Women's Wellness

How To Relieve Period Pain? Here Are Some Science-Backed Tips

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By Apollo 24|7, Published on - 04 October 2022, Updated on - 22 May 2024

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Period pain, also known as dysmenorrhea in medical terms, is something almost every woman goes through in her lifetime. While for some women it can just be mild discomfort in the abdomen, for others it can be severe enough to hamper everyday activities. Moreover, according to a study, 84.1% of women reported menstrual pain with 43.1% reporting that it occurred during every period.

Menstrual cramps feel like an uncomfortable and painful tightening in the lower abdomen and back, typically lasting from 48 to 72 hours during the period. While period pain is quite common, it can sometimes be quite difficult to go about your day while dealing with the discomfort. Fortunately, there are science-backed period pain relieving tips you can try.  

1. Try Hot Compression

The application of heat to your lower belly and back can help in relieving period pain as it helps in relaxing your muscles. Studies show that heat therapy is just as effective as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) in relieving menstrual pain. You can use a heating pad, a hot-water bottle, or a towel soaked in hot water. In case you don't have any of these things, you can also opt for taking a warm bath. 

hot compression

2. Exercise For A While

How can exercising help get rid of stomach cramps? Sounds weird, right? Well, it’s true. While women may not feel like exercising while dealing with period pain, it can improve blood circulation around the uterus, thereby reducing cramps. Notably, low-impact and gentle aerobic exercises like swimming or walking are the most helpful in relieving period pain. 


3. Try Massage Therapy

Massage can relax your muscles, resulting in fewer spasms. Massaging the area around your abdomen, back, and side can provide relief from period pain. Massage therapy for menstruation should be done for around 20 minutes for the best results. Moreover, adding essential oil to your massage sessions can prove to be even more efficient. According to a review, rosemary, clary sage, Roman chamomile, and peppermint oils can help manage cramps effectively. Make sure to dilute one of these essential oils with a carrier oil such as vegetable or nut oils for effective abdominal massage. 


4. Avoid Certain Foods

Certain foods can ease period pain, while others can make it worse. During your periods, it is advisable to avoid:

  • Fatty food
  • Carbonated beverages
  • Alcohol
  • Salty food
  • Caffeine

oily food

These foods can cause bloating and increase water retention, worsening menstrual cramps. Instead of these, try lemon-flavoured hot water, soothing mint or ginger tea. Those craving something sweet can munch on delicious fruits like raspberries or strawberries. 

5. Try Alternative Therapies

If you haven’t tried acupuncture yet, it is about time you do, especially if you are looking for a natural way to relieve period pain. This non-invasive approach to pain relief involves applying firm pressure to specific body parts to ease symptoms. The idea behind this technique is that targeting specific areas of the body, known as acupoints, causes a release of endorphins, which are natural pain-relieving chemicals. According to various studies, acupressure can help in reducing the duration and severity of period pain. A review indicates that acupuncture may be more helpful in reducing menstrual pain than NSAIDs. However, one must consult their doctor before trying out any alternative therapies. 


6. Take Medication

In case natural remedies don’t work, one can try NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) to get relief from menstrual pain and heavy bleeding. These medicines help in lowering the body’s prostaglandin (a hormone) production to help ease the pain. Make sure to consult a doctor before taking any medication.

take medicine

These above-mentioned remedies are some of the most effective methods for relieving period pain. However, if you experience consistently severe period pain and feel like at-home treatment isn’t working, then it is advisable to consult with a gynaecologist to figure out if there is a deeper cause for concern. For more information,

Consult an Apollo Gynaecologist


Medically reviewed by Sonia Bhatt.


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