Every 28 days (give or take a couple), something happens that reminds every woman on the planet how truly supernatural we are. WE GET OUR PERIOD. Aside from the colossal amount of blood, with it comes bloating, cravings, sometimes mood swings, breakouts and yes, cramps. Sometimes mild, sometimes excruciating.
For years, we’ve been telling men that they couldn’t handle one day of a menstrual cycle, let alone birthing a child. Most of them thought we were exaggerating. #jerks
Well, for every male teacher who smirked at you in high school or every male boss who got irritated about you coming into work late on the really uncomfortable days, you have our permission to forward this article along with our sincerest form of side-eye.
Finally, doctors are going on record saying what we’ve known FOR-E-VER. Yes, for some of us, menstrual cramps can be just as painful as experiencing a heart attack!
According to an article that was recently featured on Elle UK’s website, Professor John Guillebaud from the University College London (a man who specializes in reproductive health) has said that the discomfort during our period can sometimes be so debilitating that it can rate right on up there with being a “near-death” experience.
Duh. And thank you.
Although it feels good to FINALLY get some sympathy, we didn’t feel right about posting something like “Hey, your cramps can make you feel like you’re about to die!” and not offer up a few tips on how to ease the pain, at least a little bit.
If you want to go the natural route, try the following.
Get some Vitamin D into your system. Studies reveal that many women who have a tough time during their period are oftentimes deficient in Vitamin D. By getting a daily dose of it into your system, it will reduce the production of prostaglandins in your body. This means fewer cramps. (For the record, foods that are high in Vitamin D include dairy, tuna, and cereal.)
Take a combo of magnesium, calcium, and zinc on a daily basis. They are natural nerve and muscle relaxers that can ease cramping and make it easier to fall asleep during that time of the month too.
Also, take some Evening Primrose Oil. It’s well-documented that Evening Primrose Oil is something that every woman should have in her daily regimen. The omega-6 fatty acids in it help to fight PMS symptoms, reduce menstrual cramps and can even prevent period pimples that come from hormonal shifts during that time of the month. Evening Primrose Oil also is attributed to helping with fertility issues and can even make labor more tolerable too.
Drink some chamomile tea. It contains anti-inflammatory properties that will decrease the prostaglandin production and make your cramps a lot more bearable. The warm water is super-soothing as well.
Have sex. If the thought of having sex while you’re on your cycle doesn’t freak you or your partner out, it can do wonders for your period pain. Not only does sex help to relieve tension, but right before you climax is when your uterus is the most relaxed. Once you have an orgasm, the blood flow in that area of your body increases and your cramps immediately decrease as a direct result.
So, the next time you’re in serious period pain and someone makes light of it, ask them if they’ve ever had a heart attack before. If they shake their head “no”, tell them to get off of your back. They have no idea what you’re going through, no you are NOT exaggerating—and now, you have the documentation to prove it!