For health's sake · How to deal with period pain

You’ve just endured two of the most stressful weeks of your life. You’re beginning to see a light at the end of the tunnel. Then: Oh no! It’s Aunt Flo.

And this doesn’t seem to be an ordinary period. While you’re never excited about your monthly visit, this time is different. Your emotions are all over the place, and you’re experiencing period pain and menstrual cramps like never before.

It’s not your imagination. Women who are highly stressed in the weeks before their period are much more likely to experience moderate to severe period symptoms than women who are not as stressed, according to a National Institute of Child Health and Human Development study.

The link between stress and periods was just one thing we talked about with OB-GYN Abigail Heller, when she was a guest on the For Health’s Sake podcast. So, give it a listen. Other topics include:

  • Why women experience pain during their periods
  • Home remedies to manage period pain
  • Essential oils for menstrual cramps
  • If exercise during periods reduces period cramps

If nothing works to help your pain, talk to your doctor

While lifestyle changes and home remedies work for many women, there are reasons to talk to a doctor about your menstrual cramps.

“If your periods are so painful that you cannot do what you need to do every day – if you have to stay home – because of the pain or because Tylenol or ibuprofen won’t get rid of the pain, you should probably see your gynecologist [or OB-GYN], family practice practitioner or pediatrician,” Dr. Heller says.