If you have ever had your period before, then you know that it can be a miserable experience. There are months where you would do anything to make the annoying PMS go away, whether it’s to decrease bloating, ease painful cramps or stomach pain, or somehow feel less exhausted. Sometimes, the usual tips just don’t do the trick – your Tylenol doesn’t kick in fast enough, you have zero energy to get through the day, and you just generally feel like you’re in the crappiest mood ever. In those moments, you’re probably desperate to find something, anything, that works.
I’ve been getting my period for a very long time, and sometimes it feels like I’ve tried every tip out there. The most frustrating thing is that there’s no consistency. One month, a heating pad and some rest will do wonders – the next month, it’s like nothing I’ve ever tried will make me feel better. If you feel like you need to try something new to make your PMS better, you’ve come to the right place. This Ask Reddit thread begged for period hacks, and they’re actually so helpful. Check out these period tips to make your pain more manageable:
Use A Hot Water Bottle!User ivorycat says, "Put a hot water bottle wrapped in a towel or cover on your stomach. Or heat pads in general. Helps so much." I seriously can't recommend this enough! If you have really bad cramps, heat can be a godsend. Whenever I have cramps, I grab a heating pad or hot water bottle, lay down, prop my feet up on a pillow, and try to relax or sleep. It always helps. If you can't do that, then I recommend buying Thermacare HeatWraps. You can stick them to your underwear or pants and walk around with a heating pad that no one knows about. They work like a charm! Source: iStock
Sleep With A TowelOne of the worst things about getting your period is staining things you like - period blood can be difficult to wash out. User myhome_mypanties says, "The first three day when my flow tend to be heavy I sleep with a dark fluffy towel on my bed sheets, so if I bleed out, it lands on the towel and not the bed sheets." This is definitely not a bad idea. Source: iStock
Take The Right MedicationWhenever PMS hits, a lot of women tend to reach for Tylenol (acetaminophen) or Advil (ibuprofen). But honestly, you're better off with Naproxen - the real stuff, not the brand name. User inaseaS says, "Naproxen. Ask your Doctor for an Rx. You can buy it over the counter in the US, but it isn't full strength and things like Aleve, etc. have a lot of needless fillers. Naproxen affects a certain type of muscle of which a uterus set up has many of. Usually you will need only one or two doses a month. For painful menstrual cramps, this med is truly a wonder. I have no idea why it isn't prescribed as a matter of courses." My gyno prescribed me Naproxen as a prescription years ago, and it changed my PMS completely. It's the only thing that gets rid of my cramps and headaches quickly and for a long time. Naproxen is strong stuff, though, so please speak with a doctor before using it. Source: iStock
Eat BananasLooking for a snack? A banana isn't a bad idea. User chimairacle says, "Eat bananas! The potassium in them is supposedly good for cramps. I suffer pretty bad so I take painkillers as well and can't vouch for the efficacy of bananas alone but I swear they do help. Plus they're tasty, especially blended with milk and a milkshake always cheers me up haha." Source: iStock
Start Using Cloth PadsSometimes, one of the worst things about getting your period can be dealing with menstrual products. Tampons and pads are helpful, but they can be annoying AF - you might want to switch things up. User LeJisemika says, "I switched from disposable pads to cloth. The difference is day and night. I hated the plastic-y, scratchy, and uncomfortable feel to them. Now it feels like soft cotton. I also save hundreds of dollars per year. I have been recommending them to everyone."
Track Your CycleIt might sound pointless to track your cycle, but it really isn't - it can be super helpful in identifying ways to make PMS better. User moudine says, "The app Clue actually helps me in a slightly different way. When I randomly break out, gain 5 lbs, feel sad, I check the app and realize my period is just around the corner. It makes the less obvious symptoms a lot more manageable." You can download Clue here. Our writer Ashley swears by it!
Let Yourself IndulgeIf you're normally really careful about what you eat or how you spend your time, let yourself go during your period. You need to just make yourself happy! User Rynli says, "The moment PMS/my period starts, I feel like shit and I need comfort food, so one day I decided that it would be a time where I would allow myself to eat anything anytime. The rest of the time I'm like "hmm no I'll take an apple instead!" or I feel a little bad if I ate a whole bag of candy, but during my period I'm like "you know what? eff it. no guilt allowed." Sometimes you need to just give in to the cravings! Source: iStock
Avoid A Lot Of ThingsAt the same time, it's important to note that different things work for different people. Indulging in all of the ice cream and chips you want might be making symptoms worse - you might actually need to avoid a lot of stuff that you want, but that won't help. User Unfruitful says, "My periods are baaad. -No dairy products -No cold products -No spicy foods -No heavy foods -Lots of water -Light meals -Light yoga -Mega heating pad -Immediate pain meds. For whatever reason, those things have worked for me when on my period. Normally I'd be puking from pain (even with pain meds) and unable to get out of bed but those days were over once I implemented those things." Look for patterns to figure out what bothers you the most during your period, and then make it a point to avoid those things completely. It's only a few days! Source: iStock
Switch Up Your Birth Control MethodFor a more long-term fix, you might want to consider going on a different type of birth control. User ElleFuego says, "Get on a continuous birth control. I've been period-free for 3+ years and it's cured my depression and anxiety. I feel like an entirely new person. I don't have to plan my life around when I'll be sobbing on the floor and bleeding uncontrollably. I can be a real, productive, happy member of society now." If you're not on the Pill, you might want to try it. It can regulate your cycle and ease your symptoms. Other girls in the thread swore by IUDs, saying they changed their lives. Source: iStock
Subscribe To A Monthly BoxSometimes feeling better revolves around mental health too. There are lots of monthly period boxes out there that can make you smile. A user who has since deleted their account said, "I have a monthly subscription box that sends gifts, sweets, advil, etc and my pads so I can eat in bed and feel less miserable." A monthly period box ensures you'll have supplies on time, along with some other little items that will make you happy. This one is called The Betty Box and it just might make you feel a lot more comfortable.