Period pro­blems often only last for a few days. Nevertheless, they can be quite chal­len­ging and can put a small dam­per on your daily plans. Because if you feel nau­se­ous, your head hurts and you period cramps, your moti­va­tion tends to be at rock bot­tom. And that every month all over again! Most mens­trua­ting people know this from their own expe­ri­ence way too well. But it doesn’t have to be that way. There is ano­t­her way! For­tu­n­a­tely, there are effec­tive home reme­dies that can alle­viate the sym­ptoms during your period in a natu­ral way. I have tried many things over the years. Here I will share my per­so­nal seven favo­rite tips for period pain. Alone or in com­bi­na­tion, they help me to cope bet­ter with more pain­ful days and to find my inner well-being during my period.

1.   Not drinking coffee

Some­ti­mes it can be hel­pful to give up your beloved cof­fee before and during your period. You should also avoid green or black tea and mate for a few days. Because caff­eine can incre­ase mens­trual pro­blems. The best thing to do is to run a little self-test the next time you have your period and see if caff­eine absti­nence during your period has a posi­tive effect on your sym­ptoms. For me per­so­nally, it helps!

How about drinking some hot tea instead?

Even though it is important to drink enough during your period, it is bet­ter to have other bever­a­ges on your period menu. Hot teas can have a rela­xing effect. Her­bal teas or lemon water are good for the time of your mens­trua­tion. Gin­ger or cha­mo­mile tea, for example, help to relax the sto­mach, and teas made from medi­ci­nal plants are pain-reli­e­ving and ease cramps. Tea made from cin­que­foil, yar­row or stinging nettle – often in this com­bi­na­tion of three – is recom­men­ded for mens­trual pro­blems. Yar­row tea, for example, is said to inhi­bit the pro­duc­tion of pro­sta­glandins (the hor­mone that trig­gers cramps in the uterus).

2. Rest and time at home

It’s okay if we sim­ply say no and don’t sche­dule any appoint­ments or dates when we are on our period (if pos­si­ble of course). Mee­tings may also be can­cel­led if we feel uncom­for­ta­ble – as we might do for other com­p­laints as well. So, just step back for a little and give your body some rest. Maybe take a nap in the after­noon. While stress sti­mu­la­tes period pain, rela­xa­tion can relieve them. All I some­ti­mes need to mini­mize my mens­trual cramps (or not get any in the first place!) is a little more rest and time for mys­elf than usual. So how about a little rela­xing holi­day alone at home during your next period? 

If I take the time to relax…

For example, on the first day of my period, I abso­lutely love lying in bed with a pod­cast in my ear and a hot water bot­tle on my sto­mach. If I gift mys­elf with this time off, I have almost no period pro­blems any­more. During my period, less is often more for me per­so­nally. You won­der how you can com­bine this with your job? We have an idea: a period-friendly cor­po­rate cul­ture! But some­ti­mes it helps to start with smal­ler steps first: Com­mu­ni­cate openly how you feel today and try to inte­grate at least the other tips for period pain into your ever­y­day work life.

Tips for period pain, period cramps, menstrual pain, home remedies for period pain, advice for menstrual cramps, Vulvani
Tips for period pain, period cramps, menstrual pain, home remedies for period pain, advice for menstrual cramps, Vulvani

3. Heat

Heat, no mat­ter in which form, sim­ply helps me per­so­nally during my period. The warmth rela­xes the mus­cles (for example in the ute­rus) and cramps are relie­ved. In addi­tion, heat pro­mo­tes blood cir­cu­la­tion. As a result, the com­p­laints slowly sub­side. We can warm our body with a tea from the inside and with a hot water bot­tle from the out­side. Or maybe blow-dry your sto­mach for some warmth when not­hing else is at hand? Warm socks also help to keep the body warm. A rela­xing bath, a trip to the sauna or a warm sho­wer can also have a cal­ming effect.

4. Light movements + yoga

If you expe­ri­ence only mild mens­trual pain, a little exer­cise may be a good idea for you. Even if you would rather stay in bed, you should con­si­der whe­ther that a gentle exer­cise might be an option for you. Exer­cise sti­mu­la­tes the blood cir­cu­la­tion in the body, and the­re­fore also in the womb. The ute­rus can relax more and the pain sub­si­des. Exer­cise also relea­ses our hap­pi­ness hor­mo­nes – which are always nice! I like to do a little yoga during my period. But going for a walk or a little bike ride can also have an anti-cram­ping effect and help me per­so­nally. Easy phy­si­cal acti­vi­ties are enough. If you don’t feel like exer­cis­ing at all during your period, regu­lar trai­ning during the rest of your cycle can also have a posi­tive effect on mens­trual pro­blems and pre­vent them.

5. Relaxation through mindful breathing

Take a deep breath, please. Or a cou­ple of them. Mind­ful breat­hing helps us to relax the body and mind. Often just five minu­tes are enough to con­sciously con­cen­trate on our breat­hing and notice the first slight pain relief. It is espe­cially hel­pful if you chan­nel your breat­hing spe­ci­fi­cally to where you expe­ri­en­cing pain. Sit upright, close your eyes and place your hands on the hur­ting part of your body. Brea­the slowly and mind­fully into the pain. As you do so, the abdo­men will natu­rally move for­ward, then hold your breath for a few seconds. Finally let out your brea­the com­ple­tely but slowly and relax your abdo­men again. Repeat the exer­cise until you feel relief. The more often you do breat­hing exer­ci­ses, the bet­ter your body responds to your breat­hing and can relax fas­ter. Howe­ver, a little pati­ence and prac­tice are requi­red at the beginning.

Tips for period pain, breathing exercise for period pain, yoga helps period cramps, menstrual pain, home remedies for period pain, advice for menstrual cramps, mindful breathing, Vulvani

Perfectly combining my tips for period pain

Other rela­xa­tion or breat­hing exer­ci­ses are also worth it. When prac­ti­cing yoga I can per­fectly com­bine light move­ments (tip 4) and mind­ful breat­hing (tip 5) to help with mana­ging my period pain.

6. Sustainable period products

Sus­tainable mens­trual pro­ducts can also help you to expe­ri­ence less mens­trual pain. A good start is to use orga­nic period pro­ducts. This way your body comes into con­tact with far fewer harm­ful sub­s­tan­ces than with regu­lar pro­ducts. Unlike tam­pons, mens­trual cups do not irri­tate the vagi­nal flora. If there is a ‘blood con­ges­tion’ in the vagina, this can lead to addi­tio­nal cramps. To coun­ter­act this, (cot­ton) pads or period under­wear can be hel­pful. Since I have been able to avoid con­ven­tio­nal tam­pons and bleed freely for the most part, I expe­ri­ence signi­fi­cantly less pain during my periods.

Is there a correlation between menstrual products and period pain?

How about asking mens­trua­ting peo­eple in your life which period pro­ducts they are most fre­quently using and see if you can find a con­nec­tion bet­ween the inten­sity of the period pain and the pro­ducts used. And then tell me about the results – I am super curious!

7. Lavender oil

Laven­der is known for its cal­ming and sleep-indu­cing effects. The scent of the medi­ci­nal plant can also have a posi­tive effect on (pri­mary) period pains. For example, I like to apply laven­der oil on my face in the evening before going to bed. It would also be great to put the oil in a dif­fu­ser or to put a few drops on your pil­low. Laven­der oil works espe­cially well in com­bi­na­tion with deep and mind­ful breat­hing. A loving mas­sage of your sto­mach with the oil can also relieve ten­sion and ease mens­trual pain. Sim­ply stroke slowly with both hands in a clock­wise direc­tion over the sto­mach. Apply gentle pres­sure to your belly.

What are your personal favorite tips for period pain?

How about you you? What helps you? Tell us about your best home reme­dies and tips for period pain! What food opti­ons help you with mens­trual cramps? What works best for you? Are there any pro­ducts that you do not want to miss during your period? Feel free to mes­sage us. We look for­ward to hea­ring your (secret) tips for a pain-free period. Let’s start a con­ver­sa­tion, because we can all bene­fit from the expe­ri­en­ces of others and sharing our knowledge.

Note: In case of severe mens­trual pro­blems that inter­fere with your daily life, a medi­cal exami­na­tion is important! Our last tip for period pain for you is the fol­lowing: It is bet­ter to rather have medi­cal exami­na­tion too often than too little! Severe mens­trual pain can also be cau­sed by dise­a­ses such as endo­me­trio­sis.

Britta Wiebe, period education, Vulvani
Britta 
Co-Foun­der Vulvani | britta@vulvani.com | Web­site | + posts

Britta Wiebe is the co-foun­der of Vul­vani. She loves rese­ar­ching, wri­ting and designing new arti­cles or inno­va­tive edu­ca­tio­nal con­cepts about mens­trua­tion all day long. When she is not tra­vel­ling the world, she enjoys spen­ding time with her loved ones in the beau­ti­ful city of Ham­burg in Germany.