Getting your period is an exciting milestone. It means you’re growing into a healthy woman. PMS pain, however, is a little less exciting. But this doesn’t mean you have to suffer.
What is PMS pain and what causes it?
PMS pain is a result of chemicals known as prostaglandins, which are released during your period to make your uterus contract so that it expels the blood, tissue, and fluid that leave your body during menstruation.
These uterine contractions are why you may feel prolonged, dull aches and pains in your lower abdomen leading up to and during your period. They’re also the cause of PMS back pain.
Premenstrual cramps are the most common forms of premenstrual pain, but the pain can sometimes come in the form of a headache.
This is your body reacting to the change in hormones that occurs during your period. Some girls also feel PMS breast pain, making their breasts feel super sensitive and sore around the time of their period. This is perfectly normal. Again, your hormones are the culprit.
How to treat PMS pain
There are lots of things you can do to treat PMS pain. Anything that relaxes your muscles will help reduce premenstrual pain.
Applying heat is a great way of letting your muscles relax. This can mean taking a warm bath, hugging a hot water bottle, or even just curling up under your favourite blankets. Sometimes, drinking herbal tea can help, too.
Exercise – surprise, surprise! – is also a big help. Even though moving around a lot can be the last thing you feel like doing when you’ve got premenstrual cramps, it’s worth it to giving it a try. That’s because exercise increases blood flow, which helps your muscles relax.
It also releases chemicals called endorphins. They’re your body’s natural feel-good chemicals that actually change the way it perceives pain while boosting your mood.