Peri­ods and related dis­com­fort are not wel­come in our soci­ety. We are sup­posed to func­tion per­fectly every day. The period should be made invis­i­ble, which also means that men­strual prob­lems are made taboo. Often the use of painkillers dur­ing men­stru­a­tion is a given and quickly results in the desired pain relief. But besides tak­ing med­ica­tion, there are other, nat­ural reme­dies for men­strual pain. Unfor­tu­nately, how­ever, this is rarely dis­cussed. It is worth try­ing out dif­fer­ent home reme­dies to find the best method for you for reliev­ing period cramps nat­u­rally. Home reme­dies are also ben­e­fi­cial for more severe period pain, as they can hope­fully reduce the num­ber of painkillers needed.

No more painkillers for me

At some point last year I decided that I did not want to take any more painkillers dur­ing my peri­ods (as much as pos­si­ble). Why? Because I no longer felt like tak­ing some med­ica­tion every month in order to keep func­tion­ing flaw­lessly in a ‘per­fect’ world. My period pain wasn’t that bad. How­ever, I still took sev­eral pills of Bus­co­pan (painkillers), mostly on the first two days of my period to not be restricted by my period pain in every­day life. At some point, how­ever, I no longer felt com­fort­able tak­ing painkillers reg­u­larly – espe­cially when it was not absolutely nec­es­sary. There are always pos­si­ble side effects of med­ica­tion that we are mostly unaware of.

Reliev­ing period cramps nat­u­rally: Look­ing for alternatives

Thus, I began my search for alter­na­tives for reliev­ing my period cramps nat­u­rally. The goal was to sup­port my body as much as pos­si­ble. And I have come to the con­clu­sion that warmth, rest and per­sonal me time dur­ing my period are the best things for me per­son­ally and make my pain almost com­pletely dis­ap­pear. Here you can read my 7 favorite tips for period pain. Accept­ing my period and appre­ci­at­ing my body also play a big role in this.

Accept your body and your peri­ods as they are

That is per­haps eas­ier said than done. But a lov­ing per­cep­tion of our body and our peri­ods has a pos­i­tive effect on our well-being. Be aware that your body does not want to annoy you when it bleeds, it sim­ply ful­fils its func­tion. Some­times it helps to have a dif­fer­ent, new per­spec­tive on things. Your period means that you are healthy and that your body is func­tion­ing exactly as it should. Also, be aware of what your body is actu­ally accom­plish­ing and that it is work­ing at full speed to remove your uter­ine lin­ing effi­ciently. From this point of view, it is prob­a­bly okay that we feel a bit weaker and expe­ri­ence some forms of dis­com­fort. Accept your body with its changes instead of fight­ing against it and your period. You and your body are a won­der­ful team that should care for each other and show con­sid­er­a­tion for each other.

More rest for period prob­lems, but how on the job?

If you are won­der­ing how I did it with­out painkillers at a typ­i­cal office job, there is a sim­ple answer. Not tak­ing painkillers dur­ing my period had a fun­da­men­tal con­se­quence: I some­times called in sick at work on the first and sec­ond day of my period. I always made sure before­hand, as much as pos­si­ble, that I did not have any impor­tant appoint­ments or to-do’s on that day. Or I might have worked on tasks in advance or taken some things home with me. To be hon­est, some of my tips for reliev­ing period cramps nat­u­rally are not very suit­able for the usual work­day – which is why I advo­cate for a period-friendly cor­po­rate cul­ture (you can read more about peri­ods at work here and here). A few hours of pri­vacy or a spon­ta­neous day in bed are unfor­tu­nately still not eas­ily com­pat­i­ble with most of our jobs these days.

Small changes can bring about big changes

But some­times it helps to start out smaller and take a short walk for five min­utes every few hours at work – maybe some pack­ages have to be taken to the post office any­way or some­thing has to be picked up from another build­ing? Take advan­tage of these short oppor­tu­ni­ties to inte­grate gen­tle move­ments and fresh air into your daily work rou­tine. Drink­ing warm, cramp-reliev­ing teas all day long is thank­fully pos­si­ble from any­where. Healthy snacks, such as banana or nuts, help with period pain and are great to take with you to work. Breath­ing exer­cises can also be done at work – just close your eyes between two phone calls and breathe con­sciously for a few min­utes and enjoy the peace and quiet.

Reliev­ing period cramps nat­u­rally: Using a hot water bot­tle in the office?

If you are boil­ing tea water, why not make some more right away? Because heat in any form helps with men­strual pain. A hot water bot­tle in the office may require a lit­tle courage at first, but can often be eas­ily inte­grated into the sit-down kind of work­days. The Aus­trian start-up femi­tale offers great pos­si­bil­i­ties to carry your hot water bot­tle with you at all times and still have your hands free: a scarf wrap and lounge pants, which were espe­cially designed to hold a 1.2 kg hot water bot­tle. These prod­ucts also look great – espe­cially the scarf wrap can look styl­ish! Who said that a hot water bot­tle should only be used at home?

How do you man­age your period discomfort?

What does your daily rou­tine look like dur­ing your period? Do you take painkillers reg­u­larly or have you dis­cov­ered nat­ural alter­na­tives? And what do you do at work when you expe­ri­ence period dis­com­fort? Tell us about your best home reme­dies and expe­ri­ences with period cramps. We look for­ward to hear­ing your sto­ries and tips!

Note: In case of severe men­strual prob­lems that limit your every­day activ­i­ties, a med­ical exam­i­na­tion is impor­tant! It is bet­ter to have one exam­i­na­tion too many than one too few!

Britta Wiebe, period education, Vulvani
Britta 
Co-Founder Vul­vani | britta@vulvani.com | Web­site | + posts

Britta Wiebe is the co-founder of Vul­vani. She loves research­ing, writ­ing and design­ing new arti­cles or inno­v­a­tive edu­ca­tional con­cepts about men­stru­a­tion all day long. When she is not trav­el­ling the world, she enjoys spend­ing time with her loved ones in the beau­ti­ful city of Ham­burg in Germany.