top of page
  • Writer's pictureLexie Haren

Yes, Pain-Free Periods Exist.

In the realm of women's health, few topics are as universally relatable as the menstrual cycle. For many individuals, including myself, the monthly visit from Aunt Flo is often "haunted" by a week of discomfort – from cramps to mood swings, migraines, and heavy bleeding.

However, what if I told you that pain-free, PMS-free periods are not just a pipe dream but a tangible reality?

Hi, I'm Lexie! Human phyiologist turned holistic health consultant, who now helps women reclaim their health and vitality.

In my mid-20s, I stumbled upon a glimmer of hope amidst the monthly struggle – the possibility of experiencing periods without the torment. Determined to make this a reality for myself, I started down a deep rabbit hole of continued research and lifestyle changes. While my periods are far from "perfect", I've witnessed incredible transformations in my menstrual health, and I'm here to share the tools that have been most valuable on that journey.

The beauty of tapping into our symptoms lay in the opportunity to learn more about ourselves, what our bodies are crying out for and ultimately the ability to nourish and take appropriate action. Join me as we dig into female physiology a bit and how prostaglandin management can be a potent tool for period pain mitigation!

Understanding Prostaglandins: The Period Puzzle Piece

First off, we cannot dive into the realm of menstrual pain without first understanding the integral role of prostaglandins. These hormone-like substances, with their various functions, serve as the orchestrators of pain, inflammation, muscle contraction and more within the body.

Unlike hormones that are released from the endocrine system on a somewhat regular schedule, prostaglandins are stored in various tissues throughout the body and are released acutely, when stress presents itself in that part of the body.

Among the varying forms of prostaglandins, PGE2 and PGF2α are the two that are most closly related to menstruation.

As the body prepares for the shedding of the uterine lining, PGF2α factors increase and PGE2 molecules are released, signaling the onset of cramps – a necessary function in the ultimate expulsion of the uterine lining from the body (1,4,5,8).

However, when produced in excess, these prostaglandins can wreak havoc, exacerbating cramps and other period-related woes. What once was released for the sole purpose of "mopping-up" oxidative stress, may now be contributing to futher stress and inflammation due to it's excess. Interestingly, abnormally high amounts of PGE2 & PGF2α have been found in women dealing with endometriosis, dysmenorrhea (severe cramps/pain with period) & mennohragia (very heavy bleeding) (8).

Too much of a good thing? I think so . . .

But, FEAR NOT! By addressing factors like stress, diet & specific habits, we can take our best shot at managing prostaglandins effectively (1,2).

Identifying the Culprits: What Fuels Prostaglandin Overproduction?

A myriad of factors can fuel the overproduction of prostaglandins in the first place, ranging from lifestyle choices to physiological imbalances.

Among the most notable causes include:

  • Cold exposure (hello modern trend of cold plunging) 🥶

  • IUDs & certain birth control methods 💊

  • Stress overload 😵‍💫

  • Dietary habits, including intermittent fasting & the over-consumption of polyunsaturated fats, corn & soy 😑

  • Blood sugar dysregulation or issues metabolizing fat or protein 🥩

  • Chronic inflammation, infection, & illness 🤒

  • Lifestyle habits such as smoking & alcohol consumption 🍸

  • Poor sleep habits 😴

  • & more! (1,3,4,8,10)

⬆️ If we can address a few of the areas above, we may be able to see significant shifts in the management of prostaglandins in our body pretty rapidly.

Tools for Prostaglandin Regulation: A Holistic Approach

The good news is, when we can figure out the root cause, we can strategically approach the whole puzzle and reach for the right tools in our wellness "toolbox" for support.

Among the wellness "toolbox" these are the most valuable resources I have found to support prostaglandin management, and, ultimately, hormone harmony:

Vitamin E

Renowned for its antioxidant properties, vitamin E can be a potent ally in combating oxidative stress. Vit E can suppress prostaglandin activity as well as help with the detoxification of excess or unapposed estrogen in the body (1,5,8).

  • I recommend LifeBlud’s Vit E because of quality & purity.

  • You can use code LEXIEHAREN to save 10%.


Ginger has anti-inflammatory properties, aiding in reduction of oxidative stress has been shown to inhibit prostaglandin synthesis (1, 5, 7).

Check out my simple ginger tea recipe below:

Bio-Identical Progesterone

Bio-Identical Progesterone, an antagonist to unopposed estrogen, may help supress the overproduction of prostaglandins (1,4).

The careful usage of a bio-identical progesterone made from wild yam (like that from LifeBlud - use code LEXIEHAREN to save 10%) can be a valuable asset! I always recommend working with a qualified practitioner if you plan on adressing your hormones from this angle as individualized strategy and protocols will be key!

Pure USP-Grade Aspirin

Derived from willow tree bark, pure aspirin acts as a potent inhibitor of enzymes responsible for prostaglandin synthesis, offering relief from menstrual discomfort (1,5,9). I'm not talking your over-the-counter bayer aspirin here, which tends to have terrible additives. I'm talking pure, USP-grade aspirin like that from Natura Health (Use Code: LEXIEHAREN for 20% off).

Chiropractic Care

Spinal manipulation from chiropractic intervention can foster enhanced blood flow and mobility, having the potential to regulate prostaglandin production due to the decrease in oxidative stress and inflammation (1,6).

Digestive Enzymes

Facilitating efficient protein and fat metabolism, digestive enzymes promote optimal blood sugar regulation, thereby exerting indirect control over prostaglandin activity (3). Adding in enzymes (like those from MitoLife) can be so valuable!

Adequate Zinc Intake

Essential for immune function and inflammation modulation, Zinc can be a key player in suppressing prostaglandin activity (2). However, it is critical that Zinc is not taken in isolation and is consumed with other essential minerals like Copper for optimal absorption and bioavailability. If you are unsure about your current mineral status, I recommend opting for a Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis to get a blueprint for approaching your individual mineral status.

Some of my favorite foods that have great ratios of Zinc to other minerals include: oysters, beef liver and other forms of seafood! I also like to opt for MitoLife's Oyster or Beef Liver Supplements when I find that I am not getting enough from my diet.

Lifestyle Modifications

From limiting stimulant intake (alcohol & caffeine) to prioritizing quality sleep (check out my sleep hacks post for more on this), adopting holistic lifestyle modifications can complement prostaglandin management strategies.

And the best part?! Most of these modifications are FREE!

Navigating the Path to Pain-Free Periods: A Personal Journey

It's imperitative I share that my own pursuit of pain-free periods has had many trials and triumphs. While my monthly cycles are nowhere near as severe as the once were, there is still work to be done! More specifically, I find that when I am presented with a really stressful time, my next cycle will likely express that. I find it kind of cool that we can have this open conversation with our bodies in this way. We also get the opportunity to apply learned knowledge and figure out our own path to balance. How beautiful is that?

As we embark on this collective feat toward menstraul bliss, It's important that we recognize the beauty of individual experiences and celebrate the victories (big AND small). Together, we can dismantle the barriers to menstrual health and pave the way for a future where pain-free periods are not just a possibility but a norm.

Cheers to more pleasant periods!


Join the Conversation: Share Your Story in the Comments!

What tools or strategies have you found most effective in managing menstrual discomfort? Share your experiences and insights in the comments below – together, we can empower and uplift one another!

PS: If you enjoyed this post, you may enjoy the conversation we have going in Mountain Gal Well Co (Haren Holistics' online community, resource library & app all in one). Hope to see you there!

Works Cited

  1. Budoff P. W. (1983). The use of prostaglandin inhibitors for the premenstrual syndrome. The Journal of reproductive medicine, 28(7), 469–478. Eby G. A. (2007).

  2. Zinc treatment prevents dysmenorrhea. Medical hypotheses, 69(2), 297–301.

  3. Fenske, Rachel J et al. “Plasma Prostaglandin E2 Metabolite Levels Predict Type 2 Diabetes Status and One-Year Therapeutic Response Independent of Clinical Markers of Inflammation.” Metabolites vol. 12,12 1234. 8 Dec. 2022, doi:10.3390/metabo12121234

  4. Nagy H, Carlson K, Khan MAB. Dysmenorrhea. [Updated 2023 Nov 12]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2024 Jan-. Available from:

  5. Pakniat, H., Chegini, V., Ranjkesh, F., & Hosseini, M. A. (2019). Comparison of the effect of vitamin E, vitamin D and ginger on the severity of primary dysmenorrhea: a single-blind clinical trial. Obstetrics & gynecology science, 62(6), 462–468.

  6. Proctor, M L et al. “Spinal manipulation for primary and secondary dysmenorrhoea.” The Cochrane database of systematic reviews vol. 2006,3 CD002119. 19 Jul. 2006, doi:10.1002/14651858.CD002119.pub3

  7. Rahnama, P., Montazeri, A., Huseini, H. F., Kianbakht, S., & Naseri, M. (2012). Effect of Zingiber officinale R. rhizomes (ginger) on pain relief in primary dysmenorrhea: a placebo randomized trial. BMC complementary and alternative medicine, 12, 92.

  8. Rakhila, Halima et al. “Abnormal Expression of Prostaglandins E2 and F2α Receptors and Transporters in Patients with Endometriosis.” BioMed research international vol. 2015 (2015): 808146. doi:10.1155/2015/808146

  9. Vane, J. R., & Botting, R. M. (2003). The mechanism of action of aspirin. Thrombosis research, 110(5-6), 255–258.

  10. Winters, S. J., & Jaffe, R. B. (2014). Yen & Jaffe's Reproductive Endocrinology (7th ed.). Elsevier.

**None of the information in this post is medical advice & should not be construed as such. I always recommend working with a qualified practitioner to address any concerns you may have. Some of the links in the blog post may be affiliate links. As always, thanks for choosing to shop through my links as that's what makes it possibly for me to keep taking the time to put this free information out there!

7 views0 comments


bottom of page