1) For as long as I can remember, my periods have hurt; less when they are regular, more when I am stressed, an almost intolerable amount when they are irregular AND I’m stressed. Before I discovered Feminax, which has been a lifesaver over the past couple of years and often the only thing that makes any difference at all, I carried out extensive research (both online and among my friends) to try and discover what the best methods for dealing with period pain are. For me, the most effective natural remedies turned out to be two principle things: heat (whether this be hot water bottles, sitting in the bath for extended periods of time, or sipping hot drinks) and distraction – usually in the form of some calming music or my favourite TV show. Now that I know what works for me – a combination of painkillers and preparation for when the pain does strike – I don’t dread my monthly cycle as much as I used to. Whatever your go-to solution is, or becomes, period pain should never stop you from getting on with your everyday life and if you start to find that it does, never be afraid to ask for help or be open about the issues it may be causing you.
– Esther Huntington-Whitely
2) My brother’s seventeenth birthday; I’m sat at the bottom of the stairs, knees to my chest, tears streaming down my cheeks and my parents’ faces, overwhelmed and bewildered, are staring down at me. I felt like I couldn’t move, my period had finally done it, it’d rendered me immobile. A couple of thousands of pain killers, and a long-nap later I was seemingly fine, but my period pains continued to go through waves of alternating uterus-wrenching pain and nothingness for the next couple of days, and then the cycle repeated over the following months. In my first year of university, I could recover with only a hot water-bottle, a tub of Ben and Jerry’s (cookie dough – of course) and an array of cheesy rom-coms that would help me laugh and cry my way through the pain. Not anymore. Going on the contraceptive pill, to date, is probably the best thing I’ve done. Whilst my periods are still pretty painful when they DO come, (I’ve only been taking the pill since February so my body is still getting used to it), my progesterone only pill is one that I take continuously, so I get my period now only about every three months – it’s bliss!
– Molly Rymer
3) I started getting my period just after my tenth birthday. It wasn’t long before I found myself skipping lessons to sleep in the nurse’s room – or missing school altogether – because of my cramps. Luckily, the pain finally became manageable a couple of years ago. Now, I survive with good old painkillers, alternating between paracetamol and ibuprofen. If timed well, I can go pain-free all day and night. However, it is important to remember when each pill is taken, because there is a risk of overdose.
My period tracker is also extremely useful. It reminds me to start taking painkillers before I’m predicted to start. I’ve used the ‘Clue’ app for 5 years now, so I’ve got enough data for it to be very accurate. (No, unfortunately, I’m not sponsored.) It’s also got a detailed list of symptoms for tracking, including PMS, mood, appetite, and of course, pain.
Obviously, this doesn’t cover every strategy, and what works for me may not work for you. But overall, my advice for period pain relief is to schedule painkillers that don’t interact (i.e.: ibuprofen and paracetamol). Use these in combination with a period tracking app, which helps with scheduling and tracking symptoms.
– Amy Milner