Peri­ods and rela­ted dis­com­fort are not wel­come in our society. We are sup­po­sed to func­tion per­fectly every day. The period should be made invi­si­ble, which also means that mens­trual pro­blems are made taboo. Often the use of pain­kil­lers during mens­trua­tion is a given and quickly results in the desi­red pain relief. But bes­i­des taking medi­ca­tion, there are other, natu­ral reme­dies for mens­trual pain. Unfor­tu­n­a­tely, howe­ver, this is rarely dis­cus­sed. It is worth try­ing out dif­fe­rent home reme­dies to find the best method for you for reli­e­ving period cramps natu­rally. Home reme­dies are also bene­fi­cial for more severe period pain, as they can hope­fully reduce the num­ber of pain­kil­lers needed.

No more painkillers for me

At some point last year I deci­ded that I did not want to take any more pain­kil­lers during my peri­ods (as much as pos­si­ble). Why? Because I no lon­ger felt like taking some medi­ca­tion every month in order to keep func­tio­n­ing flaw­lessly in a ‘per­fect’ world. My period pain wasn’t that bad. Howe­ver, I still took several pills of Buscopan (pain­kil­lers), mostly on the first two days of my period to not be restric­ted by my period pain in ever­y­day life. At some point, howe­ver, I no lon­ger felt com­for­ta­ble taking pain­kil­lers regu­larly – espe­cially when it was not abso­lutely necessary. There are always pos­si­ble side effects of medi­ca­tion that we are mostly unaware of.

Relieving period cramps naturally: Looking for alternatives

Thus, I began my search for alter­na­ti­ves for reli­e­ving my period cramps natu­rally. The goal was to sup­port my body as much as pos­si­ble. And I have come to the con­clu­sion that warmth, rest and per­so­nal me time during my period are the best things for me per­so­nally and make my pain almost com­ple­tely disap­pear. Here you can read my 7 favo­rite tips for period pain. Accep­t­ing my period and appre­cia­ting my body also play a big role in this.

Accept your body and your periods as they are

That is perhaps easier said than done. But a loving per­cep­tion of our body and our peri­ods has a posi­tive effect on our well-being. Be aware that your body does not want to annoy you when it bleeds, it sim­ply ful­fils its func­tion. Some­ti­mes it helps to have a dif­fe­rent, new per­spec­tive on things. Your period means that you are healthy and that your body is func­tio­n­ing exactly as it should. Also, be aware of what your body is actually accom­pli­shing and that it is working at full speed to remove your ute­rine lining effi­ci­ently. From this point of view, it is pro­bably okay that we feel a bit wea­ker and expe­ri­ence some forms of dis­com­fort. Accept your body with its chan­ges ins­tead of figh­t­ing against it and your period. You and your body are a won­der­ful team that should care for each other and show con­si­de­ra­tion for each other.

More rest for period problems, but how on the job?

If you are won­de­ring how I did it without pain­kil­lers at a typi­cal office job, there is a simple ans­wer. Not taking pain­kil­lers during my period had a fun­da­men­tal con­se­quence: I some­ti­mes cal­led in sick at work on the first and second day of my period. I always made sure befo­re­hand, as much as pos­si­ble, that I did not have any important appoint­ments or to-do’s on that day. Or I might have worked on tasks in advance or taken some things home with me. To be honest, some of my tips for reli­e­ving period cramps natu­rally are not very sui­ta­ble for the usual work­day – which is why I advo­cate for a period-friendly cor­po­rate cul­ture (you can read more about peri­ods at work here and here). A few hours of pri­vacy or a spon­ta­ne­ous day in bed are unfor­tu­n­a­tely still not easily com­pa­ti­ble with most of our jobs these days.

Small changes can bring about big changes

But some­ti­mes it helps to start out smal­ler and take a short walk for five minu­tes every few hours at work – maybe some packa­ges have to be taken to the post office any­way or some­thing has to be picked up from ano­t­her buil­ding? Take advan­tage of these short oppor­tu­nities to inte­grate gentle move­ments and fresh air into your daily work rou­tine. Drin­king warm, cramp-reli­e­ving teas all day long is thank­fully pos­si­ble from any­where. Healthy snacks, such as banana or nuts, help with period pain and are great to take with you to work. Breat­hing exer­ci­ses can also be done at work – just close your eyes bet­ween two phone calls and brea­the con­sciously for a few minu­tes and enjoy the peace and quiet.

Relieving period cramps naturally: Using a hot water bottle in the office?

If you are boi­ling tea water, why not make some more right away? Because heat in any form helps with mens­trual pain. A hot water bot­tle in the office may require a little cou­rage at first, but can often be easily inte­gra­ted into the sit-down kind of work­days. The Aus­trian start-up femitale offers great pos­si­bi­li­ties to carry your hot water bot­tle with you at all times and still have your hands free: a scarf wrap and lounge pants, which were espe­cially desi­gned to hold a 1.2 kg hot water bot­tle. These pro­ducts also look great – espe­cially the scarf wrap can look sty­lish! Who said that a hot water bot­tle should only be used at home?

How do you manage your period discomfort?

What does your daily rou­tine look like during your period? Do you take pain­kil­lers regu­larly or have you dis­co­ve­red natu­ral alter­na­ti­ves? And what do you do at work when you expe­ri­ence period dis­com­fort? Tell us about your best home reme­dies and expe­ri­en­ces with period cramps. We look for­ward to hea­ring your sto­ries and tips!

Note: In case of severe mens­trual pro­blems that limit your ever­y­day acti­vi­ties, a medi­cal exami­na­tion is important! It is bet­ter to have one exami­na­tion too many than one too few!

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.