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gender & sexuality | health

the radfem tips for dealing with menstruation cramps list

I am on my period and would like to write about it.
Stores like Fred Meyer sell drugs to deal with menstrual cramps, such as Pamprin and Midol. Though consuming these drugs created by male-bodied people may lead to relief in the present, I have found long-term negative consequences when taking these drugs. For example, if I have my period one month and take Pamprin to relieve cramps, then the next month I have to take twice as much pamprin to deal with the same amount of cramps. If I decide I don't want to take male-bodied person made chemicals to relieve my cramps, this is a problem. The cramps get worse because of withdrawl symptoms from the drug, and it may take months for them to return to normal.

Once I stole a tincture of Cramp Bark from a popular health food chain on Burnside. Cramp Bark is an alternative that some use to relieve menstrual cramps. However, these tinctures are often very expensive for radicals to purchase them, so the bourgeosie are most often the people who benefit from cramp bark tinctures. When I stole it, it didn't work at all anyway though. I'm not sure how much I actually buy into the effectiveness of tinctures. Part of me believes it to be bullshit.

So, what is a skeptical atheist radical who hates drugs made by male-bodied people to do? Here is a list of activities I've found that help relieve menstrual cramps that can be done in the Portland area for free. Please add to the list in the comments section for more suggestions:

Masturbate or have sex-- orgasms and muscle movements in my uterus relieve cramps.

Go for a walk up a hill-- again, muscles moving help relieve cramps for some reason. hills help this more than flat land.

yell at people who are oppressing others-- it relieves uterine menstral cramps to yell at people wearing fur, saying sexist things or racist things.

petty theft-- sometimes I need to wear a tampon instead of cloth pads. petty theft of tampons from chain stores makes me feel like I'm doing my part to tear down the capitalist machine, and I think tampons should be free anyway. The rush of adreneline throughout the body brings relief to the uterine cramps.


Some other things 07.May.2009 16:01

that work

Nettles (steamed and eaten)(They grow wild all over Cascadia)
Warm herbal tea (yogi tea and some others make special teas for this, not very expensive)
Warm bath
Warm compresses
Wait a day....

suggestions 07.May.2009 17:47


sit ups: works those abdominal muscles and the rush of endorphins from exercise is a big relief

learn about your body: its easier for me to get tough and deal with something when i know what is happening. also it helps me stay aware of what remedies are probably bunk. what we are feeling when we are having cramps is the uterus contracting and relaxing to push blood and tissue through the cervix. this is so difficult because the cervix is very f-ing narrow. cramps are frequently worse for women who have longer cervices. the reason orgasms tend to help with cramps is that the cervix dilates when you are having one, allowing blood and tissue to pass more easily (and sperm for hetero couples looking to procreate)

don't know if i am alone here, but if i imagine a biological process that means my body is doing its job, it helps me deal with the pain a little better.

a couple years back folks from the Doohickey Project came and did a presentation, i thought it was a wonderful way to reconnect with and understand our bodies needs and processes


Dealing with cramps 07.May.2009 18:35


Over the years I have had mild to terrible-can't leave my bed-cramps. I really don't know which it will be until I start bleeding. It seems that movement and having a distracting activity helps a bit, but that only works when I am feeling well enough to leave my bed. The only thing that always works for me is heat. Whether it be a hot bath, warm compress or my kitten curling up on my uterus area, heat always makes my cramps go away. Other things that work more or less are curling up in a ball and then stretching out as flat as I can, and repeating that slowly for about 10 minutes. Willow bark tea also helps some. Sex can help but some times it feels too invasive, although masturbating doesn't feel invasive.

I've had bad results with tinctures as well. I don't notice they are working until after they stop and I feel worse again. I've both made my own tinctures and acquired them from stores. Some of the tinctures you are supposed to start up to a day(or even more!) before you start your period, so that your body is ready for it. I usually forget to start them before and they end up only offering minimal to no help.

I'm curious if there is a way to exercise the uterine muscles, since it seems to me the cramps come from the muscles only being used once a month or so.