Period pain has been, sadly, normalised by our society.
Although a small amount of cramping is normal just before and on your period, debilitating period pain which requires more than 1 painkiller per period, wakes you up at night or stops you doing your usual things is NOT NORMAL! (Do me a favour and please tell everyone you know!).
While period pain is not normal, it is sadly common and affects many women’s work.
There are 2 types of period pain (the fancy medical term, should you wish to know it, is dysmenorrhea). Primary dysmenorrhea is pain only related to your period and secondary dysmenorrhea which is caused by a medical condition like endometriosis, adenomyosis, fibroids or ovarian cysts.
So aside from these conditions, why do we get primary dysmenorrhea and feel pain during our period or have period cramps?
It’s likely due to inflammation in the body. Some women find taking ibuprofen or aspirin, help their period pains. They definitely do help as they suppress the production of prostaglandins which may be too high, however these drugs are associated with a whole host of negative side effects (including disturbing our bodies ability to ovulate!).
For these reasons, I would really encourage you to explore other ways than just painkillers to reduce this inflammation in our bodies.
And please please, do not only accept hormonal birth control for your period pain. Yes it can make things easier for a time, give you a much needed break from the monthly pain, but it is a short-term plaster. Most hormonal contraceptives stop you ovulating which has a HUGE knock on effect on your entire health so it’s important to address the underlying cause of your period pain, when you feel ready.
The good news is there are loads of things you can do to help ease the pain.
Now let’s be clear. It is unlikely that one single thing will miraculously stop your period pain, often it’s a combination of a few changes that helps.
My 5 favourite easy things to try are:
- Limit or avoid dairy, sugar + alcohol in the 2 weeks before your period (dairy is the most important of that trio)
- Make sure every meal has 50% veggies
- Switch to non-toxic period products
- See a bodyworker to address any physical alignment issues which can be contributing to the pain
- Arvigo® self-care massage can really help ovulation pain, period pain and bloating. Join one of my regular Magic of Abdominal Therapy workshops to learn this amazing massage.
If after trying these and other ways to lower your body’s inflammation for 2-3 cycles the pain remains the same or gets worse at any time, do go see your doctor and make sure they do thorough checks to see if you may have any of the underlying conditions I mentioned.
Do share this article to the people in your life who suffer every month with period pains. We need to free women from this monthly torture.