4 period hacks that will make your menstrual cycle less painful and less messy

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  • Getting your period can be painful and sometimes messy, but there are products you can use to make menstruating a more pleasant experience.
  • Use over-the-counter painkillers before you start to bleed, apply meat tenderizer to blood stains, and use lube for easier tampon insertion to make your cycle more bearable.

Unwanted cramps and messy blood stains during your period can make menstruating a nightmare.

But there are simple do-it-yourself tricks that period-getters and gynecologists swear by to help ease your period pain and clean up any messes you encounter during your cycle.

Use lube when inserting tampons

If vaginal dryness makes inserting your tampon uncomfortable, try lubricant, OBGYN Dr. Sheila Loanzon told Today.com.
Applying a water-based lube typically used for penetrative sex, like KY Jelly, around your vulva can make it easier to slide a tampon into place. Vaseline and Aquaphor work well too, according to Loanzon.

Take ibuprofen beforehand to maximize pain relief and reduce bleeding

If your biggest period beef is painful cramps, you can get ahead of the pain by using over-the-counter pain killers before you start to bleed.

Gynecologists previously told Insider that ibuprofen, when taken a day or two before you start bleeding, can lessen overall pain throughout your cycle even make your flow less heavy.

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Research has shown nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen alleviate cramps by reducing levels of a chemical called prostaglandins. Prostaglandins makes the uterus contract and shed its lining, and create that cramping sensation.
One 2013 study found that NSAIDs could reduce menstrual flow between 28% and 49%.

“I’ve been advising this for years as a gynecologist,” Dr. Lauren Streicher previously told Insider. “We know that ibuprofen can reduce menstrual cramps as well as menstrual flow.”

Meat tenderizer to remove old blood stains on underwear

It’s disappointing to see a crimson stain on your fresh pair of underwear.

Fortunately, cleaning aficionados have figured out how to remove the toughest of blood stains from fabric, even ones that are on the older side. All it takes is some meat tenderizer.

As cleaning expert Jolie Kerr told Jezebel, you can sprinkle a period-blood stain with a bit of unseasoned meat tenderizer, add a bit of water until it forms a paste, and then let it sit for 30 minutes.

Rinse your undies with cold water, throw them in the washer, and you’ll be left with stain-free drawers.

Put disposable hand and foot warmers in your waistband to have a heat pad on you all day for cramps

Applying heat to your abdomen can help lessen the intensity of uterine contractions and therefore make cramps more bearable.
But when you’re on the go, it might not be possible to have your favorite heating pad or hot water bottle in tow.

That’s why Twitter user Abbey Lu suggested a hack her mom swears by: Buying disposable hand and foot warmers typically used for winter sports.

“You know the kind that stick to your sock, and I stick them to the inside of my waistband so that I have a heating pad all day that moves with me,” Lu told period underwear company Thinx.

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