Not too fond of relying on over-the-counter medicine to get rid of period pain? Well, it seems the best form of self-care when you're on your period is by simply showing yourself a little bit of love.
A burst of feel-good chemicals
That's right! According to medical experts, masturbation can be highly beneficial in treating painful period cramps. As it turns out, masturbation releases a healthy dose of chemicals such as dopamine, a chemical messenger responsible for pain processing in our brain.
This burst of dopamine can also double as a natural painkiller by increasing our pain tolerance, as counter-intuitive as that may sound. Dr. Aruna Kalra, Ob-gyn at CK Birla Hospital explains that:
Serotonin and dopamine are mood-enhancing hormones, which are released while having an orgasm. These are effective in curing menstrual cramps.
She also says that orgasms are linked to increased blood flow which is pivotal during one's period:
When you orgasm, the blood rushes to the uterus and helps relieve the cramps. It also helps us get rid of stress and even releases endorphins in the body, thereby enhancing relaxation and helps you sleep better.
A two way street
Orgasms also release a chemical called oxytocin which is a hormone that controls the uterus. Essentially, when it is released it helps the uterus contract during an orgasm which in turn pushes out blood.
Even more surprising, is that, as sex educator Che Che Luna explains, the benefits work both ways. While orgasms alleviate the pain experiences during one's period, the latter can also help intensify the pleasurable sensations during an orgasm. Che Che says:
During menstruation, there is increased blood flow and circulation which can increase arousal, sensitivity and pleasure. And blood makes great lube.