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Menstruation is the one time of the month that many women least look forward to, and if they're trying to conceive it isn't just because they are not pregnant either. Let's face it periods and their surrounding symptoms are a pain. Literally.

One in five women suffer from from menstrual periods that are so bad that they interrupt daily life. Are you one of them?

If you suffer from bad period cramps, bloating, and nasty mood swings, I bet you rely on over the counter pain killers such as Tylenol to keep you going during the days on which your symptoms are at their worst.

But Tylenol isn't good for your liver, so you shouldn't rely on it unless you absolutely have to. What if there were natural cures for your horrible period symptoms? Painful periods are referred to as dysmenorrhea medically.

Twenty percent of women of menstruating/reproductive age suffer from this condition, and it can make that time of the month hell. Your lower abdominal area, where your uterus is located, takes the worst hit. Your pain can also radiate out to your back or thighs. Some women also suffer from headaches, excessive sweating, and even nausea.

Terrible mood swings that make you feel irritated and angry or, on the other hand, very emotional all the time are also a possible part of your periods. This is another condition. Premenstrual Syndrome or PMS is actually more than something people like to joke about. It's a real medical condition. If you suffer from menstrual problems, evening primrose oil or EPA is one herbal solution that many women say changed their life forever.

As a herbal remedy, there is little scientific evidence that it actually works, but trying can do no harm in this case. Apart from relieving pain, women who take evening primrose oil also say that their emotional PMS symptoms improved after they started taking EPA. Magnesium is a nutritional supplement, and a mineral that regulates many bodily functions including blood sugar levels and blood pressure. It also contributes to bone health. There's nothing unscientific about this product, yet it's totally natural. Menstrual pain and period cramps may well improve if you take a magnesium supplement.

Believe it or not, taking a fish oil supplement may also affect the symptoms you experience surrounding your period. Components found in fish oil, (eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA)), were both found to decrease prostaglandin levels and therewith reduce period pains. Of course, you can also start eating more fatty fish like mackerel to get your Omega 3 fatty acids in, in addition to taking fish oil tablets.

On the other hand, too many meat products will increase your prostaglandin levels and thus also your period pains. If you have really horrible period pains, then try going easy on red meat for a few cycles to see if you notice any difference. You may find that your symptoms get a whole lot better and that you will want to keep your meat intake to a minimum in the future.

Vitamin E is another supplement that will help you find relief from Premenstrual Syndrome, but you will find the recommended daily dose within any multivitamin and mineral supplement and you might already be taking one of those. If not, consider adding a multivitamin to your daily routine. Valerian root works as a muscle relaxant and can therefore help with painful uterine cramps.

Valerian is also used as a natural stress relief option its tincture will provide you with a mild sedation, and takes the edge of moodiness and other emotional PMS symptoms. It's not called the "natural Valium" for nothing.

Finally, some ladies turn to acupuncture to find relief for premenstrual symptoms. Perhaps sticking tiny needles into your body isn't really natural, but it's a far cry from relying on pain killers that might give you undesirable side effects. Herbal supplements and even nutritional supplements like magnesium can cause side effects, however. This is why it's always best to consult with your chosen, qualified healthcare professional whether it's a medical doctor, a herbalist, or a naturopath. What natural period pain and PMS remedies do you swear by? Help other women by sharing your tips!

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