The article has been medically reviewed by Doctor Ramlah Tariq FCPS on/gyn, RMP, MBBS, BSc.
Period cramps can range from a little niggle, right through to a curled up in a ball state. Whether you are dealing with minor cramps or feeling like someone is wringing your uterus out like next week’s washing, then you will want to know how to get rid of period cramps, and fast.
Why do you get period cramps?
The reason you experience period cramps is down to hormone like substance, prostaglandins. Prostaglandins are involved in pain and inflammation and trigger the uterus to contract. You can read more about the evil prostaglandins here.
This contraction causes the lining to shred. If you have a high level of these hormone like substances then you are more likely to face more painful period cramps.
Why are period cramps worse some months than others?
Over the months and years you have probably got to know how much pain to expect each month. If one month you are really struggling with cramps, which is unusual for you then it could be down to a few factors.
As we’ve mentioned, higher levels of prostaglandins can cause more severe pain. These can be raised by eating more estrogen based foods. Click here to find out more.
When you eat lots of estrogen based foods such as flaxseeds, soybeans and soya based products, it may cause the uterine lining to become thicker. The breakdown of this can create more prostaglandins and increase your cramps.
When your prostaglandins are in abundance they can also cause headaches, vomiting and nausea.
Keep in mind, if you have a month where you are really struggling with pain, or a few consecutive months where it is so bad you need to take time off work, then it could signal a problem that you need to talk to your doctor about.
Other things to long out for, alongside period cramps could be:
- Severe cramps on one side
- Heavier flow than usual
- Among many others.
Why do I get period cramps and diarrhea?
Ah, the period poops. We’ve all been there. Right? Most thought on this is down to those pesky prostaglandins contracting your uterus and intestines. While this is a regular symptom of PMS, it is also a sign of endo. If you have bad diarrhea accompanied by signs of endometriosis, it is time to call your doctor. Click here to find out more about endometriosis
Sometimes NSAIDs can cause GI issues, so keep that in mind if you are popping the pain killers.
How to get rid of period cramps fast?
We want to stop period cramps, and we want to stop them fast. Here are 7 ways we swear by to relieve period cramps.
If you are suffering from period cramps then the go to one that you have probably been using since you were a teen is heat. Apply a heat pad to your lower tummy, or wherever is cramping, and enjoy some heat therapy.
Heat helps to relax muscles and reduce the contractions, all while increasing blood flow.
Yoga for period pain is another way to increase blood flow to the pelvis and hips. Performing a few minutes of legs up the wall, child’s pose and other moves, can also release endorphins. Endorphins – the feel good hormone – block the pain receptors in your brain helping you to reduce cramps. Read more on the benefits of yoga here.
While you might be tempted to dive into the treat cupboard during your period, if you suffer from period cramps then you might want to consider some foods which help reduce prostaglandins and help you feel better during this time. Read all about the foods that affect periods.
These foods include:
- Omega 3 rich foods including salmon, seeds, eggs, dark green veggies
- Manganese rich foods including walnuts, almonds, and dark chocolate
- Iron rich foods including chicken, fish, meat and leafy greens
- Brown rice for energy and to reduce bloating
You could make a pretty nice dinner or two out of those!
4. CBD oil
CBD is a natural remedy for period cramps, among other PMS symptoms. You can read more about how CBD works on our blog, but here is the short of it. When it comes to cramps CBD works by interacting with your endocannabinoid system and binding to the receptors found in your body.
Similar to how NSAIDs work, CBD is thought to block prostaglandins from being produced by non-selectively inhibiting an enzyme called Cyclooxygenase (COX). Blocking these pain causing hormone like substances may help to ease your pain.
You can take CBD oil every day as part of your supplement routine and enjoy how it may also balance your hormones, enhance your mood even in the lead up to your period, reduce stress, anxiety and more.
5. Have an orgasm
Either by yourself or with a partner, having an orgasm during period cramps can help increase blood flow to the uterus.
Not only that, but having an orgasm boosts those feel good hormones dopamine and oxytocin which are also linked to pain relief.
While gentle exercise certainly has its place when it comes to getting rid of period cramps, so does rest. Try to get 7-8 hours sleep each night and put your feet up in the day.
I know, period cramps at night can rear their ugly head! If this is a struggle for you, you might like the idea of Pretty Peaceful CBD which has those prostaglandin blocking benefits as well as a sleepy blend of essential oils to send you off to the land of nod.
7. Try essential oil massage
If you want to get rid of period cramps at night then one way that may help is to gently massage your abdomen using essential oils. The following essential oils are thought to help relieve cramps:
- Clary Sage
- Cypresshill Oil
All of these are proved by research-based studies to be helpful during period cramps.
How to relieve period cramps fast – Summary for the skim readers
If period cramps are so bad that you can’t move, or you are struggling to go about your day to day life, then it could be time to see a doctor. While periods will often come with some cramping, if it is severe it could be a sign of another problem.
You may look towards natural ways to beat period cramps, such as the heat, cannabinoids, food and yoga, or you might turn to NSAIDs.
My perfect remedy for getting rid of period cramps is some gentle yoga followed by a dark hot chocolate with a pipette of CBD oil and a good TV show.
Feel better soon, sending love,
Our Remedy xxx