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What helps with period pains and where do they come from?

17 Jan, 2023

What helps with period pains and where do they come from?

There is probably hardly a woman who does not know from her own experience how unpleasant period pains can sometimes be. The pain can occur both before and during menstruation and can vary in intensity. We'll explain below where it comes from and what you can do about your period pain.

The most important facts about period pain at a glance

  • Most women experience period pain in one way or another.
  • Common menstrual symptoms include pain in the lower abdomen and back.
  • Pain that occurs before your period is called premenstrual syndrome (PMS).
  • Very severe menstrual pain can also indicate endometriosis, which affects about one in ten women.
  • Sometimes abdominal pain also indicates pregnancy.
  • If your period pain is very severe, you should always seek medical advice.
  • Various home remedies such as herbal tea, hot water bottles and magnesium can help to relieve menstrual pain.
  • Depending on the severity of the symptoms, it is sometimes unavoidable to take painkillers for menstrual pain.
  • The right diet can have a positive influence on the cycle as a whole and help to reduce period pain.

mestrual underwear

Period pains are widespread among women

Almost all women suffer from period pain to a greater or lesser degree. Unfortunately, many of them still feel largely left alone with it and accept the pain during their period as an unavoidable evil. Fortunately, this does not have to be the case. If you know how period pains develop and what you can do about them, they can usually be reduced considerably.

What causes period pain?

As you probably know, the lining of the uterus builds up anew every cycle in preparation for a possible pregnancy. If the egg is not fertilised during the fertile days, the lining of the uterus is shed and excreted from the body during the period.

This causes irregular movements of the uterine muscles, which are triggered by certain hormones during your period. The resulting interruption of the blood circulation and the resulting lack of oxygen ultimately leads to pain in the lower abdomen, cramps and back pain, which in many cases is extremely unpleasant.

However, many women also suffer from pain before their actual period. This is known as premenstrual syndrome (PMS).

Period pain can come in different forms

Period pain is not the same for all women and does not always affect only the lower abdomen. As individual as menstruation is, the pain and other complaints that women have to deal with during their period are also very different.

For example, the following complaints occur particularly frequently during the period:

  • Abdominal pain 
  • Back pain 
  • Chest pain 
  • Skin blemishes 
  • Diarrhoea

In addition, some women may also experience vomiting, dizziness and general circulation problems, as well as tiredness, fatigue and food cravings. Some women also suffer from water retention in their legs or migraines during their period.

When is period pain a case for the gynaecologist?

Period pains are not unusual and are not necessarily a case for the gynaecologist. To a certain extent, they are completely normal. They cannot be avoided. But with the right measures, they can usually be brought under control.

However, if your symptoms are so severe that you can't do anything at all for a day or two during your period, we still recommend that you see your gynaecologist. This is because it is not always a more or less harmless period pain. Occasionally, more serious health problems can be responsible for such complaints as severe abdominal pain.

Menstrual pain without menstruation?

If you have pain in your lower abdomen outside of your period, you should not ignore it and contact your gynaecologist. You may have a bladder infection or endometriosis. Apart from that, it is also possible that you are pregnant and therefore have abdominal pain. To be on the safe side, you should have a check-up as soon as possible to find out what is wrong with you and to do something about it if necessary.period knickers

Severe pain due to endometriosis

It is estimated that more than one in ten women experience severe menstrual pain that makes their daily lives a real ordeal for a few days every month. Quite often, this is not period pain in the true sense of the word, but so-called endometriosis. In endometriosis, tissue has formed outside the uterus that resembles the mucous membrane of the uterus. Since this tissue cannot always be broken down by the body, cysts and inflammations can develop over time.

This causes very severe abdominal pain in affected women, especially during their periods. Severe endometriosis is not only a considerable burden. It can also lead to a reduction in fertility.

The exact causes for the development of endometriosis have not yet been conclusively clarified. Hormones, painkillers or surgery can help in the treatment of endometriosis. It is not possible to make a general statement about which measures are useful or necessary. If you suspect that you might be suffering from endometriosis, we strongly recommend that you contact your gynaecologist for advice.

Home remedies or tablets: what helps with period pain?

If you suffer from period pain, there are a number of different things you can try to relieve it. In many cases, simple home remedies are enough to counteract the pain significantly. However, if your menstrual pain is more severe, you may need to take a painkiller. Regardless of this, it is always worth doing something about it. So don't accept your period pain as inevitable and find out what works best for you. 

Herbal tea for period pains

If you suffer from discomfort during your period, it is very important that you drink enough. Hot herbal tea is a particularly good choice in this regard. It probably won't get rid of menstrual cramps completely. But at least it can help to relieve your period pain a little.

Heat for menstrual pain

Heat is always a good choice for relieving pain during your period. For example, use a hot water bottle or a cherry stone pillow and place it on your abdomen or back. The warmth helps you to relax and can help to reduce the discomfort of menstruation.

Magnesium supplements for period pain

Magnesium is a vital mineral that plays a crucial role in nerve and muscle function, among other things. Apart from that, magnesium is known to help counteract cramps. This property ensures that magnesium can help relieve your period pain.

Especially if you suffer from cramps in the abdomen, it may be worthwhile to take a magnesium supplement in addition to a magnesium-rich diet. Ideally, you should take this daily one week before your period in order to benefit optimally from the cramp-relieving effect of magnesium.

Monk's pepper for menstrual pain

Monk's pepper is a plant that is often used in natural medicine. Monk's pepper is used, among other things, to treat disorders of the female cycle and to relieve premenstrual syndrome. The medicinal plant contains various ingredients that are responsible for its effect on hormone balance.

It has not yet been possible to conclusively explain exactly how monk's pepper works. However, if you suffer from period pain or premenstrual syndrome, taking monk's pepper in capsule form can certainly help to noticeably relieve your symptoms.


Acupuncture for period pain

Experience has shown that acupuncture treatments can often be very helpful in counteracting period pain. However, acupuncture, which comes from traditional Chinese medicine, is quite expensive. Since the costs are usually not covered by health insurance, or only partially, acupuncture is probably not an option for every woman.

Why you should keep moving

It's perfectly understandable if your period pain makes you want to retire to bed or the couch all day. However, it can be worthwhile to get up and get some exercise in spite of your pain.

Of course, this doesn't mean a hard sports programme where you completely exhaust yourself. But a short jog, a few yoga exercises or even a simple walk have been shown to help relieve your period pain and improve your well-being during your period. Next time, it's best to try it out for yourself. Chances are good that a moderate exercise programme will do you good. 

Does homeopathy help against menstrual pain?

There are numerous homeopathic preparations that are supposed to help with menstrual cramps. However, experience shows that they do not always have the desired effect. Since homeopathic remedies cannot harm you, there is nothing to stop you from giving them a try to relieve your period pain.

Sometimes only painkillers help

As you can see, there is a whole range of home remedies and natural ways to counteract your period pain. Unfortunately, these are not always enough to get rid of existing menstrual pain. If things like heat, herbal teas or magnesium haven't brought you the relief you were hoping for, you may need to take painkillers.

Of course, you should not take these lightly and in too large a quantity, as they can have various side effects if used regularly. It's best to talk to your gynaecologist beforehand and ask her which painkillers she recommends for your period pain and what you should look out for when taking them. By the way, you should avoid aspirin during your period, as its blood-thinning effect can make your menstruation worse.

How does the pill help with menstrual pain?

Many women choose to take the contraceptive pill to prevent menstrual pain. Taking the pill means that the mucous membrane in the uterus is not built up as much during the menstrual cycle and can also be broken down more easily.

As a result, the bleeding that accompanies your period is less frequent, and hormonal contraception can often help to reduce symptoms considerably. Of course, you have to decide for yourself whether you want to take hormones permanently to prevent menstrual cramps. In this context, you should also bear in mind that taking the contraceptive pill increases the risk of thrombosis, which, depending on your genetic predisposition, can be a health risk that should not be underestimated.

Menstrual pain and the right diet

It is certainly no secret that a balanced diet is very important for good health. However, many women do not know that their diet can also have a considerable influence on the female cycle and thus not least on the occurrence of possible menstrual pain. If you have problems in this regard or generally observe irregularities in your cycle, it is definitely worthwhile to take a closer look at the topic of nutrition.

Around your period, make sure to avoid foods that can promote inflammation as much as possible. Instead, choose vegetables, fruits and herbs that have an anti-inflammatory effect and can help prevent cramps.

Period pants Weekiss

period underwear

The following are some of the foods you can eat before and during your period:

  • Turmeric 
  • Ginger 
  • Potatoes 
  • Broccoli 
  • Pulses 
  • Bananas 
  • Citrus fruits 
  • Soft fruits 
  • Pineapple 
  • Peppers

On the other hand, you should largely avoid things like sugar, white flour, sausages and trans fats, as these promote inflammation in the body and can therefore indirectly increase your period pains.

What to do about period pain - our conclusion ❤️

Period pains are part of everyday life for the majority of women during their periods. The discomfort is normal to a certain extent and usually cannot be completely avoided. With the right measures, however, they can usually at least be significantly alleviated. Various home remedies are a good solution for this purpose and, above all, have no side effects. However, if they do not have the desired effect, it may sometimes be necessary to take painkillers.

If you suffer from very severe menstrual pain, we also recommend that you consult your gynaecologist. After all, menstrual pain is not always normal. Sometimes the problems are caused by diseases, such as endometriosis. A medical examination can therefore be useful and make it possible to treat your symptoms adequately.