We offer our top tips for easing those uncomfortable period aches.
When I started my period it was never much of an issue for me, but in the last year I’ve started suffering from very bad period pain whenever it starts. I get violently ill every month, and miss days of school because I can’t move out of the fetal position all day. They can also last close to two weeks instead of a few days. None of my friends have this problem, so I have been struggling. Is there anything I can do to deal with the pain? – Sarah Lee
Sending you all the sympathy in the world, Sarah, as I have a lot of personal experience with how bad period pain can get. A lot of people experience cramp-like pains in their lower stomach when they have their period. This is caused by the womb muscles contracting. Period pain can vary from person to person, and can start at any time – I didn’t experience cramps at all for the first three years of my period, and then when I was 17 they struck with merciless force, reducing me to a gibbering wreck incapable of anything other than lying on the sofa and groaning into a pillow. Along with this debilitating womb pain, a lot of girls also report suffering back pain, or pain down their legs, and feeling sick. Fun!
Painkillers and warmth
I’d recommend taking a painkiller (such as paracetamol, ibuprofen or aspirin) as soon as you start to notice any pain. This will let you get it under control before it gets too bad. Make sure you follow the instructions about how many painkillers you can take within a certain period of time. I also can’t recommend having a hot water bottle to put on your stomach enough – or my personal preference, which is a microwaveable wheat or bean bag (stays warm for longer and is a bit more malleable than a hot water bottle). A nifty life hack I picked up at university was to invest in a reusable hand warmer – these are cheap to buy and fantastic for pain on the go because you don’t have to faff around with a kettle or microwave.
Stroll it out
In some cases gentle exercise can help – gentle being the key word, as I’ve come close to vomiting on a cross-trainer having pushed it too hard in the gym before. A brisk walk or some simple yoga can do wonders; but only if you’re able to stand.
If nothing is easing the pain before or during your period, you should speak to a doctor or nurse. They can help you check everything is okay, and if necessary can prescribe something to help you manage your symptoms.
Feel better soon – and for more information on periods, visit Brook
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