The Lowdown: Six ways to ease period pains

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Indy Lifestyle Online

* Get the right painkiller

* Get the right painkiller

Ibuprofen is good, because as well as killing pain, it is an anti-inflammatory which works by decreasing the levels of prostaglandins, which cause the contractions that are often the reason for painful periods.

* Take vitamin E

Doctors in Iran found that teenage girls who were given vitamin E daily experienced less severe pain.

* Go on the Pill

The Pill can ease period pains by preventing ovulation. Without ovulation, the lining of the uterus remains thin and levels of prostaglandins are lower.

* Take exercise

Exercising during your period increases blood flow to the uterus and helps loosen the muscles in your abdomen, thighs and back. It also causes you to release endorphins, the body's natural painkiller.

* Get warm

Warmth relaxes muscles, so you may get relief from a hot-water bottle or a bath.

* Change your diet

Essential fatty acids, vitamin B6 and magnesium have all been shown to reduce period pain. Eat nuts, pulses, oily fish and whole grains. Cut down on refined carbohydrates and animal proteins.

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