One of my daughter's biggest problems when she does actually have a period is that her cramps are extremely bad.
Medication is not the only route a woman can go for menstrual cramp relief. If you prefer to take the natural menstrual health approach when it comes to your cramps, then give one or all of these menstrual cramp relief tips a whirl.
* Following a healthy balanced diet that is high in zinc, calcium and B vitamins, especially vitamin B6 (just don't consume more than 100mg per day) should help to relieve cramps as well as bloating. It is also a good idea to cut back on your salt, sugar and caffeine intake during the week leading up to your period. Less of these items means less severe menstrual cramps.
* Heat helps, so throw a heating pad into the microwave or fill a hot water bottle and place it on your stomach or back. However, for some women, a build-up of blood in their pelvis may be the culprit behind their cramps, in which case an ice pack is actually more useful than a heat pack. The cold from the ice pack works to draw the blood out of the pelvis and towards the extremities. Try using both kinds of packs to see which is best for you.
* A nice, long warm bath is another favorite among women with menstrual cramps. Throw in some soothing aromatherapy bath salts for a truly blissful experience.
* If you can, avoid standing, especially if you have a sore back. Better yet, lie down and pull your knees up towards your chest. Many women find that lying in the fetal position helps to relieve the pain in their pelvis as well as any back pain they may have.
* While it is likely to be the last thing on your mind, exercise really can help reduce cramps so long as your workout is gentle. Walking is an excellent, gentle activity as is swimming. Some yoga positions may also be beneficial. Additionally, working out regularly, not just when you have your period, can also work to reduce the severity of your cramps.
* Some herbal teas like raspberry leaf tea and cramp bark tea have been known to relieve menstrual cramps. Speak with a trained herbalist to learn more about how to properly take these teas.
* Stock up on pineapples. Fresh pineapple juice contains a lot of bromelain, an enzyme that is thought to help relax muscles and therefore help with menstrual cramps.
* There are different massage, reflexology and acupressure techniques that you can do at home which will relieve menstrual cramps. Speak with a trained specialist to learn how to properly do these techniques yourself.
Give any one of these natural remedies a try and see if they help!