We all know the feeling. You've just had a great day with your friends when that familiar throbbing pain starts to radiate from your tummy.
Yes, you've guessed it. It's that time of the month when you know you're in for a few days of seriously uncool period pains (a.k.a. Menstrual Cramps or Dysmenorrhea).
You're not alone. Half the women in the entire world will suffer from these pains, but do you know what causes them? Better yet, do you know about the super simple ways to make your period pains less painful?
Keep reading to find out!
WHAT CAUSES PERIOD PAINS?
These pains are normally caused by a hormone called Prostaglandins, which actually helps your period along. It causes your womb to contract so that it's easier for the extra lining that has built up to exit your body. This forms your period. Pretty simple, right?
PERIOD PAINS AND PMS - WHAT'S THE DIFFERENCE?
One thing to remember is that period pains are different to the kind of pain you would get from PMS:
- PMS affects you a few days before your period starts and gets better when your period arrives.
- Period pains usually start as soon as you get your period. These pains could be genetic, so consider asking your mom for advice.
HOW TO MAKE YOUR PERIOD PAINS LESS PAINFUL
So now you know what causes period pain, but that's not what you were looking for, was it?
We've got you covered. Here is how to stop period pains:
- A hot water bottle always seems to do the trick. In fact, any kind of heat is going to help you out, so hop into a relaxing hot bath to reduce the pain.
- Exercise has also been proven to help relieve period pains. Sounds strange, but exercising releases endorphins and these help to relieve stress and tension in your muscles.
- A cup of chamomile and honey tea is nature's way of relaxing and soothing your body, so give it a shot. Even if it doesn't work for you, it's still delicious!
- Over-the-counter painkillers are made to specifically target period pain. A quick visit to your pharmacy should kit you out perfectly.
- A multivitamin will help to top up all of the vitamins and minerals in your body. Try making sure that it has Omega-3 Fatty Acids, Magnesium and Thiamine in it.
- Rest and relaxation is always a good idea. Period pains are your body's way of slowing you down, so try spending a little time just kicking back. This could help you both physically and emotionally.
Here's a little secret: period pains get better with age, so hang in there!
WHAT TO AVOID DURING PERIOD PAINS
- Smoking, coffee and alcohol can all make your period pains much worse, so avoid these around that time of the month.
WHEN TO WORRY
If your period cramps are so painful that you can't go to school or do everyday activities, you should go see your doctor, gynae or clinic. They might even prescribe you a Contraceptive Pill to make your period pains a little less severe.