Ouch! We Tried Alternative Period Pain Remedies

By Mia Abrahams

It is probably no surprise to anyone reading this blog that period pain *really really sucks*. Cramps that have you doubled over in pain, curled up on the couch, clenching your jaw, gritting your teeth, and yelling obscenities at inanimate objects. Along with heavy bleeding. And fatigue. And mood swings. And… Oh, aren’t periods just the best!

Like plenty of other things in the health world, period pain has about a million and one #alternative remedies that people on the internet swear by. So, I recruited some of our Team THINX members to try some of them out, because if I can spare just one of you dear readers a day of cramps — it will be a blog post well spent.

Of course, disclaimer:  ***always consult your doctor or healthcare professional before trying out any alternative healthcare remedy, particularly those in the marijuana category, people!!***

For a l’il background, Dani, our customer experience associate extraordinaire, has a heavy flow. Her cramps are significantly painful on her first (and heaviest) day, as well as the 3rd and 4th days — “almost like my uterus is saying, "OKAY, LET’S DO A SWEEP REAL QUICK BEFORE WE GTFO."

Usually, to stop cramps, she pops two ibuprofen and prays for the pain to stop while laying in the fetal position. #relatable

Let’s see if we can do any better.

Foria: Cannabis-infused suppositories, aka, weed tampons.

~Disclaimer #2: Marijuana is not legal here in New York City — but it is legal in California, where we purchased and tried these products on a recent trip!~

Foria’s vaginal suppositories are supposed to maximize the muscle relaxing and pain relieving properties of cannabis without getting you high. So how did they stack up? “You don’t necessarily get high, but the CBD definitely eases any tension, subdues the majority of cramp pain, and it brought my mood way up.” Dani found the packaging sleek *and* sexy (plus they have some other products for sexier times).

Who is this for? “For the menstruator who loves intention, dropping into the body, meditating, and feeling euphoric, the Foria is perfect.”

Pain relief score: 5/5

High Gorgeous by Yummi Karma: aka, Treat Yo’self (with THC)

Since Dani was already in California, we also stocked her up with some other cannabis treatments to see if they’d help ease her crampin’. She tried a bunch of different cannabis-infused products, including Mood Magic Tincture, Pina-Co-Canna Body Butter, and CannabisKiss Balm from Yummi Karma (also an all-women team). Dani used the products the week leading up to her period since most of them are for pampering purposes — just the thing you need when you’re about to start bleedin’. She found it helped her feel “more in tune, confident, and mindful about my upcoming period. This definitely helped reduce my PMS/anxiety that comes with my period cramps.”

Who is this for? "This is the perfect box for someone who is new to cannabis relief products and who needs a little treat yo’ self action during PMS and as your menstrual phase runs through."

Pain relief score: 4/5

Jade & Pearls: Sea Sponge Tampons, aka I guess what Ariel uses?

Dani makes the good point that as a frequent diva cup user and diehard team THINX member, she’s pretty comfortable with getting all up in there with her period blood — something that's kinda a prereq for a sea sponge tampon. The sponges felt good, and once up there, she washed her hands and got on with her day! (Shameless plug (pun intended) — Dani was on her heaviest day, so she paired the sponges with her THINX Hiphuggers to give herself some backup). Whilst the sponges had Dani feelin’ LIKE A NAT-TU-RAL WOMANNNNN, did it ease any of her PMS or period pain? Dani said yes! “Unlike a super tampon, I did not feel the dry cotton or anything really inside of me, and therefore my uterine contractions didn’t conflict with the sponges. They just let me bleed easy. But, even though the sponges are firm, it was a little difficult to insert them without an applicator.”

While she wouldn’t classify this as an actual relief product, “it definitely decreased the pain and clog you feel while wearing tampons. This is a product to be used in conjunction with a relief product, in my opinion.”

Who do you recommend uses this product? "Any crunchy gal who is interested in using a natural alternative product who isn’t about the menstrual cup but is willing to #getspongeywithit".

Pain relief: 2/5

Next up, Lauren, another  fabulous member of our Customer Experience team (she is usually the person who looks after you on our Facebook page — so say hi next time you’re on the ‘Book!).

Lauren has a hormonal IUD, so unlike Dani, she really doesn’t bleed that heavily. However, her cramps are still really bad, and she usually spots throughout the month (spotting is the worstttttt — but that’s another blog post for another day). She mainly gets lower back pain, heightened anxiety, and stress. I asked her what she usually does to battle PMS-blah, and she said: Pamprin & crying. Also very #relatable. 

The Bitch Massage at Haven Spa, aka, this should be compulsory!

Lauren literally nails it by saying: “I honestly can't think of a better time to get a massage, than the week of your period. Seriously, game changer. What's better than a massage catered specifically for all of the feels you have, physically and mentally, during those 5-7 days. It’s a solution that encompasses self-love and release, (albeit at a cost — $140 for 60 minutes)”

The description of the massage says it can relieve everything that two Pamprins usually cure for Lauren. Anxiety, check. Stress, check. Premenstrual symptoms, check!

“The big day arrived and back pain and stress were at an all-time high, and I left work a little early to meet Suzanne who would be my Bitch Massage therapist. The facilities were lovely: dark lighting, crushed velvet walls, wrap-around leather couch, and white tea. Suzanne explained to me that the Bitch Massage wasn't meant to relieve any muscle tension or pain: the point was to relax. Relaxing ocean music to my ears!

"From there, she began and, honestly, I immediately felt better— (I know, hard life I lead getting massages on a workday). I was on the relaxation train for the next 60 minutes.

I won't bore you with the other 59 minutes, but just know, the Bitch Massage lives up to it's name. Bitch be gone!"

Who is this for? "If your budget this into your period and self-love routine, I highly recommend this massage to anyone and everyone - periods or not!”

Pain Relief Score: 4/5 

Livia - Electrical pulse pain reliever, aka, what the ??

This is the one our team was really curious about. Livia is a wearable gadget that claims to stop menstrual pain by sending electrical pulses to your nerves, stopping you from feeling pain. Obvs, we’re all into innovative women’s health solutions, so we were super interested to see if this one passed the test.

Firstly, while the packaging is beautiful, the directions were…confusing. Lauren said: “I was sticking my body with gel things not knowing what to do first. Please be better than Ikea for the female body.” She started with some low pulses, but it felt like “a mini shock, like someone sticking me with a pin… and my left toes felt numb”. With some adjustment of the electrodes, some repositioning of her body, and a lot of pins and needles in her toes, Lauren found this whole experience really unpleasant. “I really couldn’t tell what I was supposed to be doing with intensity or positioning.

Who is this for? Ummm…. it's gonna be a no from me.

Pain relief score: 0/5

Have you tried out any of these remedies? Any others you think we should add to the list? Other things you're dying to try out? PS. Check out our sex toy review over here.