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Hey guys!

Is there anything worse than really intense period cramps?! I mean, sometimes it’s like WHAT IS GOING ON IN THERE?!

When it gets really bad, sometimes all I can do is lay down and wait it out.

Lately though, I’ve been trying to really understand the WHY behind things so that I can better take care of myself. Why does our period come with cramps? What can we do to ease the pain? Here’s what I found out!

Woman nausea from overeating

Here’s why we have period cramps

Ughhhh THE CRAMPS. Why are they a thing?!

Seriously. I researched why.

It all comes down to shedding that lovely uterine lining. When that happens every month (more or less, depending on the person), a hormone is released that makes the uterus contract. So yeah, those cramps that feel like your uterus is literally twisting into a knot? Those are your muscles tensing up to get rid of the old lining. A little inflammation is common too.

People with heavy periods or other conditions like endometriosis or fibroids tend to have more intense cramps.

And here’s how to find some relief

I’ve had some painful periods that feel so crazy that I just wanna roll up into a ball. It’s THE WORST. But there are actually a lot of ways to make the pain less intense!

Things like…

  • A warm bath
  • Heating pad
  • Light massage
  • Avoiding heavy meals
  • Staying active, if possible
  • Supplements like B1, B6, omega-3s, and magnesium

 

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Try some of these stretches too! 

Light, restorative exercise like stretching or doing yoga is amaaaazing for period pain relief!

Here are my favorite stretches to help relax and relieve  the muscles in and around your uterus!

I love using a rolled up pillow for extra support so I can relax into the poses for at least a minute. You could also use a bolster or rolled blanket!

Other relaxation techniques like deep breathing are helpful too!

Check in with your doctor if your pain level is beyond what’s normal.

Simple things like stretching and warm baths won’t help if something more serious is going on. Obviously I can’t give any medical advice, so be sure to contact someone who can if you struggle to find relief!

The Conversation (19)

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  • Esha says:

    My legs hurt too when I’m in periods but does stretching help?

  • April says:

    I consulted my doctor about my insanely painful period cramps cause I was thinking whether I have PCOS. And thank GOD she confirmed that I don’t and I just need to take medicine during the cramp periods lol. Thank you for this Cassey!<3

  • Kate says:

    I suffer from extremely painful periods, sometimes they’ll keep me awake literally all night! I have had great luck with this supplement I started called FLO. I still get cramps but now I can also be a human being not a demon in a bath tub 😅

  • Daniella says:

    Carbs are just important as protein. What kind of carbs are you talking about? The refined ones are not good, we get it. But carbs like plantain, oats and whole graik cereal are important for our digestion and you know: You gotta take some fiber in to get things moving😉

  • Jordan bassick says:

    This helps me a lot, I a 15 years old and my period cramps are the worst pain I’ve ever had and I have pretty bad things happen. These exercises really help thank you a lot.

  • Anna says:

    Try adding 1/2 teaspoon grated ginger to a cup, pour hot water over and let it stand for 10min or so. Drink 3 times a day, if possible start the day before your period and continue for 4 days in total. It works miracles, or at least it did for me! No pain and a lot less blood overall. There are even a few scientific studies on it (just google, ginger and menstrual pain). If you don’t believe me, just try it for a few periods. Ginger is both healthy and cheap so you got nothing to loose ^_^

  • Jen says:

    Why isn’t the first tip to take a pain killer? That’s going to help you sooo much more than all the other things suggested in this article. I can’t take a bath when I’m at work or do yoga in the car. But an Advil, Tylenol or midol will help me immensely and immediately. No hate, just wondering why that isn’t even mentioned here.

    • YADVI says:

      Because pain killer have a tendency of making it worse in the future. Learning to fight it with these tips is better than taking a pain killer and highly depending on them. Its best for the body and the hormones. Try and not take the pain killers every now and then but if the pain is worse you might as well use once😊

    • Eliza says:

      Maybe because she is not a medical professions to suggest taking medication like pain killers? Maybe she prefers to suggest healthier options then to just pop pills?

    • blogilates says:

      Hey Jen! I like to recommend things that I actually do and I don’t usually take pills (even when I’m sick). I prefer to try home remedies first but everyone is different!

  • Carolyn Tucker says:

    Have any of you ladies heard of Seed Cycling Moon Milk? It supports the idea of getting the nutrients you need to balance your estrogen and progesterone, through the ingestion of different seeds(flax, pumpkin, and sunflower) during the month leading up to your period. Having warm milk as a before bed ritual helps with insomnia and is an ancient Ayurvedic practice; you may have heard about Golden Milk and its many health benefits. When you prep your milk(preferably a nut or oat milk) for seed cycling, you allow the seeds to soak in the blend anywhere from an hour to overnight. Then upon warming it, you will whip it up using a whisk or a milk frother, then strain it. These recipes are amazing, and have completely changed the way I feel the week before and during my period.
    https://moonandspoonandyum.com/seed-cycling-moon-milk-for-hormone-health-vegan/
    You make a different blend for the Follicular and Luteal Phases of your cycle. If you are unsure when or what those are, the link above explains this, and so much more, with the science backing up this hormone management strategy. I originally tried this out of desperation to try and ease my emotional PMS symptoms. I felt irrational and out of control with my sadness or rage the week leading up to my period. I would feel crazy, then after starting I would feel my sanity return but I would have terrible cramps.
    After trying this nightly milk ritual, I found I had way more control of my mind and emotions the week before starting… I felt ‘normal’ even. I also found that my cramps were much less intense.
    I highly recommend this technique, it is worth a read.
    I have also heard taking Evening Primrose and Vitamin E help some people balance out, but it doesn’t work for everyone. Good luck, loves! Here’s to all of us understanding and gracefully existing in these bodies we have been born into!

  • Kaitlin says:

    Getting omega 3s from nuts/seeds is SO important!!! When you get the proper ratio- cramps disappate fully… Example eating fresh ground flax daily try in smoothie or energy ball, reduce processed food ESP the week before period (prostaglandins are involved in essential fatty acid regulation. Have too much omega 6 like most Americans due to canola oil etc from processed food- your cramps increase! This also increases body wide inflammation/CRP (c reactive protein) indicators.

    I thought it wasn’t true as a lifelong sufferer- well the cycle I ate flax: no cramps. Also cycle when I was doing a vegan diet- no cramps. It’s pretty crazy how diet (aka fuel for your car- your body) matters. Number of prostaglandin receptors are also genetic.

    Fiber and plants: they are miraculous.

    Pooping more also helps balance your estrogen and hormone levels improving your cycle. There’s a reason period is the fifth vital sign.

    Also hydration is important for cramps.

  • Sinchana says:

    Hey Cassey, can you please write about some tips or make a video about how to get rid of hip fat because you successfully got rid of yours over a year, and that is a problematic area for me. Also, I know that you have a lot of videos on lower belly fat but could you please do a video or a blog post explaining why there is lower belly fat and how to get rid of it other than working out. Thank you so much!

  • LemonBlue says:

    I second the omega-3 recommendation! I don’t really eat fish in my diet, so I started taking a flax oil supplement a few months ago and was pleasantly surprised. My cramps became a lot more manageable, which was the goal, but my mood swings also improved, and my cycles became shorter and more regular.

    I tend to be a skeptic, but I’ve seen this recommendation from several nutritionists and dieticians, too. Flax oil is cheap, vegan, and readily available at places like Target and the grocery store, so that’s why I picked it, but there’s also fish, krill oil, and seaweed-based supplements. Feel free to ask me questions! I love talking about cycles and fertility health.

  • Selena says:

    Thank you so much for such great advice Cassey <3

  • Jing says:

    so warm, love

  • Eliminating sugar and carbs from one’s diet had immensely helped with PMS symptoms! If anyone has any questions just email me :)

  • Lara says:

    Hey Cassey,
    thanks for this post – usually I don’t comment on blogposts, but I wanted to stop by to tell you that I appreciate the inclusive language you used in this post! It really made me smile while reading this.

    Keep up the good work, and have a nice weekend,
    Lara

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