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Cramps, the dreaded C-word.

Image source: Getty Images

Cramps, the dreaded C-word that so many women resonate with. It’s that terrible feeling you get in your gut and lower back -- you know, the one that foreshadows your period’s unwelcome arrival.

In recent years, menstrual leave policies have become a hot topic around the globe, with more and more companies giving women paid time off on their periods. Several countries have also instituted paid period leave policies with varying levels of success. Japan implemented a nationwide paid menstrual leave plan in 1947 and nearby countries like Taiwan, South Korea, Indonesia and China implemented similar policies shortly thereafter.

Why do I get cramps before my period?

Those more likely to experience severe menstrual cramps include:

  • Women who are younger when their periods start
  • Women who have longer periods (typically over 5-7 days) or heavier blood flow
  • Women whose female relatives had or have severe cramps
  • Women who smoke

Cramping is surprisingly a genetic trait. If other women in your biological family are crampers, you might be a cramper, too. The good news? Cramps slowly alleviate as women get older--and wiser.

How do I stop cramps?
There are many ways you can prevent cramps from happening:

  • Take painkillers (Note: Consult your doctor regarding all medication)
  • Birth control pills (Note: Consult your doctor regarding birth control practices and safety)
  • Eating fruits and vegetables as well as limiting intake of saturated fat, alcohol, caffeine, salt, and refined sugar
  • Exercising regularly
  • Reducing stress
  • Quit smoking
  • Soaking in a hot bath
  • Applying heat to the lower abdomen

  • Do you have any cramp stories that you can share to other women?Join us on Facebook and share your hacks with the other women of Rael.

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