Many women attempt to combat period pain with a hot water bottle and a couple of painkillers, but one woman has an altogether more unconventional suggestion about coping with PMT - by rubbing her own period blood on her face.
Yazmina Jade Adler, from Melbourne was looking for a way to relieve her severe cramps, but wanted to avoid going on the pill.
The 26-year-old came across the unusual method after being advised by a shamanic womb woman to ‘connect’ to her own menstrual blood.
Yazmina was discussing the monthly ‘ritual’ she now performs on the new SBS series, ‘Medicine or Myth?’, which discusses potential home remedies with a panel of medical experts.
“I was seeking an alternative way of healing or at least connecting with it to understand what was going on in my body,” she said, as reported in the Daily Mail.
“A friend introduced me to this woman who does deep shamanic womb work. As soon as I heard about it I knew it was something I wanted to try.”
And she claims the ritual has helped cure her monthly cramps.
“I've been using this remedy now for about 10 months to a year and my cramping has gone,” she told the panel.
“Every month, I create a ritual medication space, and I use the blood in a way to connect either through putting it on my hand or anointing it on my third eye.
“By doing this, it has relieved the discomfort.”
Yazmina - who collects the blood using a menstrual cup - said she wanted to share her own remedy in a bid to help other women suffering from period cramps.
“I just want every woman to feel it. I know what women go through, I know that pain and shame, I feel for the women who are struggling with this,” she said.
Though Yazmina’s home remedy seems to have worked for her, experts don’t recommend the method as a means of curing period pain.
“I would never advocate smearing menstrual blood on your face - or anywhere - as a way of alleviating period pain,” explains Mr Ian Currie, consultant gynaecologist at BMI Chiltern Hospital in Buckinghamshire.
“There is no medical evidence for this whatsoever and a classic example of 'don’t try this at home'.
“Different women deal with pain in different ways - this woman has chosen a meditative approach, others say paracetamol, acupuncture or herbal remedies work for them,” he adds.
Mr Currie says that as long as the measures women choose don’t mask an underlying problem, then what works for them is all good.
“Something to look out for is if a woman's periods are getting increasingly painful, that could be an indication of endometriosis - the womb lining growing outside the womb - or adenomyosis - cells lining the uterus being slightly deeper in the muscle layer, a bit like a mini-bruise that does not go away,” he says.
“Both of these would be highlighted on a pelvic scan.”
According to Mr Currie painful periods can sometimes get masked when a woman goes on the pill, and then the pain returns when she comes off it.
“Sometimes, a woman may have had painful periods in her adolescence and now does not have the pain. The thing to watch out for is periods getting increasingly painful, which may be masking other problems,” he adds.
According to the NHS period pain occurs when the muscular wall of the womb tightens (contracts).
“During your period, the wall of the womb starts to contract more vigorously to encourage the womb lining to shed away as part of your monthly period,” the site explains.
“When the muscular wall of the womb contracts, it compresses the blood vessels lining your womb. This temporarily cuts off the blood supply – and hence oxygen supply – to your womb. Without oxygen, the tissues in your womb release chemicals that trigger pain.”
The NHS suggests that painkillers such as ibuprofen and aspirin can be taken to manage period pain. Paracetamol could also help, although studies have shown that it doesn’t reduced period pain as effectively as ibuprofen.
If ordinary painkillers are ineffective, your GP may prescribe a stronger painkiller, such as naproxen or codeine.
Other suggestions of methods to try include exercise, heat, a warm bath and massage, as well as relaxation techniques such as yoga and pilates.
It’s understandable that women are keen to explore remedies for period paid considering that it is responsible for 5 million sick days in the UK each year.
One in five women are affected by heavy periods, meaning 4 million women across the UK are forced to miss work as a consequence.
And the study further indicates the staggering effect the global health crisis has had on the economy, as it has cost the UK alone just over £531 million.