Can a hot water bottle help my period pain?
Short answer; YES! Heat is a proven method for easing period cramps. Other forms of heat can work as well, a hot bath or shower for example.
So how does a hot water bottle work?
Heat therapy uses heat to impact inflammation and pain. Hot water bottle, heat patches and hot baths are common ways of combatting period cramps.
But does heat actually work?
Hat therapy has been said to work because it brings blood to the area in pain. However, evidence around heat easing period pain is un-unanimous. One study claimed heat did ease period pain however it failed to confirm if it was down to heat and not other factors such as exercise or diet.
Heat has also been suggested to help due to the psychological impact of heat. Heat is often comforting and relaxing. To reduce pain, we need to feel safe, and heat can make us feel safe.
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What causes period pain?
So first, what are period pains and what causes them?
There are 3 main factors all related which cause period pains directly. The uterus contracts to help the lining shed. Chemicals (called prostaglandins) encourage the womb to contract more. An excess of these chemicals cause eaters to contract more strongly putting pressure on the blood vessels around the uterus and interrupting the blood and oxygen supply causing pain.
We want to give a general set of guidelines to give you confidence to investigate any concerns further. Generally, pain is seen as “normal” if the pain improves with normal pain medication, you can continue with daily activities and bleeding is within average range (under 80ml of blood per period- which is about 4 full menstrual cups, 16 saturated regular tampons or pads).