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MOST women experience some amount of period pain. However, for some women the pain can be so debilitating that it affects their ability to carry out their regular day-to-day activities. Regardless of where on the spectrum you fall, chances are you are not alone. You may be able to benefit from some of the different remedies that some of these All Woman readers swear by.
Chedine, 36, small business owner:
I use fragrances like peppermint, rosemary and tea tree oil and I will take a warm bath for the first two or three days (I usually experience heavy bleeding for about six or seven days) then I will have peppermint and rosemary tea and I will, of course, take my regular dose of prescribed sedatives. They make me sleep a tonne but they also numb the pain and on really a bad days I take additional pain medication with that.
Ava, 29, 33:
To be very honest ever since I started to exercise regularly – I try to exercise a minimum of five times weekly – my periods have become less painful. Actually, the last couple of months I have had to be careful to keep track of my period dates because the bad pains and cramps that I would get are no more.
Sashana, 25, student:
I use a cold pack and I also find that if I sleep in a much cooler place, for example on the tiles, that I get a lot of relief or I am more comfortable. In terms of pain management, I would say that the Aleve pain medicine works best for me.
Paisley, 41, chief financial advisor:
I have from as early as my first period struggled with getting up and doing anything on the first two mornings of my period and no herb or medication that I got really helped. However, as an adult, with the help of a nutritionist my periods have become less painful and I can say now what I experience is just discomfort. So what I do is closer to my period I stay away from coffee and other things containing high levels of caffeine. I drink plenty water and daily I try to include more fruits and vegetables in my meals. Massaging my back and abdomen also helps and the beauty of this is I can do it by myself.
Monique, 27, guidance counsellor:
I generally get a warm towel and place it on my abdomen and just let it sit until it loses heat and repeat this until I experience some amount of relief. This remedy is usually accompanied by a cup a ginger tea two or so times for the day and then to manage the more severe pains I use the Advil liquid gel.
Kasey, 31, soldier:
Herbal teas have been very helpful – dog blood bush and rosemary especially are both good at reducing a heavy flow as well as painful cramps. I also exercise a lot which helps, and I also found that when I lost excess weight (I was on the bigger side) the pain went as well. I barely have pains monthly these days.
Charmaine, 29, dental assistant:
I go to my GP for a monthly injection. I cannot do without it because I get very sick when I am menstruating; I have migraines, I vomit, get diarrhoea and dizzy and so to avoid all that I take the injection. Other things help me to some extent though like getting some mint and ginger tea, and my regular dose of apple cider vinegar.
Jody, 26, writer:
There are a number of things I do – I make sure I have my baggy clothes as I like my comfort; I also make sure that my heating pad is on standby. I also make sure that I take my contraceptive pills because the pain is much less when I do. I also drink my ginger, chamomile or cinnamon tea and take some Cetamol menstrual if necessary.