(Closed) Cramps… How do you deal with them?

posted 5 years ago in Wellness
Post # 16
Member
690 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2014

I agree with birth control.  It’s possible that you have endometriosis,  which causes immense pain.  I’ve been on birth control since i was 18, as my pain was worse than normal.   Now,  if I’m not on it,  i become violently ill at that time of b the month.   Birth control stops most of the pain,  and all of the vomiting.   Midol takes care of the rest. 

Post # 17
Member
3242 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

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sumshine.dawn:  I faint most months from the pain. Its gets so bad I black out. Not. Fun. Ever. But I second heat. And I use the stick on heat packs. Also, make sure you are breathing properly and relaxing your stomach. Often you are in so much pain you don’t realise how much you are tensing your tummy muscles and that just makes it so much worse. Deep breaths and push your stomach out as you breathe. Check yourself that you don’t go back to tensing every so often. Avoid coffee! Coffee is sooo toxic for period pain. Caffiene in general on my period makes my pain worse. When you do go home, lie down on your bed and stretch out on your back. Relax your body and really intense!

Post # 18
Member
6361 posts
Bee Keeper

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sumshine.dawn:  The first thing I would say is that severe period pain (which would be classed as pain that stops/hinders you doing day-to-day activities and/or that requires prescription-only medication) warrants further investigation to check that there isn’t an underlying causes, like endometriosis or PCOS. Many doctors will have you believe that this level of pain is ‘normal’, but the fact is that it isn’t. So if you haven’t already I would be asking your doctor to do some tests/refer you on (likely blood tests, a physical examination, and an internal ultrasound to begin with).

In terms of pain-management, I used to have extremely severe pain (as well as a myriad of other issues inc bowel pain) due to my endo. For me, the only thing that works is hormonal contraception; without it, I cannot function at all regardless of how many painkillers I take and how strong they are, or whatever else I do. That said, I did develop coping mechanisms, so my top tips would be:

Stick-on heat patches, or, even better, a heated TENS machine

Breathing exercises: I would find myself panting, so forced myself to steady my breathing, taking long, slow, deep breaths; it did help

Pushing: this will sound really weird, but my cramps were extremely strong, and spaced like contractions; I actually found pushing during them alleviated the pain and made the cramp/contraction more manageable

Pain-killers: I would use a paracetamol/codeine-based one along with a NSAID (like diclofenac); speak to your doctor for advice, but basically the aim is to take them regularly (at two hour intervals) to keep ‘topped up’. When I had chronic pain (caused by adhesions) I did this, and I had different types/strengths of painkillers that I used in different combinations depending on how severe the pain was. Also, make sure you take them BEFORE the pain starts (ie first thing in the morning), and take them exactly on time; do not take them late

Hormonal contraception: I know you have tried the pill, but I’m assuming you’ve only tried one type and brand from what you’ve said. Different pills work for different people, so this is something I would consider trying again. Ideally, I would look at cycling the combined pill (running packets together without a 7 day break), or trying the mini-pill (you may get irregular bleeding at first, but around 90% of women find their periods stop within 6 months of use); there are also numerous other methods inc the injection, Mirena IUS, etc.

Hope that helps, but please do insist on some tests if you haven’t already.

Post # 19
Member
82 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: April 2015

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sumshine.dawn:  I have awful cramps as well.  The only pain killer that works is Advil for me.  If BCPs didn’t work, try another brand.  I had really bad cramps on one.  Lo Estrin and Lo LoEstrin worked like a charm.

Post # 20
Member
2347 posts
Buzzing bee

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sumshine.dawn:  Ugh, I also have pretty rough periods. Usually the first day I vomit all day and am all sweaty/ hot and cold. I work from home now so dealing is easier for me.

The only advice I ever found that helped a teeeny bit is to avoid all nuts and sugar on your period. I once worked for a Tibetan family (all women) who were shocked when they saw me eating almonds and chocolate on my period. They were like, “didn’t you know you’re not supossed to do that? it makes your cramps worse!!” They claimed this was something commonly taught in their culture. I can’t attest to this but I have to say that since cutting nuts and sugary treats during my period I have noticed a decrease in cramping pains. Maybe it’s all psychological but I honestly don’t care. 

Post # 21
Member
46 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: August 2015

Ibuprofen and some mild physical activity usually works for me, like going for a brisk walk. I know it’s the last thing you feel like doing when you are in pain, but I swear it helps. My cramps are always worse when I’m laying or sitting down!

Post # 22
Member
149 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: January 2015

Like PP have said try the espom salt bath and heating pad. I try drinking plenty water and midol or baralgen. Before hand when I expect my cycle to come or feel it beginning I take painkillers so it gets in my system before the pain becomes bad and I can manage or else God help me!

 

Post # 23
Member
849 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2014

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harcil19:  I agree–Lo Estrin is what I use and I have had a significant decrease in cramps. I used to get them so bad the first day I would throw up and have hot/cold sweats if I didn’t take anything.

What I used to take before the pill was Aleve–two to three pills, actually. When I was 14 or 15 I went to an OB-GYN that prescribed me naproxen at a high dose for pain management and it cost me (ok, my parents) $60/month. Until I figured out naproxen was just Aleve. I just took the higher dosage of two-three pills depending on how bad it was, at the VERY FIRST sign of cramps and it usually helped the pain.

Post # 24
Member
1083 posts
Bumble bee

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sumshine.dawn:  heating pads. Midol. Tea. when I’m lucky, I get to get off work and have a putty party in bed….

Post # 25
Member
520 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2015

I have endometriosis and its excruciatingly painful. I have a couple of tips:<br />-firstly i wear looser clothing thats more comfortable

-advil (doesnt help that much but dulls the pain and i wouldnt take anything constipating or itll make it worse)

-turmeric tea (found awesome recipes on pinterest. they are not all the same so try a few diff ones and see what you like)

-at home i use a hot water bottle ( i hav e alittle portable, microwavable one for work)

-back massage in the lower back area. pressure realyl helps

-my entire diet is based on reducing the cramping and pain. no sugar, no caffeine, no alcohol, no gluten no dairy, (sugar and alcohol especially)

-peppermint and chamomile tea

– i take 2 magnesium pills every night although i dont no ho wmuch they help

Post # 26
Member
2570 posts
Sugar bee

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sumshine.dawn:  I am the same way it is crippling :$

Post # 28
Member
1572 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2013

I agree since this is impacting your life, it’s worth having your dr check into it more. I have endometriosis, and while birth control pills are usually teh most common treatment, there are many other options. Lately, many reproductive endocrinologists seem to be recommending hormonal IUDs (Mirena is the most commonly researched one, but Skyla and another one.. i think Lilette? are also available). I have endometriosis and take a hormonal medication so that I do not have my period as my periods are heavy, long, and painful. I love those stick on heat pads, and when I’m just working in my office I use a plug in heating pad (I’m very lucky to have an office to myself).

I added in Evening Primrose Oil and magnesium supplements – I’m not a dr, so run this past yours before you start anything. 

Post # 29
Member
527 posts
Busy bee

I used to have terrible cramps up to a few days before my cycle started. After I started running and using reusable pads the cramps are gone for all but the first day, MAYBE two days of my cycle. They’re also less severe in general. 

 

It’s wonderful. I hope you can find something that works!

Post # 30
Member
555 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2020

Try naproxen sodium (in Australia I buy Naprogesic)… it changed my life. Seriously I used to be in agony from my cramps… now I just pop a couple of these when my period starts and during, and the cramps become quite minor.

It’s not just like any painkiller medication. It reduces the hormones that cause the cramping in the first place.

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