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Painful menstruations or dysmenorrhea is a common problem in women. However, common doesn’t mean normal.
If you fear your periods every month and are sick of having to rely on ibuprofens to survive this period of the month, learn how to treat menstrual pain naturally.
Like majority of women, I used to have very painful menstruations. And like majority of women, I thought it was normal.
If that is your case too, you’re wrong.
Even though we have been conditioned to think that painful periods were normal, they are a sign that something has to change in our body.
No, we don’t have to endure awful pelvis pain only because we have a uterus!
Dysmenorrhea is most of the time linked to hormonal imbalance, vitamin deficiencies (very common when going off the pill), or to a more serious problem such as the pelvic inflammatory disease or endometriosis.
In the first two situations, your lifestyle is involved. A lot. By improving it, you will be able to reduce menstrual pain and even say goodbye to it!
If you still struggle with very painful periods even when enhancing your health conditions, it is then important to talk to your doctor.
What happens in the uterus
Just before having your periods, the endometrium starts breaking down in order to exit the uterus.
When this happens, your body wants to minimize blood loss. Therefore, it will produce a hormone called prostaglandins whose aim is to contract the uterus and prevent too much blood to flow.
Even though prostaglandins are necessary, some menstruations produce too much of it, leading to strong uterus contractions and period cramps.
Some gynecologists will encourage you to take the pill, they will even make it appear like a miracle solution.
But remember that the pill acts as a band-aid; it hides the problem by pausing your natural cycle which in the end doesn’t treat the actual problem.
From my personal experience and all the research I made for the past few years, I am convinced that adopting a healthy lifestyle and going for holistic natural solutions is the best remedy.
The steps I’m sharing to treat menstrual pain naturally won’t act as pain killers nor have a quick effect on your menstrual cramps.
These tips need to be implemented throughout your cycle and therefore, lifestyle. Try them for at least 3 months and see if you noticed some improvements!
1. Increase magnesium intake
Magnesium is the most recommended mineral for all things related to menstruations; period pain, PMS, perimenopause, or PCOS.
Magnesium is known for calming the nervous system, regulating cortisol levels (stress hormone), and relaxing tight muscles.
Having a deficiency can cause a high production of prostaglandins and muscles more prone to contraction.
Magnesium is naturally found in leafy greens (kale, spinach, arugula), nuts (walnuts, cashews, almonds), dark chocolate, and pumpkin seeds.
I also like to take magnesium citrate as a supplement, especially around my periods.
2. Cut out dairy
Foods that contain dairy can contribute to (pre)menstrual pain since they can cause an inflammatory reaction to some people.
This inflammation comes from a protein present in cow’s milk (A1 casein). Goat and sheep milk contains another protein (A2 casein) that is generally better tolerated and therefore doesn’t impact your cycle as much.
Not everyone is sensitive to A1 casein but it is recommended to women who suffer from menstrual pain, PMS, endometriosis, hormonal acne or abundant menstruations to completely cut out dairy.
I searched for science on how dairy impacts our menstrual cycle, and here’s what I’ve found.
3. Reduce inflammation
Dairy is not the only thing causing inflammatory reactions to our bodies.
Lack of sleep, alcohol, a diet low in fiber, vitamins, and minerals as well as processed foods tend to increase inflammation.
Focus on non-processed food, do not neglect your 8-hours sleep and make sure you integrate enough omega-3s in your diet.
Omega-3s have proven through several studies their anti-inflammatory qualities, which contribute to ease menstrual pain (source).
They could also have a positive impact on our mood, which is always welcomed (-:
Omega-3s are naturally found in fatty fish, chia seeds, flax seeds, nuts, and algae. You can also take them as a supplement (if you’re vegan go for derived algae supplements, if not, you can get fish-oil supplements).
I get my supplements and superfoods on iHerb.com since there’s a lot of variety for cheap prices. You can get 5% off of your orders by using the code CBY2374 at checkout!
4. Move your body
We already know all the amazing benefits of physical activity, no matter if it is fitness, running, yoga, or Tik Tok dancing.
But did you know that moving your body on a regular basis helps with menstrual cramps?
A study found that exercising 3 times a week during 30 minutes helps relieve painful periods.
This might come from the endorphins produced that reduce stress in our bodies and boost blood flow.
You name it: less stress means less nerves stimulation and therefore less contractions from our dear uterus.
5. Have orgasms
Aaaand the least boring tip (-;
Just like exercising, having orgasms releases feel-good chemicals (dopamine and oxytocin). Not only they make you feel great, but they also reduce your stress levels and physical pain.
Orgasms are beneficial throughout your cycle, also during your periods!
I will never say it enough: having a healthy lifestyle is SO important and will save you many medical appointments.
Investing in your health is the biggest favor you can do yourself.
By implementing these small changes in my daily life and balancing my hormones naturally, I noticed some massive changes in my body and menstruations.
Some of them almost don’t hurt at all and I can finally live a normal life, even when having my periods!
Do you have any tips to treat menstrual pain naturally? Share them in the comments below!