For women with menstrual cycles, cramps are just one of the many side effects of premenstrual syndrome (PMS) along with abdominal bloating, acne flare-ups, mood swings, and tenderness of breasts. The pain and discomfort of these symptoms can put a pause on our daily productivity, focus, and desire to do anything other than lie around the house.
The level of pain experienced by women during their periods can vary based on a number of factors, and according to OBGYN Dr. Alyssa Dweck, understanding these differences can play a crucial part in women understanding their body and flow on a deeper level. “Cramps can be primary (meaning no obvious cause), or secondary, usually due to fibroids, endometriosis, or another structural issue,” she tells ESSENCE. “There are likely genetic and environmental influences on the cause and severity of cramps. Individuals also have different levels of pain tolerance.”
Because every woman’s body is different, knowing when your pain levels peak can be key to knowing what type of relief is best for you. Dr.Dweck suggests that women stay on top of when their cramps are more likely to occur.
“I recommend anticipating and tracking cramps with a menstrual app or calendar,” she says. “Getting ahead of the pain is key.”
Dr. Dweck shares that inviting play and pleasure into your life can also serve as a healthy alternative to alleviate period pain when compared to more traditional means. “Exercise also helps relieve cramping when done regularly,” she says. “Finally, have sex! Orgasm can relieve menstrual cramps.”
Thankfully, relief comes in many sizes, patches, supplements, and pads, because you don’t have to just grin and bear it. If you’re looking for new remedies to take the edge off of your menstrual pains, we’ve put together a list of the best remedies on the market to give you and your uterus the relief it deserves.
Dr Teal’s Menstrual Relief Foaming Bath with Epsom Salt
If you’re looking to ease muscle cramps and body aches, Dr. Teal’s has released a new bath salt that’s guaranteed to soothe you. With a combination of essential oils and magnesium, your next bath is sure to set and boost your mid-month mood.
Per the doctor’s orders, proper stimulation during that time of the month can increase blood flow, relax the pelvic muscles and release hormones like oxytocin and dopamine — for head-to-toe relaxation. If you need another solution to come to terms with your menstrual pain, vibe out with this personal massager.
This new topical, drug-free heat therapy from Midol provides targeted, fast-acting relief of menstrual cramps and backaches for up to eight hours. The cute, heart-shaped design is both discrete and a gentle reminder to be soft with yourself during that time of the month.
Sip slow and soothe your menstrual cramps with this natural herbal tea. Loyal’s blend of tea was made with your body in mind to eliminate bloating, balance hormones, and reduce pain and discomfort while on your period.
These small capsules deliver a powerful punch when alleviating cramps, hormonal breakouts, and mood swings. With ingredients like lemon balm, vitamin B6, dong quai, and chasteberry, look no further for relief to your pesky PMS.
This clinically tested supplement serves as a natural remedy for PMS and period pains. Semaine’s vegan, gluten-free, and sugar-free formula is made up of nine plant extracts and minerals including ashwagandha, magnesium, and vitamin D3, giving your body what it needs and then some.
Blume’s roll-on blend of jojoba oil with organic essential oils like clary sage, peppermint, geranium, bergamot, lemon, and Vitamin E was made to ease cramps and alleviate bloating the natural way. Take this pen for a spin and apply it to your neck, wrist, abdomen, and every in between.