Due to three months of my life that were sucked away a little over 3 years ago, I will most likely never feel comfortable taking any form of hormonal birth control again - which means the benefits of hormone birth control (like fewer cramps, lighter periods, etc.) are gone, gone, gone.
So, I started thinking – other than Oral Contraceptives, what are my choices at regulating those lovely little side effects of being a woman that mother nature dumps on my doorstep.
The best ideas I found were at Epigee.org.
So I tested some out. My findings are in green.
- Eat a healthy balanced diet and limit sugar, salt, and caffeine the week before you expect your period. The healthy diet seems to be a big help – but my energy level drops really low the week before, so limiting caffeine is a problem. I also take a prenatal vitamin daily and that seems to keep me from being AS tired as I used to be.
- A warm bath. I find that they help WHILE I’m in the bath, but as soon as I get out, we’re back to square 1 OR it gets worse.
- Lay down in a fetal position to relieve back pain. I actually kind of love this recommendation because when I lay in the fetal position it’s generally because I hurt so bad I can’t do anything and it feels like defeat. Now that it’s recommended, I’ll feel like I'm “treating” my symptoms!
- Regular exercise and mild exercise when cramping. This is definitely the biggest help. We went for a bike ride and my pain level was drastically lower for the rest of the day and part of the next. Super helpful.
- Raspberry leaf tea. I took this when I was pregnant to get ready for birth – I can’t stand the taste anymore because of it – and I always recommend talking to a doctor before you use anything herbal – because it is still a chemical like any drug that can interact with something else you are taking.
- Pineapple juice
- Acupuncture, reflexology, massage…Massages are helpful. For anything. I think they help the mental aspects more than anything because I actually relax.
Of course, when you don’t have time to lay around in the fetal position, sipping pineapple juice, getting massages, and treating ourselves to natural remedies and hoping they work fast enough to keep us from snapping at someone or crying at TV ads – there is ibuprofen.