Do you love visiting saunas, but aren’t sure if it’s a good idea to go while on your period? It’s a fair question to have, especially since medical practitioners often say that menstruation shouldn’t stop or hinder your regular activities. Does that include a trip to the steam room or sauna?
You can use a sauna while on your period. In fact, it’s highly recommended! Going to a sauna while menstruating can ease period symptoms such as abdominal pain, acne, joint and lower back pains, and bloating. Stay in for 20-30 minutes or longer if it’s feeling good.
Generally, the heat from a sauna plays a significant role in making you feel better while you’re menstruating. Let’s look at how hot a sauna works and how it can affect period symptoms.
How Do Saunas Work?
A sauna is a small room with an unpainted interior and hot, controlled temperatures between 150° F and 195° F (65° C and 90° C). The rocks in some saunas absorb and emit heat, so steam is created when water is poured on them.
Various sources of heat are used in a sauna, such as infrared lamps, wood, electricity, and steam.
There are different kinds of saunas with several modes of operation. For example, Finnish saunas are typically dry heat saunas, while Turkish-style saunas usually have some moisture. Public saunas are often available, but some people have their own saunas at home.
However you choose to use them, these hot, wood-scented rooms are packed with health benefits. For instance, sauna baths help muscles recover after sporting activities, and people with heart conditions might also benefit from them.
Is It Safe to Use a Sauna While Menstruating?
As great as saunas are, you can’t simply walk into one without understanding the intricacies surrounding its use. For instance, you shouldn’t visit a sauna immediately after a Botox treatment.
At this point, you want to know if you can use a sauna while you’re on your period. The good news is that you can — it’s totally safe and even beneficial to do so.
Many women experience period pains while menstruating, which is also known as dysmenorrhea. Symptoms may include throbbing, cramping, and sharp pains in the lower abdomen. And even before your period starts, there’s the premenstrual syndrome (PMS), a hormonal change that can lead to low mood, irritability, acne, etc.
With all these signs and symptoms of menstruation, women are always searching for a means of relief. It’s interesting to note that a sauna is one of the places you can find reprieve from all the menstrual pains and stress.
Let’s break this down so that you can see the different ways a trip to the sauna can help.
Medical experts say that the hormone prostaglandin causes menstrual cramps. During your period, this hormone causes the muscles in your uterus to contract to help get rid of the uterus lining.
Unfortunately, a high release of prostaglandins can lead to severe contractions, which can tighten the blood vessels surrounding the uterus. This leads to abdominal pains.
Exposing yourself to the heat from a sauna can open up the blood vessels, relax your muscles, and reduce how many prostaglandins are released into your system.
Acne is a common occurrence during menstruation, and a sauna session can help with that. Acne is usually an aftereffect of hormonal imbalances and dust or dirt blocking your skin pores. Sweating in a sauna will open up your pores and allow bacteria, dirt, or other foreign materials to escape.
Joint and Lower Back Pains
Joint and lower back pains are symptoms of PMS. If you’re experiencing this, visit a sauna — the heat will get into the blood vessels and allow oxygen and nutrients to flow to the target muscles and alleviate the pains.
Many women crave and store salt while on their period, and a high level of salt or water in the body can cause bloating. The heat from a sauna will force you to sweat, thereby eliminating toxins and excess salt from your body. This will reduce bloating.
Overall, heat helps ease a lot of pain when you’re on your period, so even if you aren’t a fan of saunas, you should try a hot bath or placing a heating pad or warm water bottle on the painful area.