Medically reviewed by Sophia Yen, MD, MPH – Written by Pandia Health Editorial Team
Let’s just say it – periods suck. Whether you experience heavy bleeding, horrible cramps, side effects such as anemia, or all those conditions, periods can get in the way of a lot in life. The reality is, cramping can prevent you from enjoying your Sunday morning brunch with friends, your night out with your partner, or your sacred “me” time.
Trying one of these hacks can help you live your best life without letting those evil cramps get in the way.
What causes your despised cramps is the tensing of the muscles in your uterus. Essentially, your uterus contracts to shed its lining, pushing out blood, and, thus, causing you that discomfort. Sounds painful, huh? The more blood one sheds, the more pain one may experience.
Fortunately, using a warm pack can help calm those muscles. (Getting into a hot tub or a sauna are also options but, of course, there are more convenient methods). Filling a sealable water bottle or thermos with warm water and laying it on your lower abdomen can help soothe your pain.
There are also insulated hot water bottles that you can fill with sizzling hot water and they usually come with a “sweater” for you to place on your stomach so you do not burn your skin, giving you a sense of relief.
Another option is to take a nice warm shower or bath. If you have epsom salt on hand, throw them into your bath. Epsom salt contains magnesium which helps to relax muscles, so it will help give your uterus a much needed break.
All of these methods provide a great way to calm down the muscles in your uterus in order to decrease your pain.
The second method to help treat your evil cramps is ibuprofen. Our CEO and Co-Founder, Dr. Sophia Yen, says that you can typically take 600 to 800 milligrams with food three times a day for up to five days. That said, always consult with your physician first – no two bodies are the same. With ibuprofen, make sure to take it with food; if you do not, you risk an ulcer.
Also, it is a lot of medicine to handle, so do not abuse it. Ibuprofen should also be taken as soon as you experience the pain because if it keeps growing and growing, it becomes harder and harder to cut it down. Dr. Yen notes that ibuprofen helps with pain for about 30% of women.
Ibuprofen is a great way to manage pain and can be used in conjunction with the first hack, too. Doubling up on tips and tricks to help manage painful period cramps is encouraged!
Birth control is an amazing way to manage your period. If you are experiencing a lot of discomfort and/or bleeding from your period, go see your doctor. They can walk you through types of birth control, like the pill or an IUD, to help relieve you of your painful cramps.
All forms of birth control will decrease the amount of blood that comes out every month which will also reduce the pain. Methods like the IUD with hormones, the implant, and the shot not only decrease the amount you bleed, but may actually cause you to lose your period completely. According to Dr. Yen, about 70% of women on one of those methods will lose their periods completely. And no period = no cramps!
Now, if you are using the pill, you can still choose to make your #PeriodsOptional. Here’s how it works: you have three weeks of hormone pills you are taking and one week with sugar/placebo pills. That one week of pills that contain no medicine in them is totally optional.
So, if you want to skip your periods, you just take the three weeks with medicine and go straight into your next pack. This does mean that you will go through more packs of birth control so be sure to check with your insurance as to what your plan covers, or if you do not have insurance, what this means financially.
If you are using the ring, all you have to do is change it every four weeks, or every month. The ring actually has 35 days worth of medicine in it, and a month only has 31 day max, so you are covered!
If you want more information about how to safely skip your period, we gotchu!
No Period, No Pain with Pandia Health
Whether it be a using a warm pack and/or taking ibuprofen, or choosing to have your #PeriodsOptional, Pandia Health is here for you.
We also have a variety of resources available, like our YouTube channel or Facebook, and are all about empowering women to always feel their best. We are constantly adding more content to our blog, and doing live Q+As, so if you have a question, follow us on our social media pages to find out when to tune in.
As always, we are here for you. Do not hesitate to reach out to [email protected] with any questions you may have.
Disclaimer: The above information is for general informational purposes only and is NOT a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your doctor/primary care provider before starting or changing treatment.