6 Surprising Ways to Reduce PMS Symptoms

All women get it, but many struggle to cope. Thankfully there are many ways to deal with your period, including these 6 surprising ways to reduce PMS symptoms.

(Image via Flickr by indii.org/Lawrence Murray)


Uncomfortable cramps, mood swings, and bloating are telltale signs your period is on its way. These monthly PMS symptoms can dramatically impact your quality of life, but what’s a girl to do?

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Hot water bottles and painkillers are common options, but they don’t work well for all women. If these traditional tactics provide little relief, try one of these six surprising remedies to reduce PMS symptoms.


Address your diet

Chocolate, fries, and other tasty treats might provide comfort when you’re battling PMS, but they do your symptoms no favors. Salty foods exacerbate bloating and breast tenderness, while sweet ones can impact your mood. Eating a balanced diet always matters, but it’s crucial for managing PMS in the week before your period. 

There are several foods that you can sub in for these snacks which are actually proven to help reduce PMS symptoms. Yogurt rich in calcium will help you ease your symptoms. One study revealed that a calcium rich diet can reduce your risk of experiencing PMS symptoms by as mush as 40 percent. Vitamin D also helps with PMS and is found in things like salmon, shrimp, mushrooms, and egg yolk. Substitute raw cocoa for chocolate. It provides the magnesium your body craves to regulate its hormones without all the sugar.

Try Herbal Remedies

Rather than reaching for another pain killing pill from your local pharmacy, try herbal remedies instead. These natural products have helped women manage their PMS for thousands of years. Gingko biloba is best known as a memory aid, but since it’s a mild diuretic, it can reduce swelling, bloating, and breast tenderness. 

Evening primrose oil also reduces breast pain, while wild yam lowers estrogen levels and eases menstrual pain. Drink tea made from dandelion leaf to relieve bloating and swelling. Chasteberry, maca, St. John’s wort, and black cohosh also relieve a raft of physical and mental PMS symptoms.

Take Ortho-Cyclen

Ortho-Cyclen is much more than a birth control pill; it can also reduce PMS symptoms. It’s so effective at beating the bloat that many women take Ortho-Cyclen even when they’re not sexually active. This 28-day pill levels out your hormone levels to make PMS symptoms more manageable. Many women notice their period-related acne and cramps disappear completely! Taking Ortho-Cyclen at the same time each day works best.

Try Viagra

Viagra doesn’t just help men with their bedroom problems. Research from Penn State University suggests it can help women get through their periods. The university’s researchers gave a selection of women aged 18 to 35 sildenafil citrate, Viagra’s key ingredient, and others a placebo. The women who took sildenafil citrate had fewer cramps than women on the placebo. While their sample size was small, the results are positive for the approximately 40 percent of women who’ve taken time off work or university with period pain.

Supercharge Your Workout

When you’re battling PMS, motivating yourself to get moving is challenging. However, knowing it could ease your symptoms should help you get off the couch. High-intensity exercises such as lifting weights, sprinting up hills, and doing jumping jacks can all reduce bloating and cramps. As an extra bonus, the burst of dopamine and endorphins a good workout brings can banish those PMS blues.

Use Essential Oils

There are several essential oils that can reduce PMS symptoms. Blend a few drops of your chosen oil in with a carrier oil like coconut oil or sweet almond oil. Massage this blend onto your abdomen or use in a roll-on and apply to pulse points. Clary sage oil is one of the most popular picks for PMS, known to relax muscles and boost your mood. Cypress oil improves circulation, eases aches, and relaxes muscles. Geranium oil eases pain and helps regulate hormone levels. Try one of these options, or make your own custom blend for PMS relief.


When traditional methods for treating PMS fail, don’t give up. Think outside the box and reduce PMS symptoms with one of these six surprising remedies.

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