As most anyone who has had a period can attest, one of the less enjoyable side effects are headaches. For some, it's a mild inconvenience. For others, it can be downright debilitating.
If you're in the latter camp, you know over-the-counter pain relievers can help, but they don't always do the trick. Moreover, you may not want to rely on them too much, as they can have a negative impact including upset stomach, drowsiness, and dizziness.
What Causes Period Headaches?
There are plenty of reasons one may experience headaches during that time of the month. Sudden changes in hormones, however, are typically the primary culprit. Moreover, if one has migraines, menstrual periods can be the precipitating event that can set loose havoc. Migraines can include heightened period symptoms such as cramps and pms, in addition to nausea, vomiting, and even light sensitivity during the days leading up to or during menses.
Thankfully, there are natural options that may aid in relieving menstrual headaches without the side effects of over-the-counter and prescription medications. Let's break down three natural remedies that may help.
1. Drink Lots Of Fluids: If your headache has you writhing in pain, you may consider increasing your fluid intake. Dehydration can worsen headaches. So, drinking plenty of fluids, especially water, is essential during your period.
You might also try drinking non-caffeine herbal tea or diluted fruit juice to assist with hydration. A bonus with increasing your hydration factor is that it may also help reduce the likelihood of cramps. Score!
If you are susceptible to headaches during your period, you may want to avoid caffeine. I know, I know who can live without coffee for 3-7 days? I can't, but unfortunately, caffeine can dehydrate and worsen headaches. In addition to coffee, drinks like alcohol and soda can also negatively impact hydration and may leave you feeling even more uncomfortable during your flow.
2. Apply A Heating Pad Or Warm Compress
Suppose you have one of those "OMG!" moments where it feels like something is chipping away at your eye sockets and your neck. Then, it's not a bad idea to consider taking a day off.
Resting on your sofa and watching some good old Netflix with a heating pad applied to your neck or other affected areas may do the trick. The warmth from the compress may help relax the muscles and, as a result, ease some of the pain. If a warm compress isn't your thing, a hot shower may be worth trying to support in soothing your aching head.
3. Get a massage
Ok, so I get it. Who wants to get a massage when you're flowing? But honestly, it's probably one of the best times. Not only will it help to release tension in your neck and shoulders, which are target areas known to lead to stress which can bring on headaches, but it can also help to clear your mind. Period fog is real, and most people don't realize they're experiencing it.
If you're worried about having a “period burp” during your massage, wear a pair of FLOH Wear to protect you. Otherwise, self-massage using your hands or even a couple of tennis balls in some old pantyhose or tube sock works wonders to roll back and forth on. An at-home TENS unit is also a great alternative to try as well.
The next time you get a period headache, reach for one of these remedies instead of an oral pain reliever. You may find that they provide just the relief you need.
Keywords: periods, menstrual, migraine, headache, light-sensitivity, aura, nausea, natural, remedies