health

8 ways to beat painful periods (for good).

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They’re so crazy they might just work…

Let’s face it – most of us don’t exactly feel the urge to cheer when we get our period. Yes, periods are necessary, but they can also be inconvenient at best, and painful at worst. And for some women, they can be downright debilitating.

But the good news is that period pain is treatable and women should never have to just put up with the symptoms. I recently reached out to eight smart women to discover their sneaky/weird/amazing tricks for nixing cramps.

Don’t knock them until you’ve tried them…

1. Hot water bottles.

Remember those dodgy plastic hot water bottles you could buy from the chemist? They were my best friend during that time of the month. I would fill it up with hot water from the tap, take it to bed with me, hold it against my stomach and it seemed to help.

I’m not sure if it did actually help and I know hot water bottle technology has changed since then. You can get teddy bears now, but with a hot water bottle under the fur. You can also get those microwavable heat packs these days which my husband uses for muscle pain but also doubles as an excellent hot water bottle device. – Maree, 38

painful periods
“My best friend during that time of the month.”

 2. Lemonade.

No matter what was wrong with us when we were little, mum used to always give us lemonade. Gastro, the flu, a graze on our knees and elbows… lemonade. And not the homemade kind. The dodgy sugar-filled kind from the supermarket. I don’t know if it is the placebo effect or what but when my period pain is really bad, sipping on lemonade actually helps. It is so soothing. It is my go-to for most ailments these days and is especially handy when I have a hangover. – Denise, 32

3. Red wine.

What? Seriously, red wine makes everything better. At night when the dull ache has made me lose the will to live, I crack open the red wine, lie down in front of the TV with a blanket and lo and behold, I am feeling better in minutes. – Gab, 22

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painful periods
“Seriously, red wine makes everything better.”

4. Ginger tablets.

Ginger tablets are the best for period pain. When I’m having bad period pain I take ginger tablets and sip on ginger tea, exactly the same thing as I do for morning sickness or when I have a cold. There’s something about ginger that helps the tummy and everything in that vicinity and the warmth of the tea is amazing. Ginger reduces the pain from sharp stabbing to a dull ache. When this doesn’t do the trick I find eating quite a few gingerbread men helps. – Anna, 41

5. Sexy times.

I found that if I had sex a couple of days before I was due to get my period it wouldn’t be as bad. And exercise, which sex pretty much is.Anonymous

painful periods
“I found that if I had sex a couple of days before I was due to get my period it wouldn’t be as bad.”
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6. Wheat packs.

I’m a big hot wheat pack lover. And drugs. And never underestimate the power of chocolate and a good sulk on the couch. – Sandra, 35

7. Baths.

A hot, hot bath. I just soak and soak and soak, which normally means I have to take a day off work. I usually have one really bad day and night every month. You’d be surprised what you can do in the bath. Read, soak, drink wine, relax and very, very carefully use your iPhone. – Amelia, 26

painful periods
A hot, hot bath. Image via istock.

 8. Bed.

Going to bed usually does the trick. – Melissa, 44

I also did some research to help out those of you who suffer from particularly painful periods, and apparently, one of the best ways to treat the symptoms is to nourish your liver and adrenal glands with the right foods to help them support your hormones.

Try upping your intake of healthy fats (found in things like avocado and nuts), legumes, greens (think spinach, broccoli, and sprouts), red veggies (such as beetroot and tomatoes), and fruits (including passionfruit, blueberries).

Combine a diet rich in those foods with light exercise, and herbs such as Vitex Agnus Castus which are proven to help symptoms, you should be able to carry on with your life, period or no period.

How do you treat painful periods?

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