Your Complete Guide To Menstrual Cramps

yoga bow pose can help with menstrual cramps relief

Yoga poses, like this one, can really help! | Source: Shutterstock

1) Over-the-counter Pain Relief
Ibuprofen is your best friend, and is much more effective than naproxen sodium. (Think Advil over Tylenol.) Carry it with you at all times! When you know you’re due for your period, take some ibuprofen at night before bed, so that you don’t wake up in agony. If you’re looking for relief in the middle of intense cramp pain, it’s generally okay to take three pills instead of the recommended two, but definitely check with your doctor first.

2) Yoga
Believe it or not, there are specific yoga poses aimed at relieving menstrual cramps, like the cobra and the bow pose. These poses target the pelvis and the lumbar region, two muscular groups that often bear the brunt of soreness and tension during period pain. Googling “yoga for cramps” gets you a wide range of exercises and instruction videos, so you can choose what works best for you, or ask a yoga teacher for advice.

3) Hot Water Bottles
Yep, the same kind your Grandma uses for her back pain. Hot water bottles may seem old-fashioned, but they really, truly help warm and relax the muscles in your lower abdomen. At about $15, it’s a worthy investment that will bring you relief month after month.


Posted in: Body & Health, How To, Your Body
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  • hope this helps

    So, let’s talk about the uterus here……if u’ve ever had a baby or 2, and breasfed them, then u know that breastfeeding helps the uterus to contract and go back to it’s normal size more quickly, in the weeks following the birth. During those weeks, literally WHILE ur breastfeeding, u may actually feel a cramping sensation similar to period-cramps……that is ur uterus contracting, pushing out leftover blood etc, and returning to normal…………by the same token, that is similar to what ur body is trying to do when ur starting ur period……it wants to rid it self of what’s in the uterus………but when ur not breastfeeding, there is another way for many women to cause the uterus to contract, and as a few others have mentioned on here: YES, it is by causing urself to have an orgasm (I am not a big sex-talker, but basically clitoral stimulation, or whatever works for u to “get the job done”, is what i’m talking about here)…….it may sound a bit weird, and awkward, if ur not aware of how ur body works, but the truth is that it is a way to accelerate the body getting rid of what it’s trying to get rid of…….and so, stopping the need for it to continue making cramps……..my recommendation: try it once, if ur tummy is still sore, try it a second time right after…….if u still feel more cramping a bit later, well, try it again…….and then just see if u notice a difference in having this hell that we girls have to put up with becomes a bit easier to deal with,…….without loading ourselves up w/ medications or goofy home-remedies; if maybe our bodies r built with an effective way to manage some or all of the discomfort associated w/ this brand of cramping…….hope this helps some of u ladies <3

  • alicia oneil

    Hey i have some tips that help me get rid of bad pain that make you want to cry lol. By the way im 17 nearly 18 so I have learnt a few tricks after dealing with servere pain on my period.

    When you feel your cramps coming on eat a banana this give you potassium, my step mum told me it helps a lot and now i eat them when i feel cramps coming on. I also drink lemon tea, works wonders when your feeling low, even if you dont like lemon tea herbal tea works too so I heard.
    A nice hot shower works when some dont feel comfortable using a bath during your period.
    I also cut down on coffee coke and other sugar products I just drink water and lemon tea now when im on.
    Also take two pain killers when you first notice the cramps coming.

    Really hope this helps a lot of you 🙂

  • Judith O

    Hey ladies please check out my blog,i am a final year medical student and I just started posting,you can add me and tell me what topics you would like me to write on and also I am here to answer any medical questions you have. Thank you.
    thehealthyfemale.blogspot.com

  • Many women suffer painful menstruation cramps every month after monthly and feeling helpless..there are ways that you can prevent this but alot of women dont know. The trick is to warm/keep your belly area warm. How? The best is to learn from the Japanese. Get something close to a ‘Haramaki’ as it is simple and easy to wear as it keeps your belly area ‘warm’..it is very effective (No painkiller. No pill. No injection.) My amazing body warmer 100% imported from Japan (pink or white color) when you wear is a cosy wrap perfect to slip on under your clothes (first layer next to your skin). It will work for you ladies!

    Not only it regulates your belly warmth it can help boost circulation, soothe stomach cramps and menstruation pain and ease back pain. Why I know? Because I distribute them in Singapore as well as ladies panties too. With these 2 item around SGD200/- your pain will be alot alot reduced or gone. Contact me Jenny(+65)81823325 for more info. or write me: jennylinse@gmail.com for online order. Recommend to your girlfriends if you find it work for you.

  • Trish

    After receiving the HPV shot, I started getting really really bad, bring you to your knees, cramps. I finally went to the doctor and learned that I have ovarian cyst. The doctor prescribed me lose-dose BC pills to keep me from ovulating, which do work. I still get cramps but not nearly as bad as before. Some things I have found that work amazingly are: First take a hot shower. Being clean makes me feel so much better anyway. Then I put on loose fitting clothes, nothing tight on my abdomen, because I’m usually bloated. Then I fill an old milk of magnesia bottle with boiling hot water and put that on top of my abdomen over my clothes (let it cool down just a little of course.) I have found these bottles more effective than plastic water bottles because they hold heat longer. Then I take 800 mgs of ibuprofen (with food), lay on the couch with my feet propped up and wait for the magic to begin. I also found that avoiding coffee and chocolate a week before Aunt Flo shows up and while she’s here help to cut down on the pain. Also start taking the medicine 5 days before she’s supposed to come so the medicine can be in your system. HTH!

  • itreallyworks

    For anyone still reading, I recommend that you take any naproxen based medicine, it helps so much to relieve the pain. You should only take one concerning health issues and obviously don’t take it if you are told not to by a doctor or are allergic to something in it. But yes you should take the naproxen and have a hot water bottle on your lower abdomen directly under your belly button. After a couple minutes, you’ll find out that all the pain is gone and the hot water bottle would just be there for comfort. You should also do this while lying down which in my case is more comfortable and helps better. When the pain is gone, don’t expect your menstrual flow to be gone and also don’t expect this too last long, it lasts for about a day and you’d have to start the short process all over again. But this is what I recommend and I’m 99.9 percent sure that it will work for everyone if you don’t have any disease causing your cramps which still this method might still work for. THIS PART IS IMPORTANT>>>>>>DO NOT TAKE THIS WITHOUT EATING A PROPER, FILLING MEAL OR YOU WILL FEEL A WORSE, DIFFERENT KIND OF PAIN RATHER THAN THE HORRIBLE ONE YOURE ALREADY EXPERIENCING. THIS PAIN WILL ALSO OCCUR IF YOU TAKE TWO PILLS.

  • Betsy

    HELP nothing is working all i have left to try is a bath and i’m in a lot of pain

  • Betsy

    what if your cramps are do bad you can’t even move and your so much pain that your almost about to cry the pain is that horrible?

  • Megan

    I’m wondering why no one on here seems to have mentioned iron and other minerals. Maybe I missed a comment, so sorry about that, but I’ve been through truly horrendous periods and have found that replacing all the minerals really helps. You’re losing iron when you lose blood. Magnesium I think is another one. Google it for yourself or ask a doctor, but I always find that just giving my body back what it’s losing, plus the requisite hot water bottles, etc, can shorten and ease the pain, nausea, sweats and so forth. If you keep your levels up all the time, it can even help prevent such serious pain from coming back. That’s been my personal experience, anyway.

  • Blackrose

    Yeah same with mine I’ve gotten to the point that I take pain releivers and sleeping pills it helps

  • Claire

    In total I have missed 12 days of school and gone to the hospital 2 times due to the hell my period causes me. I am in constant pain throughout the day and it hardly ever goes away. I have to take 4 ibuprofen just to make it a hour without crying on the ground. The thing is no matter how many doctors I see they never give me any good suggestions about how to cope with this pain and how to make me actually believe that my uterus isn’t trying to DESTROY my insides. During my period I can never be happy for very long. I ride horses and I feel miserable just walking into the barn, day to day activities aren’t fun anymore. What should I do?

  • Sandra

    I know this is late but I’ve had my period since I was 9 (a day before my 10th birthday) and I’ve always gotten bad cramps. I noticed that as I’ve gotten older the cramps have gotten worse. I literally spent hours on here and I’ve tried everything suggested NOTHING HAS WORKED!!!! My mom thinks I may have endometriosis but my doctor refuses to pay any mind to my pain. They say that its normal. I end up missing multiple days of school and other activities because of my pain and I simply can not take anymore! It gets to the point where I shake, cry and even throw up sometimes. Tylenol stopped working, and Advil isn’t as effective. I’m 13 (14 in June) and I get horrible, even unbearable cramps for the whole span of my period. I need help quick, I feel like death! 😣

    • Ranowa

      This reply is even later than your original post, but the fact that you get unbearable cramps for the whole span of your period and that the throwing up is not a very rare but instead a regular occurrence are two signs that something is wrong. The pain isn’t supposed to be that bad (though it is for many girls) and cramps aren’t supposed to last the entire time in that much severity. Endometriosis, maybe; I’m not a doctor (yet!). But it is true that many doctors don’t take period cramps seriously, even in cases of there being something medically wrong. If your mom is on your side in this talk to her about switching to a different pediatrician, or maybe even an early visit to the gynecologist. Remember, your parents paying a doctor to help you, not blow you off.

  • Nilou Noor

    Ginger tea really helps with cramps too, it is the same like ibuprofen but all natural

  • Shruti

    Mine are bad but not AS bad as a lot of other people. Mine hurts to the point where I feel like going to the toilet every now and then but I don’t because it’s just a feeling. It’s so annoying! Especially since I start getting a tummy ache and feel like doing nothing and sitting there. I usually do nothing to help soothe my pain because nothing I’ve tried works…so I let it be. Mine usually only lasts for a few hours anyway.

  • Breanna

    I’m 12 and my cramps r realllllllyyyyy bad, I cry so hard. please help!

  • I got cramps every month since my first menstruation until i found out that yoga is really help me to reduce the pain a lot. Believe me. I always crumbling like someone is kickin in my uterus, hit my back and pull out my arms and legs. I drink any kind of not morfin painkillers and herbala but nothing did well like after yoga 🙂 i try yoga for 3 months now and i guess i will work with it until that hella cramps gone forever.

  • stacee

    I have had horrible pains since mine started at 11, they have affected my school, work & personal life but i am now trying to push through by a losing a few lbs, they seem to not be as bad when im a bit smaller, I drink lots of warm drinks peppermint, pumpkin teas, hot chocolate, and eat warm and light foods such as soup and sandwiches because heavy eating takes ALL of my energy. Also keeping my feet warm helps alot and the water bottle or heating pads help, alieve and Midol are also my friends, and i also do alot of deep breathing at home or in the bathroom at work to help me. I say the bathroom because I dont want to scare my coworkers. It helps me enough to get thru the day. Hope it helps. Praying for all of us ladies, we go through so much.

  • namee

    Mine are really bad, I end up shaking and if I move it feels like I’m getting whipped with a ball of spikes, hurts like hell everywhere. They usually last 5-6 hrs for me at at the least. Nothing has been helping, I take prescribed medicine but its not strong enough!!! It’s the 2 strongest they can give a 15 yr old if it gets any stronger I’m risking kidney falure. Any ideas how to naturally reduce pain

    • Becky Watson

      You may have already tried it but I will suggest it anyway. A hot bath, not too hot but enough so you can easily stay in it without any bother. It Helped me loads as I usually get really bad pains but I don’t think they are quite as bad as yours. Just sit in the bath for 30-40 mins or until they cramps go away. Afterwords take it easy and stay sitting/laying down for a bit, even go to sleep because I get really tired after a bath.
      Hope I helped at least a little.

      • Geogia

        How can u take a bartender when you are on ur period blood will go everywhere…

    • itreallyworks

      I hope it’s not too late but I recommend using any medicine containing a majority of naproxen it it, the medicine is made to relieve all types of cramps especially with the ones you have right now which believe me, I get too. But while using it, you should have a hot water bottle or whatever you use and you should be lying down on a bed. This will last for a day but the process is short so it’s easy to do. If you need to go out or something, then just skip the other things, it might take a little longer of or it to start helping but it’s better than nothing for sure. Make sure you eat a good meal before taking this or your cramps will go away but a new type of pain will kick in and it’s worse than what you’ve been experiencing but yeah. And only take one pill, taking two would be like taking it without eating a meal. Hope this works, goodluck

    • Apekshya

      Have you tried using heat patches? there is this really cool heat patch called MentruHeat that I use every month, and I stopped using painkillers.

  • kristin

    i’ve had horrible painful cramps for years because of endometriosis. I’ve read a million of these blogs and decided I owe it to everyone to tell you what I found that ACTUALLY WORKED!! magnesium daily, chasteberry daily, and black haw for three days leading up to your period. I had slight cramps the first day, but that’s it. seriously a miracle!