The best period products for pain relief according to experts

I’ve had horrible period cramps since I was in high school — it always felt like I was getting stabbed in the lower abdomen with a pair of scissors. Plus, the period products at my disposal weren’t great, so it was a mess both literally and figuratively. This usually isn’t the case for everyone with a period, but as someone with Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD), this time of the month can be a bit more painful.

PMDD is a condition where people experience heavy cramping, extreme fatigue, irritability, suicidal thoughts, and a plethora of other symptoms roughly two weeks before their period begins until onset. To this day, I still experience excessive cramping and fatigue despite being on psychiatric medication and trying birth control. 

Upon my initial diagnosis, I found relief with some over-the-counter medications like Pamprin and Tylenol and taking a long nap. However, as I got older, I noticed those pain relievers no longer worked like they used to. Once that started to happen, I realized it was time to take matters into my own hands and find period products that would help make that time of the month more tolerable. Now, see how I don’t say “pain-free” because my periods are still painful, but they aren’t nearly as debilitating as they were half a decade ago. 

Related: It’s time to start loving your period

After a quick Google search, I found that heating pads, supplements, and oils could be helpful in providing relief from symptoms of PMS and PMDD. I didn’t want to go in blind and just test out different products, so instead I reached out to some OB/GYN’s for their expertise in the area of period products and pain relief and got the lowdown on what actually works. 

Let’s just say, most of the recommendations for products and home remedies you’ve read online have the potential to work, but it’s really about finding what works best for you and your body. (Although these products have worked for myself and others, you’ll want to consult with a doctor prior to adding or trying anything new or different for period relief.)

Related: I’m a menstrual cup convert and here’s why you could be too

Keep on reading to see what period products have helped me, plus a few expert-recommended picks and highly-rated options from customers who have found relief during this uncomfortable and painful time of the month.

The best period products for pain



Menstrual Cramp Relief Cream

For a more budget-friendly find, this menstrual cramp relief cream works wonders. Comforté uses natural ingredients (shea butter, sunflower oil, sandalwood oil, lavender oil, essence of menthol, calotropis procera, and carapa procera) to help provide long-lasting relief during that time of the month. This period product is a personal favorite of mine because it is easy to apply and actually works. After applying and rubbing a bit to my lower stomach and back region, I experienced significantly less cramps and muscle aches.

Menstruation Crustacean Lobster Heating Pad



Menstruation Crustacean Lobster Heating Pad

According to Dr. Tamika Cross, MD, FACOG and pH-D feminine health advisor, heating pads can help with menstrual cramps. While I could just opt for a boring heating pad from the drug store, I love pulling out my Menstruation Crustacean Lobster. Not only is it cute and cuddly, but also Dr. Cross says heating pads can relax the smooth muscle in the uterus and increase circulation to offer relief. In particular, I love how tall it is so it can span across my entire stomach, lower back, or essentially anywhere else that could use some soothing.

Tap 2.0



Tap 2.0

If you’ve never heard of transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS), then you’ll want to listen up. “TENS devices send electrical signals through the skin to the nerves to help prevent painful cramps,” says Dr. Cross.

Tap 2.0 offers a wearable patch that’s to be on your lower stomach (near the ovaries). It sends small pulses to the nerves to help your body produce its own natural painkillers. I’ll be honest, I was a bit skeptical at first as it sounds like it could be scary and painful, however, after trying, I can positively say it’s neither of those things. It feels more like a vibration than anything and is actually quite soothing. 

You’ll want to consult with your OB/GYN before using to make sure it is safe for you and your unique set of symptoms.

Menstrual Heat Patches



Menstrual Heat Patches

For a more discreet heating experience, opt for these Deodoc patches that gently adhere to the skin and offer relief in minutes. These gynecologist-developed patches are made from oxygen-activated ingredients that heat up to a temperature ideal for pain relief and muscle relaxation. It’s great for those on the go as they can provide heat for up to 10 hours making it ideal for those at work, school, or out running a day’s worth of errands.

Soothe & Sleep Lavender Pure Epsom Bath Salt

Dr Teals


Soothe & Sleep Lavender Pure Epsom Bath Salt

You may be familiar with taking an epsom salt bath to relieve sore muscles after a long day of walking or standing, however, it can also be used for period pain relief. “A salt bath can be helpful at relaxing tight muscles including a crampy uterus,” says Dr. Cross.

When I’m on my period, I use this lavender-scented epsom salt to take a bath right before I go to bed. Not only does it make me feel relaxed and sleepy, but also offers some pain relief from the cramps so I can make it through the night. As an added bonus, I love how it leaves my skin feeling silky smooth and soft to the touch.

High-Waist Reusable Period Underwear



High-Waist Reusable Period Underwear

One of my favorite period products on the market right now is reusable underwear. For many, it’s up for debate whether or not period underwear works, however, I personally find relief and comfort from them because sometimes I simply don’t feel like wearing a pad or using a menstrual cup.

Rael’s reusable period underwear are available in bikini, high-waist, and boy short style and are made from soft and stretchy fabric that feels like a second skin — super comfortable. The top layer keeps moisture at bay and prevents unwanted stickiness whereas the thicker inner core provides protection so you don’t have to worry about leaking or staining.

Period Underwear Travel Bag



Period Underwear Travel Bag

After using period underwear, you’ll want a sanitary place to store them until you can wash them. Knixteen’s travel bag provides a small and discreet way to do that with its lightweight fabric and resealable zipper. There’s two pockets with the first one for clean underwear and the second for used undies to prevent leaks. 

I use this often while traveling since it’s tiny and easily fits inside a crossbody or suitcase. My only complaint is that the bag needs to be hand washed. Personally, I’m not a fan of that, however, it’s a small price to pay for added convenience during that time of the month.

Pamprin Menstrual Pain Relief Multi Symptom



Menstrual Pain Relief

I don’t know if I’d classify Pamprin as a period product, but it definitely works to provide relief from cramps and bloating. After using Pamprin, I feel like my insides have been flushed out from bloating, water retention, blood, and anything else that’s adding feelings of discomfort. 

Unfortunately, I can’t take Pamprin anymore due to the medications I’m currently on, but it’s a game changer for those who want relief fast.

Nepal Green Tea

David’s Tea


Nepal Green Tea

According to Dr. Cross, ginger, green, and peppermint tea can be helpful in getting rid of menstrual cramps.This Nepal Green Tea from David’s Tea offers medium-caffeine and has notes of squash, roasted butter, and corn silk. I like drinking tea with breakfast as it offers a bit of an energy boost while helping to minimize period cramps. It may also be wise to drink a cup before bed after taking a bath to provide dual-power relief.

Rechargeable Vibrating Massager

Le Wand


Rechargeable Vibrating Massager

There’s no wrong time to masturbate, but you may want to consider doing it while on your period. “Orgasms have been shown to be beneficial at reducing pain during menses,” says Dr. Cross. “This is why some women enjoy sex on their period.” That said, this vibrator offers 10 unique vibration patterns to help provide pleasure to individuals regardless of preference.

PMS Vitamin Capsule



PMS Vitamin Capsule

Another period product that can help provide relief from pain, cramps, and bloating are gummy vitamins. Made with chasteberry, dong quai, vitamin B6, and lemon balm, these vitamins help reduce uncomfortable symptoms commonly associated with a period and may even help with mood swings.

Venom 2 Back



Venom 2 Back

As someone with chronic back pain, I always use my Hyperice to help relieve sore muscles and pain. However, I recently discovered that this is great for period pain too as it can work as a heating pad and massage machine at the same time. 

Instead of wrapping it around my back, I turn it over to rest against my stomach and let it work its magic. The only downside is that it’s a bit expensive, but you can use it all year round for minor aches and pains and cramps during that time of the month.

Steeped Trio



Steeped Trio

This trio offers a soak, mask, and clay bath to help target different issues that may arise during a period. It includes a raspberry relief tea to help relieve period cramps, an anti-inflammatory clay bath that helps improve circulation throughout the body, and a soak made with a blend of essential oils to calm muscles and soothe the mind. It’s a great set for individuals who like to switch things up and have a variety of methods to choose from in the event one isn’t as effective.


The Good Patch



You may have used a sleep patch before, but a period patch? This patch is designed to help alleviate pain using a combination of menthol and black cohosh. While it does adhere to the skin, the material offers a comfortable four-way stretch so it can move with you as you go about your day. Plus, for those with sensitive skin, it’s latex-free and dermatologically tested so you can feel confident using it on your body.

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