This 12 Ways to Deal with Painful Periods shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #WhatMattersToU #CollectiveBias
Today at STYLEanthropy, let’s get a little more intimate. Yes, I’m talking about that time of the month and how painful it could be to a lot of women. Some women are lucky to feel normal during their period. But some have to deal with excruciating pain – pain that not everyone understands or are even aware of – due to different medical conditions. I know, because I’m one of those who suffer from painful periods on a regular basis. Mine is due to endometriosis.
First, a little background/refresher about my condition, in case you’re interested. You can always skip to the tips if you wanna cut to the chase!
It’s no secret I have a severe kind of endometriosis. It’s a chronic, often painful condition where the tissue that lines your uterus grows elsewhere while continuing it’s normal process – thicken, break down and bleed during your menstrual cycle. When it grows in other parts of your body, it has no way to get out. So it gets trapped, causes scar tissue and adhesions, binds organs together, causes inflammation and pain among others. Back in 2011, I had surgery to remove the displaced endometrial tissue and have been pain-free for almost 4 years.
How Painful Periods can Affect Life
Since endometriosis is a recurring disorder that grows back over time, the pain came back too. If you’ve been following me for awhile, then you know I’ve had to deal with really painful episodes the last couple of months. My periods have disrupted my day-to-day activities, often leaving me in bed for days, and in pain for weeks. Finding a comfortable position was hard, as was trying to do anything at all.
I feel really bad when I couldn’t work or cook for my husband. I feel bad when he has to do everything on his own at home – having to take care of me, and feed me and Louis after coming home from work. I also feel bad when there’s a party or dinner with friends, and we have to say no because it’s that time of the month.
Finding What Matters Most to Get Through the Pain
My family and friends matter to me. So over time, I managed to deal with the pain and find a system or routine that can help me go through my day to day activities, even when I have my period. I want to share that with others who get painful periods like me, hoping it could help them too. So below are 12 ways that helped me feel better during that dreaded time of the month.
12 Ways to Deal with Painful Periods
The first 9 ways that help me deal with pain can easily be gathered altogether into what we can call a “Painful Period Survival Kit“, as shown above. When it’s that time of the month, these are the things that you’ll see on my bedside table or in the bathroom.
Let me list them to you one by one, followed by the other intangible things that you can do to help you deal with painful periods.
- Heat Pad – the heat pad is your best friend during that time of the month. Wear around your lower abdomen and let the heat help ease the pain. But don’t overuse it. An hour or two at a time is the most ideal, and luckily, most heat pads now auto shuts off in 2 hours. Just don’t turn it on again right away. Go over that time limit and you risk getting a heat stroke or dehydration. I know because I’m stubborn. It took me a couple of cycles to analyze. Before, because my periods were too painful, I’d use it for several hours. It sure did help with the pain. But after awhile, I’d feel nauseous and sometimes would throw up. Since one of the symptoms of my condition is nausea, I thought it was just because of that. But over the last couple of periods when I strictly used the heat pad a maximum of 2 hours, I didn’t feel nauseous and didn’t vomit either.
- Pain Cream or Ointment – another way to relieve the pain is through pain ointments and creams. There are several over-the-counter ointments that you can purchase at your local store like Walmart. Just make sure to read the instructions. Some ointments can’t be used together with a heat pad. So what I like to do at the onset of pain, is first, use a heat pad for about 1-2 hours. Take a break for a couple of minutes to an hour, and if there’s still pain, I apply the pain cream and let it work its magic.
- Calming Tea – when you have painful periods, it’s a must to avoid acidic drinks and food that will only add to the stomach pain. Instead, opt for a calming tea such as chamomile, to help you relax and destress.
- Eye Sleep Mask – when I’m in terrible pain, I just sleep it off and not fight it. No need to feel guilty because YOU ARE IN PAIN! Worrying will only result to more stress, and more stress results to more pain. So even if it’s in the middle of the day, I make sure to rest and sleep 1-2 hours, just to let the pain pass or to wait until the pain reliever kicks in. Thus, it’s important to have an eye sleep mask to help you sleep better even if the sun is out shining brightly.
- Epsom Salt + Soaking in Tub – epsom salt has been used to ease all kinds of aches and pains for decades. I always have them handy in the bathroom, ready for when I soak in the tub. So when you are PMS-ing or suffering from cramps, try soaking in a warm bubble bath with epsom salt in it. The epsom, when soaked in water, breaks down into magnesium and sulfate – minerals you’ll find in natural springs. Also, if you find a chamomile and/or lavender foam bath to use for your bubble bath, even better. They can help with the pain and stress too.
- Coconut Water – when you have your period, especially when you experience heavy bleeding like me, it takes a lot from you. So rehydrating is key. Coconut water has electrolytes and minerals to replenish lost nutrients in your body. PLUS, when you have your period, you are more prone to urinary tract infections. The same goes when you have endometriosis. Coconut water is a natural diuretic. Thus, it helps flush out the bacteria from the urinary tract. Another helpful drink is cranberry juice because it helps prevent E.Coli bacteria.
- Pain Reliever – I always bring them in small pillboxes like the purple one shown above. If pain is too much that I couldn’t work or do my day-to-day activities, I take the pain killers. Just remember to time your intake. Don’t go over the instructions in the bottle or packet of your pain reliever, and try to keep it to a minimum if you can tolerate the pain.
- Reliable Feminine Pads – always have feminine pads that you can depend on. Pads that will allow you to curl in bed, move left and right, twist your body and what not, trying to find a good position that doesn’t hurt much. I’ve been using U by Kotex® Cleanwear® Ultra Thin Heavy Flow Pads for heavy days since it has a unique 3D Capture Core* with Xpress DRI* cover that absorbs so quickly, you won’t have to worry about leaks! Depending on the day’s activities and/or outfit I need to wear, I sometimes alternate it with the U by Kotex® Sleek® tampons. It’s sleek and smooth, but still offers full-sized protection! I buy mine at Walmart when I do my groceries because where else can you find great value? Also, you can find all of these things included in my Painful Period Survival Kit on there too. If I can save more money so I can worry about other things that matter to me, I’m good. Also, there’s a current offer from 4/15 to 5/31 when you purchase 2 packs of any variety of U by Kotex® products at Walmart. Just text UbyKotex to 811811 and upload a photo of your receipt. Then, go to UbyKotexrewards.com and register to choose your customized reward! You can get up to $25 in rewards just by purchasing these. For reference, I’ve included a photo of these products where you can find them at Walmart below.
- Big Water Bottle – this is to remind you to drink plenty of water throughout the day. Actually, you should already be doing this no matter if you have your period or not. But it’s especially important to hydrate when you’re in pain. It will help with the inflammation inside that’s adding to the pain. I use big water bottles or cups at home, big enough to hold 3-4 glasses of water, just like this pineapple cup. That way, I can easily monitor my water intake. I make sure I refill it at least 3 times in a day to make sure I get over 8 glasses of water!
- Good Diet – I know we women get all sorts of cravings during that time of the month. But try to stick to a good diet that will not worsen your condition. For example, if during your period you get acidic, then avoid foods and drinks that will make it worse. Dark leafy greens, nuts, soy, ginger and turmeric are some of the foods that can help you fight inflammation or bloating.
- Time Management – you’re probably wondering why is this part of the ways to deal with painful periods. Well, it’s actually quite important. You see, when you have work deadlines and other things going on, and you’re on your most painful time of the month, it gets more stressful, adding on to the pain! So you should get your act together and manage your time better! More or less, you have an idea when you’re going to have your period, especially when you’re periods come on a regular basis. But even if they don’t, there are symptoms that help you determine when Aunt Flo is around the corner. So before that happens, make sure you finish your most important deadlines. So that when you have your period, you won’t have to worry about work. Even if it’s not a deadline on the week of your period itself, but say, a week after, you wanna get ahead. So work an extra hour or so before your period arrives. So you won’t have to worry about work when the pain comes. Aside from work, I also schedule chores ahead. I meal plan or prepare food ahead of time. I know my most painful days are the day before and the first two days of my period. So a day before that, I cook meals that will last us 2-3 days or even more. If I can’t, I make sure to stock up on easy, quick-fix meals like meatballs, salad, soups, etc.
- Relaxation through Yoga, Meditation, Stretching – I know you’re already in pain and don’t want to move any further when you’ve found a good spot in bed. Not only my lower abdomen hurts but also my lower back, during my period. But when pain subsides a little bit, try doing yoga or some stretching. It may hurt a bit but it will help relax your muscles that are stressed from all the pain. Try to do some stretches and yoga poses like below, to help stretch that back and abdomen too. Doing this on a regular basis will also help you out in the long run. Knowing how to destress and relax can help you deal with the pain better. Even if you’re lying in bed, a little meditation won’t hurt. Put on a relaxing music or listen to relaxing sounds like ocean waves or chirping birds (whatever seems to relax you), then focus on the good things – what matters to you – and try to forget you’re having your period. Mind over matter!
Hope these 12 Ways to Deal with Painful Periods help ease out your pain, and help you manage your painful periods. I know how hard it is not being able to do the things we like to do during that time of the month. So I really wanted to share these tips to other women out there who experience the same things that I do. May these things help you out in this monthly endeavor, because we all know there are so many other things that matter in our lives, things that we want to do, than having to worry about painful periods.
YOU CAN DO IT!
How about you? What matters to you during that time of the month? Who would you rather be spending time with or what would you rather be doing than curling up in your bed during le period? I’d love to hear your thoughts and experiences!
Don’t forget to pin me to save these tips for later!
Until the next post! See you back here on STYLEanthropy. Xo, C.