What helps period cramps?
Between loading every purse you own with tampons, stockpiling an arsenal of Rocky Road, and lashing out at your beau for no logical reason, your period is pretty much the worst. And to top it off, most of us spend a fair amount of the week curled in a ball in bed, skipping workouts, girls night out, and even work. (Okay, maybe we’re not so sad about the last one.) Some 84 percent of women experience cramps with their period, and for half, the pain is so bad that it actually requires medication, according to a study in the Journal of Pain Research. Most of us reach for heating pads or OTC painkillers like Motrin, but sometimes your go-to just isn’t enough to help the aches abate.
While the jury’s still out on how all of these compare to the old standbys, they do provide some unusual options that have some science on their side.
How about Viagra?
The ingredient in the little blue pill that works wonders for men might also help period pain in some women. The main ingredient in Viagra, called sildenafil citrate, seemed to help alleviate menstrual cramps in a 2013 study in Human Reproduction. Sildenafil citrate works to dilate your blood vessels. In men, this is what helps energize erections, but for women, dilating blood vessels near the uterus may ease cramps. #WhoKnew? The preliminary study used a vaginal application of the drug, not an oral pill.