Cramping Your Style
It’s the age old bane of womanhood: your period. I was always blessed with a super light, friendly period; slightly irregular but really never interfered with my daily life.
After getting an IUD, for several months I experienced for the first time the terror that is severe dysmenorrhea, better known as menstrual cramps—the curled-up-in-the-fetal-position-rendering-you-totally-useless kind. Needless to say, it affected my life in a big way, so I became a self taught master in field of gnarlycrampology.
Turns out that cramps are the result of a chemical called prostaglandin that your body releases as your uterine lining prepares its monthly escape from your uterus—surprise, this chemical causes the muscles of the uterus to cramp, just like your stomach did when you had the run in gym class (or was that just me?).
Fun fact: some evolutionary biologists think that cramping is nature’s way of telling you that you are a bad girl for not reproducing. Well evolution, all I can say is HAH! You are going to have to do better than that if you want me to crank out a mini-me, especially with this list of my most tried and true techniques for cramp extermination:
TONS OF WARM WATER: You don’t want to hear that you need to drink more water but I’m going to tell you anyway. Not only is it essential to stay hydrated, but make sure you drink your fluids WARM—cold beverages worsen the cramping with warm/hot ones soothe the pain for the inside
PAINKILLERS: This one is tricky - at first I was taking ibuprofen because its specific chemical structure reduces inflammation, especially in the uterus. So not only does it help cut the pain but it reduces part of the reason why you have the pain in the first place. HOWEVER ibuprofen is extremely hard on your body, especially your kidneys and liver, so MAKE SURE you read the package and take it in moderation. Alternate with aspirin whenever possible. Don’t bother with the pricey ‘ladie’s’ aspirin because its just regular acetomenophin with some caffeine. Companies love charging us extra for stuff just because they make it pink and market it to us- don’t fall for it
EVENING PRIMROSE OIL: I’m not usually very convinced by herbal remedies but this one works. You can buy evening primrose oil in most vitamin shops and it comes in gel capsules and smells good. You don’t even need to take it every day; one or two a day starting a few days before your period until the end should do. Plus I feel like its done nice things for my skin and hair but I have no scientific proof to support that (shrug)
HOT WATER BOTTLE: The atom bomb of thwarting cramps. Cramps tremble in fear of the hot water bottle. This is hands down, by far, the bestie bestest remedy. Like a fool I doubted its effectiveness, but my boyfriend bought me one on a particularly excruciating day and it has been my best friend ever since. Fill that bad boy up with warm water and place it over your pelvic area and/or back. Magic. I even tie to it my body with a scarf sometimes if I get tired of lying in bed—I look like a total lunatic cooking dinner with it strapped to me, but what hey, sometimes you gotta keep on keeping on