Updated: May 30, 2022
Everyone should feel good about what’s going into their body, and everyone should have reliable options to help guard their health to some extent. Unfortunately, that can be difficult for women with dysmenorrhea.
There is still a lot of research that needs to be done to help women navigate their period pain and determine what works for them. While medication is an option (and sometimes feels like the only option), there can be setbacks to NSAIDs like ibuprofen or Motrin. Birth-control is another option that from my experience works well, but also has its consequences.
There are a number of reasons you might not want to use medication to manage your period pain. Maybe you haven’t found a medication that works yet. Maybe you don’t want to use it for personal or religious reasons, or you may deal with a lot of side effects when you use a certain medication.
While more medical studies are needed, research supports the use of certain natural remedies that can be used as a stand-alone treatment to manage the pain, or in conjunction with medication.
These natural remedies should be treated as options to help decrease period pain, and not as a cure or perfect solution.
Here are three natural remedies for severe period pain:
1. Valeriana Officinalis
Valeriana Officinalis is an herbal supplement mostly used as a remedy for insomnia and anxiety. This plant has been used to treat painful periods since the 10th century.
Here are a number of reasons that valeriana officinalis is helpful, according to the National Center for Biotechnology Information.
It decreases the amount of time a woman bleeds during menstruation
It acts as a painkiller
It is FDA approved
It reduces pain, cyclic cramps, dysmenorrhea, anxiety and stress
It is safe to use when pregnant and breastfeeding
If you wanted to use this herbal supplement, you would take 300 mg three times a day for two days. You would take the first dose on the first day of your period and then continue the process for one more day. Over dosage results in: dilated pupils, headache, cardiac disorders, CNS depression, restless states, and sleeplessness. The maximum amount a person can take without experiencing intolerable side effects is 2,790 mg a day.
It is important to note that this research does not indicate if women with secondary dysmenorrhea were included in the study. We do know that women with primary dysmenorrhea were included.
Since this study compares Valeriana Officinalis to Mefenamic acid, it appears that this supplement would be used as a stand-alone treatment.
2. Vitamin B1
Thiamine, also known as Vitamin B1, is another option for women with severe period pain.
Thiamine allows you to get the energy you need from the food you eat. This vitamin was used in a study of over 500 East Indian women, who had moderate to severe symptoms. The age range was 12 to 21 years old.
It has not been determined how well this vitamin would work in treating period pain in U.S women because they’re diet is significantly different from East Indian women. If you wanted to try using Vitamin B1, you would take 100 mg every day. It was not noted if there is any pause in taking this vitamin on the day of your actual period.
Details of how Vitamin B1 treated the period pain were also not stated; it only said that it reduced period pain.
According to Kaiser Permanente, Vitamin B1 might help with dysmenorrhea if you suffer from thiamine deficiency. It is unknown if it will help if you are not deficient in this area.
This study did not indicate whether Vitamin B1 could be taken with other medications such as NSAIDs or birth control.
3. Topical Heat
Topical heat is another simple and affordable option. It is shown to work just as well as ibuprofen. You can use a heating pad and ibuprofen for your period, however no notable difference was reported by using this combination.
The dose of ibuprofen that was used in this study was 400 mg.
From my personal experience, using a heating pad has worked very well in the days leading up to my period. This is the time where I am experiencing cramps and nausea, but the bleeding has not begun.
Without the use of medication, once my period actually starts, the heating pad only makes a small difference. I still experience extremely painful cramps and vomiting if I only use a heating pad but do not use any medication.
If you don’t have a heating pad but need one, you can check Medical News Today to see alternative solutions.
Everyone is different. What works for your body might not work for mine, but women who suffer from severe period pain should know that there are other options outside of the standard medication that they can try.
I wish you the best as you explore what options work for you.
Disclaimer: Amber’s Care should not replace medical advice. If you have questions about the following statements, please consult a doctor.