end of the day, whether it’s cramps or any other ailment, it all comes down to balance. “It’s important to remember the overall pattern of the diet is more important than any single food that may provide relief,” says Malone.

Period pain: Overview – InformedHealth.org


Many girls and women have problems like abdominal cramps and pain during their menstrual period. The medical term for painful periods is “dysmenorrhea.”

Although menstruation is a normal part of a woman’s life, severe period pain need not be. Women don’t have to simply put up with it – menstrual pain can usually be treated effectively. If you have very painful periods or the pain keeps getting worse over time, it can be a good idea to see a doctor.


Every month the lining of a woman’s womb builds up and is then shed again at the end of the menstrual cycle, when she has her period – unless she is pregnant. To shed the lining during the monthly period, the muscles of the womb tighten (contract) and relax in an irregular rhythm. This helps the tissue lining the womb to detach and flow out of the body, together with blood, through the neck of the womb (cervix) and the vagina.

The muscle contractions are sometimes not noticeable or only cause mild discomfort, but they’re also sometimes felt as painful cramps. Period pain might only affect the lower abdomen, or it might be felt in the back or legs too. It can cause nausea, vomiting or diarrhea in some women, as well as headaches or general discomfort. Women who have heavier periods often have more intense pain too.

Causes and risk factors

Doctors distinguish between two types of period pain, called primary and secondary dysmenorrhea. Primary dysmenorrhea is where the period pain is caused by the womb muscle contractions alone. Hormone-like substances called prostaglandins play an important role here. They influence the perception of pain and cause the muscles in the womb to tighten, helping to shed the lining of the womb. Primary dysmenorrhea is more common in women under the age of 30 and women with heavy periods. It can run in families, and stress can play a role too.

Period pain that is caused by something other than the muscle contractions is called secondary dysmenorrhea. Benign (non-cancerous) growths in the womb, such as fibroids or polyps, are often responsible for secondary dysmenorrhea. Severe period pain may also be caused by endometriosis. In endometriosis, the kind of tissue that lines the womb (endometrium) grows elsewhere in the abdomen too. Sometimes contraceptive coils (IUDs: intrauterine devices) used for birth control can also cause secondary dysmenorrhea.

Prevalence and outlook

Period pain is very common: most girls and women have pain of varying intensity at some point during their period. In 10 out of 100 women the pain is so bad that they’re unable to carry out their usual daily activities on one to three days every month.

The pain is usually worse in women under the age of 20. It usually gets better or even goes away completely within a few years of their first period. In many women period pain becomes milder after the birth of their first child.

Secondary dysmenorrhea often first arises after a young woman has already been menstruating for several years. Here, women may also have pain at times of the month other than during menstruation.


Women and girls get a lot of (sometimes contradictory) advice from doctors and other women. Painkillers such as ibuprofen and naproxen are effective. These belong to a group of medications known as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). They can relieve period pain by reducing the production of prostaglandins. Although NSAIDs are usually well tolerated, they sometimes have side effects, especially stomach-related problems.

The birth control pill can relieve period pain too because it prevents ovulation. This reduces the production of prostaglandins. It also means that the lining of the woman’s womb doesn’t become as thick as usual, and she has a lighter period. The birth control pill can have side effects too, such as headaches and nausea. It also increases the risk of thrombosis.

Some evidence suggests that applying warmth, for instance with heat packs, can relieve period pain. A few studies have also suggested that physical activity such as jogging, yoga and exercises can help.

Other treatments – like acupuncture, dietary supplements or herbal products – haven’t been proven to help. Although these approaches have been tested in a number of studies, the study results were contradictory or the studies weren’t done properly.

Sometimes the pain is so bad that psychological treatment is considered. This may include things like talks with a psychotherapist and learning techniques that can reduce pain (such as relaxation and mindfulness exercises).

If the pain is caused by fibroids or endometriosis, other treatment options can be considered – perhaps surgery, too.

Everyday life

Sometimes friends, relatives, colleagues and even doctors don’t take period pain seriously. And some women think they just have to put up with the pain because it’s a normal part of being a woman. But severe pain that affects your everyday activities on several days a month, maybe even preventing you from working, isn’t something that you just have to live with because it’s “natural.” Advice like this can make it difficult to feel comfortable about withdrawing from activities to get some rest, and might stop women from seeking professional help or treatment.

It may be possible to find ways to deal with the “painful” days so they are less of a problem. For example, many women try to take things a bit easier on those days. It may be helpful to avoid having demanding appointments and activities during that time of month. Some find that relaxation techniques, breathing exercises, yoga or tai chi help them feel more relaxed and reduce stress. Getting a lot of exercise also helps relieve period pain in some women. Warm baths and saunas can be soothing too.

Women who are often unable to go to work because of bad pain and cramps may face problems at work, as well as feeling guilty and ashamed. Having a partner, relatives or friends who are understanding and supportive can make an important difference.

Further information

When people are ill or need medical advice, they usually go to see their family doctor first. Read about how to find the right doctor, how to prepare for the appointment and what to remember.


  • Latthe PM, Champaneria R. Dysmenorrhoea. BMJ Clin Evid 2014: pii: 0813.
  • IQWiG health information is written with the aim of helping
    people understand the advantages and disadvantages of the main treatment options and health
    care services.

    Because IQWiG is a German institute, some of the information provided here is specific to the
    German health care system. The suitability of any of the described options in an individual
    case can be determined by talking to a doctor. We do not offer individual consultations.

    Our information is based on the results of good-quality studies. It is written by a
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    health care professionals, scientists and editors, and reviewed by external experts. You can
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Natural Ways to Relieve Period Pain

This article has been archived. We will no longer be updating it. For our most up-to-date information, please visit our menstrual period information here.

Ugh, it’s that time of the month and you’re dealing with dreaded cramps. It’s common to feel uncomfortable around your abdomen, thighs and lower back when you’re menstruating. In fact, about half of women who menstruate have some pain—called dysmenorrhea—for one to three days each month.

Menstrual cramps are throbbing or cramping pains in the lower abdomen. The muscles of your womb contract and relax to get rid of built-up lining. And that’s when you may get cramps, with some women experiencing more pain than others. The discomfort is merely annoying for some women. For others, cramps can be severe enough to interfere with daily activities for a few days each month.

You likely want to relieve your pain. But perhaps you don’t want to pop a pill. You’re aiming for relief in a natural way. Here are a few tactics to help you feel better, naturally.

Be sure to speak with your health care provider if your cramps seem severe or you don’t have any easing of symptoms. Your clinician can help rule out any other health conditions that may be causing your intense discomfort such as fibroids, a sexually transmitted disease, endometriosis, pelvic inflammatory disease or more serious menstrual disorders.

Eat differently.
Try reducing fat consumption and increasing your vegetable consumption. A low-fat diet decreases the overall inflammation in your body. Plus, it will promote overall good health. You can start by swapping out unhealthy saturated fats and choosing healthier unsaturated fats (such as olive oil). Opt for low-fat or fat-free dairy products.

Getting more magnesium can also ease the pain of cramps. Magnesium helps regulate nerve and muscle functioning, among other tasks. It’s found in foods such as dry almonds and boiled spinach.

You also want to avoid foods and drinks that typically cause bloating and water retention. Some culprits include alcohol, carbonated beverages, caffeine and salty foods. Opt for caffeine-free ginger or mint teas or hot water flavored with lemon. When you’re in need of a sugar fix, snack on strawberries or raspberries. Read more about Mistakes You’re Making During Your Period.

Sip some tea.
Teas have been used to help combat menstrual pain. Start sipping whatever tea gives you relief a week or so before you anticipate your period. Some people have used cramp bark. Tea with peppermint oil may also help. And chamomile tea increases urinary levels of glycine, which helps relieve muscle spasms and acts as a nerve relaxant. Speak with your health care provider before trying these remedies, especially if you’re on a blood-thinning drug.

Get acupuncture.
It’s used to alleviate the nausea and vomiting caused by chemotherapy. So, it makes sense that it can be useful to help relieve menstrual cramp pain. Acupuncture helps relax the nervous system, causing a stronger blood flood to the internal organs. And it’s thought to have an anti-inflammatory effect.

Break a sweat.
Pick what appeals to you; relieve cramps in the bedroom or via exercise. When you do either of these activities, you get endorphins, which help boost your mood and decrease your perception of pain. Sure, working out or having sex may be the last thing you want to do when you’re suffering from cramps. But these activities can help reduce pain and relieve the muscle tension that contribute to cramps.

Apply heat.
Curling up with a heating pad can help ease menstrual cramps. One of the oldest medicinal remedies, heat helps muscles relax and increases blood flow to tissues. A review of studies published in the Journal of Physiotherapy found that heat reduced women’s period pain. Don’t have a heating pad? Purchase a heat wrap or pack, which you can wear beneath your clothing and against your body. You can also take a warm bath or use a hot towel or hot water bottle.

Massage with essential oils.
Using certain aromatic essential oils and massage can help relieve menstrual cramp pain. A study in the Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology Research found that women who massaged their lower abdomen (or a partner did so for them!) with essential oils like lavender, clary sage and marjoram from one end of their period to the beginning of the next reported less pain and shorter duration of pain than those who received a cream containing a synthetic fragrance. Purchase scented massage oil or make your own.

Take fish oil or vitamin B1.
Add some fish oil supplements, vitamin B1 or both to your vitamin regimen for relief. A study in Global Journal of Health Science found that participants who took either fish oil, B1 or both had significantly less pain than the placebo group.

Add herbs to your diet.
Some herbals remedies contain anti-inflammatories that may help reduce muscle contractions and swelling associated with menstrual pain. Herbs include fennel seeds, dill, cinnamon and ginger. Always speak with your health care provider before taking any kind of herb.

Visit a chiropractor.
You may find relief by seeing a chiropractor. This spinal manipulation can help provide pain relief, especially in the lower back and uterus area.

Drink water.
If you drink water, you can actually help prevent your body from retaining water and avoid painful bloating. Aim to consume warm or hot water, which is better for cramps. That’s because hot liquid increases blood flow and may help relax cramped muscles. You can also eat foods that are water based including celery, lettuce, watermelon or cucumbers.

Best Foods for Period/Menstrual Cramps (Besides Painkillers)

Certain foods may help alleviate menstrual cramps (period cramps). Dietitian Ethel Lim, from the Nutrition and Dietetics Department at KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital (KKH), shares what these foods are.

​A normal menstrual cycle should last between 21-35 days and averages 28 days (counting from the first day of menses to the first day of the next menses). Bleeding should be for no longer than 7 days.

Menstruation symptoms include:

  • Bloating
  • Water retention
  • Poor concentration
  • Irritability

Foods that help ease menstrual cramps

“While painkillers may be effective in eliminating any pains, there are five foods that have been found to help alleviate menstrual woes, although more thorough research is still required,” says Ethel Lim, Dietitian from the Nutrition and Dietetics Department at
KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital (KKH), a member of the
SingHealth group.

1) Calcium

Calcium is found to reduce cramp pains, reduce bloating and water retention. Calcium is present in substantial amounts in:

  • Dairy products such as milk, yogurt and cheese
  • Fish with edible bones, and
  • Calcium-fortified soy milk, beancurd/tofu

2) Fibre

Fibre maintains regularity of bowel movements, thus making you feel less bloated. Aim for two servings of fruits and vegetables daily and opt for wholegrain products (refer to the HPB My Healthy Plate diagram below for portions). To prevent constipation, do not forget to increase your fluid intake too!

3) Magnesium

Magnesium is found to reduce symptoms such as headaches and cramps. Magnesium can be found in foods such as:

  • Dark chocolate
  • Avocados
  • Dark green leafy vegetables
  • Almonds
  • Wholegrain products (see below)

4) Omega-3 fatty acids and Vitamin B12

Used in combination, Omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin B12 have been found to be more effective than just having adequate omega-3s alone. Some good options to consider including in your diet before your period are:

  • Seafood
  • Eggs
  • Flaxseeds
  • Walnuts
  • Chia seeds

5) Vitamin E

For reduction in menstrual pains, studies that have shown improvements included up to 500 IU of vitamin E daily. Foods that are high in vitamin E include:   

  • Wheat germ
  • Dry roasted sunflower seeds
  • Almonds
  • Peanut butter

Ref: M19

Check out our other articles on menstruation

Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS): Link Between Oestrogen and Mood

Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD): When PMS Gets Severe

Menstrual Disorders: Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS)

Menstrual Disorders: Manage Your PMS Symptoms

Menstrual Disorders: Painful Periods

Menstrual Disorders: Irregular Periods

Heavy Periods (Menorrhagia): Symptoms and Causes

Heavy Periods (Mennorrhagia): Diagnosis and Treatment

Menstruation Pains and What They Mean

90,000 5 ways to relieve menstrual pain without medication

As you might have guessed, this article is primarily for women who experience a number of unpleasant symptoms every 21–35 days. At the same time, some menstruation passes more easily, while others suffer from severe pain and cramps, literally falling out of the usual rhythm of life for several days. We’ve prepared five ways for you to help relieve and overcome your menstrual pain without medication.

Let’s clarify right away, we are not talking about the fact that in this case it is not necessary to take painkillers, but, for example, there are especially difficult days of the cycle when you have to drink pills too often, which, of course, can negatively affect the body.Or, when you urgently need to recover and there is no time to wait for the medication to take effect. Or, when the pain is so severe that conventional drugs are no longer enough.

1. Stomach warmer

Menstrual cramps are caused by contractions of the uterus, causing pain in the lower abdomen and / or lower back. To reduce their intensity, it is recommended to put a heating pad on the lower abdomen. The heat will relax the muscles, improving blood flow and reducing contractions. A review of six independent studies published in 2018 found that women who applied a heating pad to their lower abdomen for several hours during menstrual cramps reported lower pain scores than those who did not.And in two out of six studies, it was even more effective than pain relievers.

Don’t have a heating pad on hand? Then try using a microwave-heated pillow, a plastic hot water bottle, or a towel soaked in warm water. Please note that this method takes some time, because in order to obtain a positive effect, the heat in the lower abdomen must be maintained for at least four hours.

2. Exercises

We know that the least you want to do when your stomach hurts is to exercise, but it can really help you.The reason this method works is simple – exercise also increases blood flow in the body, which helps the muscles relax a little during spasms. The most effective exercises during the menstrual cycle are light, low-intensity exercise such as walking or swimming, and yoga.

More vigorous activity, such as running, will cause your body to release pain-reducing endorphins, but most women are unlikely to do such training these days, and we understand them perfectly.To relieve menstrual cramps, you should practice for about 30 minutes, starting a few days before the start of your cycle and continuing for the first few days.

3. Stress Relief

It has been proven that psychological stress can greatly aggravate menstrual pain, as in such a situation the body produces the hormone cortisol, which can increase muscle spasms in the uterus. To date, there hasn’t been any research on methods to reduce stress on critical days, but conclusions can be drawn from studies that have examined how to reduce cortisol levels.This includes yoga, meditation, good sleep and proper nutrition. To experience the beneficial effect of relieving stress, it is advisable to try out the methods we have listed already in the first half of the menstrual cycle, before ovulation, and not just during menstruation.

4. Special diet

Even women who regularly eat a balanced diet face a number of food temptations during PMS and menstruation. For example, there are those who report a significant increase in hunger, cravings for sweets, or simply lack of energy to prepare the right food for themselves these days.And in fact, this is a bigger problem than it seems, because nutrition plays a decisive role in relieving menstrual pain.

So some foods can aggravate recurrent cramps, while others, on the contrary, relieve them. Therefore, during critical days, it is recommended to avoid salty and fatty foods or foods high in carbohydrates, as these can cause swelling and inflammation, which can lead to increased pain. Also during this period of time, you should limit your consumption of coffee, as caffeine causes constriction of blood vessels, which limits blood flow to the uterus and increases menstrual pain.

Foods that contain a large amount of nutrients, including vitamins E, B1 and B6, as well as magnesium, zinc and Omega-3, can help in this case. Pay special attention to green leafy vegetables, nuts, and oily fish such as tuna and salmon these days.

5. Bitter chocolate

Despite the fact that in the previous paragraph we recommended that you avoid junk food, there is one pleasant exception here – quality dark chocolate.The antioxidants in cocoa soothe blood vessel walls, lower blood pressure, and improve circulation. In addition, studies have shown that regular dark chocolate consumption can reduce the stress hormone levels we wrote about above. And if that’s not enough for you to fall in love with this dessert, know that it also contains magnesium, a mineral that helps with swelling, fatigue, depression and nervousness.

Healthy Walla

Image: Pixabay

90,000 16 Benefits of Trampoline Exercise That May Make Your Life Longer.

Trampoline exercises are considered one of the best exercises for adults. When you jump on a trampoline, you will experience short-term weightlessness at the highest point of the jump, however, when you reach the lowest point of the springy net of the trampoline, your body will weigh 4 times its normal weight on the surface of the Earth. happen thanks to this fun activity. Why?

Because this activity combines health and fitness benefits that other exercises cannot achieve.In this article, you will learn about 17 benefits of trampoline exercise, if you do any of them, you will definitely gain a stronger body and better health.

1. A fun way to lose weight and maintain your figure

According to the NASA Journal of Applied Physiology, jumping exercises are 68% more effective than running. NASA research also reports that people weighing 90,066 150 pounds (68 kg.) burn more calories in 1 hour of jumping than 1 hour of running.

Long hours of cardio exercise trying to lose weight can actually backfire as long periods of “breathing” exercise can lower your metabolism.

Trampoline jumping is a metabolic support exercise that is very important for weight loss.

If you jump at a moderate pace, you can still breathe as you feel comfortable. You move without stressing your metabolism. For more effective weight loss, jump for 15-20 minutes at moderate intensity at least three times a week.

So, just jump and keep in shape.

2. Increased lymph flow in the body

The lymphatic system is a network of tissues and organs that helps to get rid of toxins in the body, waste and other unwanted materials in the body.

This is the body’s metabolic dump. Unlike the cardiovascular system, in which the heart pumps blood automatically, the lymphatic system relies entirely on our body movements like on the nose.

Cardiovascular system:

  • Heart, vessels, blood;
  • Function: transportation of gases, nutrients, waste, hormones.

The lymphatic system works through our conscious movements. Jumping on a trampoline is a full-body exercise. This activity can lead to the simultaneous opening and closing of the lymphatic valves, and this will increase the lymphatic flow 15 times.

3. Strengthening detoxification and cleansing of the body

Trampoline exercise improves the body’s natural detoxification mechanism.Jumping is a unique form of exercise in which weightlessness is achieved at the highest point of each jump and landing, and the force of gravity doubles with each push off.

This change in attraction benefits every muscle and every cell in the body and is very beneficial for the lymphatic system.

When blood flows through the body, the lymphatic fluid passes through the blood vessels into the tissues of the body. This fluid nourishes the cells and washes the tissues of the body, forming a tissue fluid.The fluid then collects waste, bacteria, and damaged cells. To detoxify, jump for at least 15 minutes daily.

4. Improving the functioning of the immune system

The lymphatic system is a vital part of the immune system. It is a defense mechanism against viruses, bacteria, diseases and infections. Lymph contains a large number of a specific type of white blood cell called lymphocytes. Lymphocytes are responsible for fighting infections in the body.They also eliminate damaged and abnormal cells in the body.

Jumping causes valves in the lymphatic system to open and close at the same time, increasing lymphatic flow 15 times.

It boosts immunity, removes toxins and helps slow down the aging process. In addition, the immune system is improved by enhancing the activity of the red bone marrow and supporting tissue repair.

5. Helps to reduce or get rid of cellulite

Jumping on a trampoline is like pumping your body.Pumping the body on a trampoline has a positive effect on the thyroid gland. Jumping helps to stimulate the thyroid gland and the entire lymphatic system as a whole from the accumulated fat for self-cleaning, in this case there is a targeted effect on cellulite. Trampoline exercise is the most proven way to eliminate cellulite. This is one of the biggest benefits of trampoline exercise.

6. Strengthening the skeletal system and increasing bone mass

Studies have shown that the resulting increase in the force of gravity on the bones during jumping strengthens the bones without injuries or fractures.Trampoline exercise increases bone density, which can help prevent osteoporosis.

7. Improved oxygen circulation throughout the body, resulting in increased cellular energy

The NASA Journal of Applied Physiology lists interesting facts from studies on trampoline exercise. When comparing heart rate and oxygen consumption between trampoline exercise and running, there was a significant increase in “biomechanical stimuli” when jumping.

This means that jumping on a trampoline is more beneficial for the body than running, which is why trampoline exercises are used to recover astronauts after being in space to prevent muscle and bone degeneration. Jumping automatically improves the mitochondria of each cell, which creates an additional demand for energy in the body. This will increase the energy and the body’s ability to use this energy.

Thus, thanks to trampoline exercises, your metabolism will start working and you will lose weight for some time after the end of the session.You will also be energized throughout the day.

8. You train the whole body without unnecessary pressure on the legs and feet

Many cardiovascular exercises such as running fast and jogging improve heart rate. Unfortunately, running or jogging in place puts excessive pressure on the joints, legs, and feet. This can lead to pronation, which can even injure joints, ankles, knees and back. Jogging or jumping on a trampoline is more effective because you can exercise for a long time without feeling tired or putting pressure on your joints.When jumping, there is no strong effect on the body as when exercising on a hard surface. The force of gravity provided by jumping on a trampoline increases the tone of the body, because not only the heart and legs work, but the whole body.

9. Improving overall body balance and posture

Jumping gives excellent results in improving balance and coordination. Trampoline jumping automatically improves your balance because it stimulates the vestibular system of your inner ear. In addition to mini trampolines, balance weights can be used for balance problems.

Trampoline exercises are recommended for children, the elderly and people recovering from injuries.

10.Decrease in body fat and increase in lean mass versus fat ratio

Trampoline exercise is a great way to build muscle and reduce body fat. They strengthen the legs, thighs, abdomen, and increase agility and balance. The gentle detoxification that occurs when jumping triggers weight loss.

11.Improvement of the cardiovascular system

The functioning of the cardiovascular system is enhanced by cardiovascular exercises that increase the heart rate such as running, jogging, walking, etc. Some jumping techniques help lymph circulation, they also help blood circulation and therefore improve the cardiovascular system. In addition, jumping protects against the accumulation of blood in the veins, preventing chronic edema.

12. Help in the prevention and control of varicose veins

Jumping is a natural way to get rid of varicose veins.Varicose veins are a condition in which the veins in your legs become enlarged.

There are many factors that can affect circulation, ranging from body posture to emotional state. Frequent jumping exercises increase blood circulation. This can significantly reduce the pressure that your veins are experiencing and eliminate the inflammation and pain associated with varicose veins.

Also, drink enough water, wear the right shoes, and maintain a healthy body weight to protect your veins.

13. Improves the effect of other exercises

Lifting weights in combination with jumping gives an excellent effect. Research has shown that individuals who combine other types of exercise with trampoline jumping perform better than those who only lift weights, run fast, or jog.

14. Provide reduced exposure, cardiovascular exercise safety compared to running and jogging

Trampoline exercise provides more health benefits than other exercises such as running, jogging, and aerobics that involve surface exposure.I agree that our body is made for running, but it is not made for running on concrete, which is the case with most surfaces. Most people who run on a regular basis may have experienced micro injuries to their knees or heels. Excessive pressure is also transmitted from the hips to the spine. When you jump, this impact is absorbed by the surface of the trampoline and the risk of injury to muscles and ligaments is reduced.

The force of gravity, measured from your ankles, back and forehead, is distributed more evenly as you jump.

15. Helps in the prevention and treatment of cancerous tumors

Jumping helps to improve the circulation of lymphatic fluid, which contributes to the destruction of cancer cells in the body. When the fluid collects waste, bacteria, damaged cells, it also collects damaged cancer cells, if present in the body, and drains them in the lymphatic vessels.

16. Relieves fatigue and menstrual pain in women due to hormonal imbalance

Jumping is a very effective therapy for women who need to relieve menstrual pain.They flush out excess hormones and toxins, which is the key to a healthy endocrine system. Therefore, if you are one of those women who suffer from hormonal imbalances, I highly recommend jumping to solve this problem. Jumping also lowers blood pressure by helping blood circulation. They increase the efficiency of the body’s burning of carbohydrates and may help lower blood pressure.


As you can see, the benefits of jumping on a trampoline are much more than you thought.I’m sure you’ll want to increase the amount of trampoline exercise. So why not buy your own trampoline and get all these benefits on your trampoline? Buy trampolines that have adequate padding to protect you and your children from hard surfaces. Pay attention to the safety net to prevent falls off the trampoline.

You will really receive
tremendous benefit from trampolining and you will have a great great body!

How to relieve pain during menstruation naturally: effective methods

24 November 2020

24 November 2020


Every girl knows this: as soon as certain days of the month come, discomfort in the abdomen, lower back and hips appears with them for the company.This is because during menstruation, the muscles of the uterus contract and relax to help flush out the accumulated blood. Sometimes women can even experience cramps when the muscles are working. Some girls, women and girls may also experience headaches, migraines, nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea.

Doctors have not yet determined why some women have very painful menstruation, while others do not. But there are some factors that cause more severe pain. Among them:

  • profuse bleeding;
  • 90,089 puberty, when menstruation is just beginning;

    90,089 under the age of 20;

    90,089 the birth of the first child;

  • the presence of increased production or sensitivity to prostaglandins (a hormone that affects the uterus).

Other factors that can cause severe pain during your period include tumors in the uterus, endometriosis (abnormal growth of uterine tissue), and use of contraception.

How to relieve pain during menstruation

For mild or temporary cramps and pain during menstruation, it is not necessary to take strong tablets. Some home remedies can sometimes help. And here are the ones.

Drink more liquid

Of course, these days you don’t want to fill your stomach with food and drink something, but this is necessary so that your stomach does not puff up like a balloon.

Menstrual cramps are an extremely uncomfortable part of life for many women on a monthly basis. Drinking more water can prevent or help relieve bloating, which aggravates symptoms. Get in the habit of drinking 6 to 8 glasses of water a day, especially during your period. If the water seems too fresh for you, it is helpful to add a little mint or a lemon wedge to it to make the taste more pleasant. Bonus – you get more vitamins (almost like from vitamin teas).

While you are on those days of your cycle, cut back on the amount of salt that contributes to fluid retention and bloating. Avoid alcohol, which can cause dehydration. Some women experience diarrhea or vomiting combined with menstrual cramps. It is very important to replenish the fluid loss by drinking more water.

Drink chamomile or ginger tea

If you don’t like the taste of plain water, even with lemon, make herbal teas. Chamomile and ginger tea are especially useful for menstrual cramps.

Chamomile tea may help relieve menstrual pain. Chamomile is rich in anti-inflammatory substances that inhibit prostaglandins. Prostaglandins are produced by cells in the endometrium of the uterus. These cells release prostaglandins during menstruation, causing uterine muscle contractions, pain, and cramps. Prostaglandins in the bloodstream cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and headache during the menstrual cycle. NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) such as ibuprofen reduce the production of prostaglandins.However, chamomile tea can suppress pain-causing prostaglandins. This herbal tea helps relieve the symptoms of menstruation.

Some studies also show that ginger can help relieve menstrual pain because the root of the plant also contains anti-inflammatory and antioxidant compounds. Try adding some ginger to your mint, lemon, or chamomile tea if you want to use a drug-free alternative to relieve your period pain.

Eat to reduce pain

Healthy and clean eating is the key to success if you want to stop experiencing excruciating pain during your period.Of course, these days you will probably have a craving for fatty, sweet or salty foods, but these foods are not your friends. Not even comrades.

Avoid donuts, hamburgers, potato chips and all food junk. For some women, eating well can help relieve menstrual pain. Anti-inflammatory foods like cherries, blueberries, squash, tomatoes, bell peppers, flax seeds, olive oil, avocados, cruciferous vegetables, and nuts are good choices.High in omega-3 fatty acids, saltwater fish is also a great solution. Also on your period, eat more calcium-rich beans, almonds, and dark leafy greens. These foods contain compounds that fight inflammation. True, it is best to eat a healthy and balanced diet all year round, not just a few days a month during your period.

Your diet and lifestyle can actually help or ease your menstrual cramps. If you experience monthly discomfort during your period, it is helpful to avoid certain foods.For example, white refined foods such as sugar, bread, and pasta. Also, avoid trans fatty acids, which are most commonly found in prepared foods, such as fries, cookies, crackers, cakes, candy, and margarine. Avoid alcohol, tobacco and caffeine (at least cut down on coffee these days). All this increases inflammation and can cause pain during menstruation. There is some evidence that cutting back on unhealthy fats can also help relieve the soreness of your period.

And if you still want some “harmful” foods, eat popcorn. First, it’s protein. Secondly, it is not too high in calories. But it’s better to make popcorn at home with a minimum of salt and no oil.

Add cinnamon

Recent studies have shown that women who added cinnamon to their diet in the first three days of their menstrual cycle experienced less bleeding, pain, nausea, and vomiting compared to those who took a placebo during the experiment.

Of course, not everyone loves cinnamon, and not everyone can do it (for example, with a low level of blood clotting, allergies, increased nervous excitability and some stomach diseases). But, if you have always liked this spice, try adding cinnamon to your oatmeal, a cup of hot cocoa, vitamin tea, even coffee (if you really can’t live without it). It won’t hurt and can help with cramps and other symptoms of your period.

Go in for sports

No, not these days: you shouldn’t force yourself if you have painful periods.But exercising on a regular basis can help make your period less painful.

And if you can exercise during your period, do light exercise. Physical activity releases endorphins, brain chemicals that help relieve pain and feel happy. Whether you enjoy walking, running, swimming, yoga or stretching, these activities during your menstrual cycle are safe. These are lighter exercises that you can do even if you feel tired.

Use a heating pad

By applying a heating pad, thermal pad or hot water bottle to your stomach, you can reduce pain during your period. Seriously. A hot water bottle works wonders for relieving menstrual cramps.