Dark chocolate is involved.
Ob-gyns: They're just like us! Except with a medical degree in quieting ungodly pain. Their tried-and-true strategies for treating period cramps, below.
"I take 600 milligrams of ibuprofen every six hours for the three days before my period to decrease prostaglandin buildup, the chemicals largely responsible for cramps." —Angela Jones, M.D., Freehold, New Jersey
They Add Heat.
"I put my old-school heating pad on my abdomen. The warmth relaxes uterine muscles and relieves pain." —Sheeva Talebian, M.D., New York City
They Skip Chips.
"Salty foods prompt the body to hold more water, which makes PMS symptoms like bloating and aching even worse. So I try to be mindful of my intake—and not reach for the kettle chips I really want." —Janet Choi, M.D., New York City
They Go Green.
"I avoid sugary foods that spike blood sugar and promote inflammation, and I eat a lot of anti-inflammatory leafy greens, berries, quinoa, and spices like turmeric. When I crave sweets, I stick with dark chocolate; it's high in magnesium, which can help alleviate cramps." —Talebian (Get more healthy recipes from Scratch, a cookbook from our CEO, Maria Rodale.)
They Get Busy.
"Sex, particularly the kind that ends in orgasm, helps relieve cramps. During the big O, the body releases another O, the hormone oxytocin, which works like a natural painkiller." —Choi
About Article Author