Managing Period Pain
Period Pain can be beyond debilitating, often taking 5 days out of your life every month. When you think how long that is over your menstruating lifespan, that is a lot of days! Some luckily don't have any discomfort or pain with their periods, but it is rare that a teen or women won't suffer from period pain at least at some stage during their life.
So what can we do about it?
I would always try natural methods first before I reach for the painkillers.
Heat Pack: A heat pack to the tummy can really help because it helps to relax the uterine (womb) walls and it just feels comforting. You know the drill, always make sure that there is something between you and the heat source to avoid scalding the skin and make sure the heat pack isn't too hot in the first place.
Stressed, Cold, Tired, Hungry: Being Stressed, cold, hungry and tired, all contribute to our perception of pain and how we feel it. Period Pain will always feel worse when you are cold or hungry for example, so you need to avoid any of these as best you can during your period. Eat a good balanced diet, stay warm by layering up, get plenty of sleep and try to reduce your stress, I know, easier said than done!
Massage: Massaging the tummy area over the uterus will also help. I find this really helps as I have often been caught out without any pain relief and period pain at night is tough going when you are trying to get to sleep. Massage in circular motions and it will ease the pain albeit temporarily, at least. This is a useful piece of information to depart to our daughters when they are out somewhere and have no access to pain relief.
Exercise: Exercise also helps to relax the muscles by increasing the blood supply to them. I know it will often be the last thing you feel like but trying to get a walk in at least will help to increase the blood supply and relax the uterus. Don't avoid your sport on your period, staying active is important, and Nickeze have a wide range of period underwear, period swimwear and period sports shorts to soak up any leaks and lock them in, so take away that worry at least.
Swimming: Swimming on your period really helps too, the whole immersion in water is relaxing in general and it is no different for your uterine muscles. So swim if you can. I haven't tried the winter sea swimming yet to see how it feels on a period, and whether the cold water helps. Maybe someone that tries it can let me know.
Pain Relief: Many over the counter pain killers really help if the pain is bad. Paracetamol or ibuprofen or usually the first port of call unless you can't take them for some reason or contra-indicated by your Doctor. The thing that you need to remember about pain relief is that you need to stay on top of it. So for example, don't go long periods without taking your pain relief as directed, so if it is 4 hourly and your pain is bad, take it 4 hourly or 6 hourly as directed on the medicine. If you let the pain come back, it is much harder to get on top of it again.
If you find that over the counter pain relief are not enough, do speak to your Doctor, you do need to see why the level of pain is that bad. Highly likely nothing is wrong but it is always better to get it checked. If all is well, your GP may prescribe something stronger for you like Ponstan for example. It seems to be particularly helpful with period pain.
If all of that isn't enough, then sitting down with your doctor is important to figure out a plan and maybe going on to the Birth Control Pill for example, may reduce your symptoms and having lighter periods may help with the period pain.
The important thing to remember is that there are things that can be done, don't be losing 5 days of your life every month because of period pain. Life is far too precious for that.
We are always here if you need us and have a solution to any of your period flow woes. Nickeze are well used to dealing with all things periods and have heard it all at this stage, so do reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org or the chat function on the Nickeze Website.
Nickeze is a Nurse Led Company with expertise in the area of periods and their management. It has an array of period underwear, period sports shorts and period swimwear for every day period issues and also for the difficult to manage periods.