For any female who has reached puberty, menstruation becomes a regular part of life. Depending on several factors, menstruation can last anywhere from three to seven days.
Menstruation is the body’s process of shedding the lining of the uterus. The menstrual blood flows from the uterus through the small opening in the cervix and leaves the body through the vagina.
This occurs monthly when a women is not pregnant. Having regular menstrual cycles is a sign that important parts of a woman’s reproductive system are working normally.
During menstruation, however, women have to deal with pain, discomfort and inconvenience that come along with it. But, with just a few simple lifestyle changes and home remedies, you can reduce these common period problems.
Note: If you have heavier bleeding than usual or periods lasting longer than what is normal for you, you should see your doctor. These can sometimes be symptoms of health problems that require medical care.
Here are the top 10 ways to reduce your period problems.
1. Heat Packs
By applying heat packs to the abdominal region, you can encourage menstrual fluid in the uterus to move out of your body with ease. This also helps get rid of wickedly painful period cramps by relaxing the contracting muscles in the uterus.
Grab a heating pad or a hot water bottle and place it on your lower abdomen for 5 to 10 minutes at a time. Take a break and repeat as needed.
Another option is to soak a towel in warm water, wring out the excess water and then place it on the lower abdomen until the towel cools. Repeat as needed.
Note: Make sure the heat is not too high to avoid damage to the sensitive skin of your abdomen.
2. Hot Showers or Baths
Taking hot showers or baths can help to some extent to deal with the discomforts that come along with menstraution.
When you take a hot shower or bath, your body temperature rises. This encourages dilation and increases the flow of blood to your uterus. It even relaxes your abdominal muscles and eases your pain.
Before taking a bath, you can add Epsom salt or a few drops of an essential oil of your choice to the bath water.
Take hot showers or baths 2 or 3 times a day during your period.
3. Abdominal Massage
Massaging your abdominal area can also reduce the discomforts associated with your cycle by promoting the flow. Massage even helps with cramps and bloating.
It can be done while sitting, standing or lying down.
Rub some warm olive oil on your lower abdomen.
Using light circular motions with both hands, massage gently for 5 to 10 minutes.
While massaging, take deep breaths for further relaxation.
Repeat a few times daily until your period is over.
4. Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is another popular option that can cut down the discomforts of your period. This tonic helps flush toxins out of your body and reduces heavy bleeding. It can even help treat symptoms like cramping and irritability.
Add 2 teaspoons of raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar to a glass of water.
Drink it 3 times a day during your period.
5. Blackstrap Molasses
Blackstrap molasses is a good source of several nutrients like vitamin B6, iron, calcium, magnesium, potassium, and selenium.
Plus, its iron content aids in the production of red blood cells to make up for the loss of blood during menstruation. It even soothes the muscles of the uterine walls to prevent cramps and abdominal pain.
Add 1 to 2 tablespoons of blackstrap molasses to a glass of warm milk.
Drink it once or twice daily.
6. Foods Rich in Vitamin C
Healthy eating throughout the month is important. However, incorporating more foods rich in vitamin C in your diet during your period can help ease menstrual complications.
Vitamin C helps reduce the amount of progesterone in the uterus, allowing the lining of the uterus to break down faster. This in turn will facilitate the removal of toxins without any pain.
Plus, vitamin C helps your body absorb iron and helps strengthen blood vessels.
Include foods rich in vitamin C, such as bell peppers, dark leafy greens, kiwi, broccoli, berries, citrus fruits, tomatoes, peas and papayas, in your diet.
You can also take a supplement, but only after consulting your doctor.
Along with vitamin C, eat foods rich in carotenoids and foods that are natural blood thinners.
While drinking an adequate amount of fluid is important throughout the month, it is even more important during menstruation.
High fluid intake helps the fluids run quickly through your body. This is also a good remedy for cramping and bloating.
Drink 8 to 10 glasses of water daily. If you follow an exercise routine, drink more.
Green tea, fresh fruit and vegetable juices as well as coconut water are also good options.
Stay away from caffeine and alcohol, which can cause menstrual problems. Also, avoid carbonated drinks.
Women should exercise daily and continue even during their periods. It has been found that women who are physically fit tend to experience relatively painless periods.
On the other hand, overweight women and women who are not physically fit tend to experience heavier periods.
Exercise increases blood circulation in the body to help reduce menstrual cramps and other discomforts. It also helps reduce stress and mood swings.
Light exercises like swimming, walking and jogging are good choices. If needed, you can lessen the intensity and duration of your exercise.
Turmeric is very helpful for those who wish to make their menstruation days like any other normal day. It increases your body heat, which improves the flow and makes your period end faster.
Turmeric’s antispasmodic action can also help with menstrual cramps and pain.
Heat 1 teaspoon of turmeric powder in a glass of warm milk.
Drink it twice daily for a few days.
10. Red Raspberry
Red raspberry is – a powerful uterine toner that helps relieve menstrual cramps and improve blood flow to help end your period faster.
The tannins in it strengthen the uterine muscles. It is also high in zinc, which helps regulate menstrual cycles and reduce period pains.
Add a handful of dried or fresh raspberry leaves to 2 cups of water.
Bring the water to a boil, then simmer for another 5 minutes.
Strain and drink this herbal tea 2 or 3 times a day throughout your period.
Note: If you are diabetic, do not take this herb without consulting a doctor. Also, it is not recommended for those suffering from hemochromatosis or iron overload.
Drink a few cups of chamomile, sage or green tea daily.
Get plenty of rest during menstruation and make yourself as comfortable as possible.
Massage your lower back with warm coconut or olive oil to relieve pain.
As lack of sleep can worsen the problem, get at least 7 to 8 hours of sound sleep.
Having intercourse during menstruation can help make the period pass quicker. The orgasmic contractions increase the flow. However, remember that you can still get pregnant from intercourse during your period.
Do not lift heavy weight during menstruation.