Periods & Everyday Life

Q&A: What should I do about cramps at school?

Dealing with cramps can seem more overwhelming when you are away from the comfort of your own space where you can do your regular thing to make them better. Being prepared for the cramps is probably the best way to deal with them. Here are some things you can try: 1) make sure to get plenty of calcium on a regular basis (three low-fat servings a day) will help your cramps be less of a pain, 2) exercise both on and off your period helps lessen pain, 3) try taking ibuprofen (as long as you are not allergic and have your parents’ approval; be sure to take with food) starting two days before your period starts and continuing for the first two days of your period. Drink plenty of water to help relieve any bloating and get plenty of sleep. When the rest of your body is functioning well, it is easier to deal with the upsets that cramps can have on your day. If you try all of these things and still find that it is hard to deal with the cramps at school, talk to your healthcare provider about other alternatives for pain relief.

You can't put math class on hold so you can go take a warm bath, can you? If your school doesn't allow you to have over-the-counter medications like ibuprofen on campus, just make sure you take some before leaving your house in the morning. You can also try using those thin stick-on heating pads. They're unnoticeable under your clothes and can help keep you comfortable. (Just be sure to use them according to the package instructions.) Also remember to eat healthfully and get exercise. Moving from class to class is actually a good thing — and you could also try to get in short walks or jogs before school and during your lunch hour.

Always be prepared! If your period is regular, you should kind of have an idea of when it’s going to start every month. What I would do is always have pad or tampon in my backpack or purse if I knew I was going to get my period. I used to get terrible cramps in high school, so I would take ibuprofen for them before class. If they sneak up on you, maybe carry one of those little individual packs of two that you can take if necessary.