For some weird evolutionary reason, periods and feeling terrible love to go hand in hand. Nobody asked for it, but a lot is actually being thrown at your body -- including bleeding, cramps, bloating, and two sex hormones that are on the fritz, leaving you with the usual emotional roller coasters.

period 1 Period cramps are one of the biggest pains that women go through during their period. Photo: Photo by Pixabay (CC0)

To sum it up… it’s a lot. The most severe of them all is the menstrual cramps that usually starts a couple of days before your actual period, alongside PMS. Medically known as dysmenorrhea, these cramps are caused by involuntary muscle contractions that occur in your uterus during your period, pushing it to press against blood vessels and deprive it of oxygen. This decrease in both blood flow and oxygen in your uterus then causes the all-too-familiar cramping.

Unfortunately, these cramps can be so severe that many women find themselves unable to continue with daily activities when it hits, much less function in the first place. In fact, it is thought that at least 20% of women have disruptive period pain.

Thankfully, there are many ways to treat and minimize them. Here’s what you can do as you navigate this monthly journey:

1. Take a hot bath  

period 3 In many cases, a warm bath can help relieve period pain. Photo: Photo by Pixabay (CC0)

As menstrual cramps occur in the pelvis, lower abdomen, or back, soaking in a tub full of warm water should help give your muscles the warmth they need to relax. Additionally, you can also enhance this experience by adding a few drops of essential oil - like sage, rose, or lavender -- to your bathwater. To get the most benefits, try to relax and soak for at least 15 minutes.

Alternatively, if a warm bath isn’t possible, you can also try using a heating pad or hot water bottle on the areas that cramp the most to help with the discomfort.

2. Try hitting the gym or exercising  

When you’re already a ball of cramps and pain, the last thing you might want to do is to get up and exercise, or do any physical activity at all. While perfectly understandable, but the right type of exercise can actually help relax your muscles and reduce menstrual pain by a significant amount.

In fact, a recent study shows that low-to-medium intensity aerobic exercise can help reduce the pain that you are feeling. They don’t take a lot of time as well, as aerobic exercises usually mean a brisk walk around the block, biking for an hour or so, dancing to your favorite music, or playing a sport that you enjoy. Additionally, sports also provide an endorphin rush, which should help make you feel better.

3. Avoid caffeine

period 4 While on your period, opt for herbal teas instead of coffee. Photo: Photo by Pixabay (CC0)

Coffee may be a comfort drink to many, but avoiding it while on your period can be helpful. This is because caffeine can irritate your stomach and give you that crampy and bloated feeling. So, it’s best to skip the caffeinated drinks for now.

Instead, opt for herbal tea such as ginger, green tea, peppermint or chamomile. This should reduce the bloating, and overall help you feel better and more relaxed. If you still need your coffee, then reaching for decaf is a better idea.

4. Catch plenty of ZZZs  

period 5 Aim for at least 8 hours of sleep every night. Photo: Photo by Pixabay (CC0)

This should come as no surprise, but period fatigue is very much real, and it can impact your period pain. As such, make sure that you get proper rest every night while on your period, or any other night for that matter.

If possible, aim for at least eight hours of sleep every night.

5. Opt for supplements  

binto 1 Binto's customized supplement plans guarantees your body gets what it needs. Photo: mybinto.com

If the period cramps still persist despite soaking in a hot tub or exercising, it’s time to consider taking supplements that should help you from the inside.

But while there are many options available in the nearest drugstore, we recommend trying Binto’s supplement plans for your period and overall wellness.

Starting at only $20 a month, this wellness kit is aimed to help balance your hormones, ease period cramps, improve your digestion, and just heighten your daily immunity. Additionally, this plan also gives you access to a licensed health professional you can chat with anytime.

binto 5 An overview of Binto's supplement plan for your period and wellness. Photo: mybinto.com

Each supplement plan is customized to tailor-fit your body’s exact needs, which Binto gauges using a survey that you take upon acquiring a subscription. Binto understands that each body is different in its own way, and so each plan is guaranteed to address your specific needs. Best of all, each supplement is gluten-free, vegan-friendly, preservative-free, formulated with methylated folate, and certified made in the U.S. GMP.

And because Binto focuses on assisting each woman on their unique health journey, the company also provides supplement plans for fertility, pregnancy, postpartum and even menopause.

You can learn more about Binto here, book a telehealth consultation with them here, or start on your supplement plan for your period here.

binto 4 Binto's mission is to provide women with safe and effective supplements for their body's unique needs. Photo: mybinto.com

6. Change up your diet

Usually, going through your period makes you eat nothing but pizza, chocolate, and even ice cream. Unfortunately, this is the worst way to eat during that time of the month.

What you need to focus on instead, are foods that can help combat the inflammation on your body, such as omega-3 rich foods like salmon, flaxseeds, walnuts and sardines. Additionally, it’s also helpful to eat a fiber-rich diet for your cycle’s last two weeks.

7. Orgasm  

period 6 In some cases, sex and orgasms can help relieve period cramps as well. Photo: Photo by Pixabay (CC0)

Although there’s not much research and evidence that sex and orgasms (whether on your own or with a partner), it’s possible to get temporary pain alleviation as your muscles start to relax after an orgasm. Additionally, there’s also no danger in women masturbating or having sex during their period, so if it helps with the pain, then, by all means, go nuts.

8. Reduce stress  

period 7 Yoga is one of the most effective stress relieving practices you can do. Photo: Photo by Pixabay (CC0)

You may not notice it, but stress can make your cramps worse, which in turn just makes you more stressed. It’s a vicious cycle to be in. Thankfully, it’s also one that can be helped with stress relief techniques like deep breathing, meditation or even yoga.

It’s also easy to do and is just helpful for your mental health and well-being in general.

9. Stay hydrated

The last tip is to simply stay hydrated. It may sound like the simplest thing, but drinking lots of water while on your period can do a lot to help reduce bloating, which then helps alleviate some of the pain you’re experiencing.

Additionally, drinking warm/hot water can also relax your muscles by increasing the blood flow throughout your body. This can then lessen the cramps that are caused by uterine contractions. It can even help make your cycle end faster.