Thermacare Heats it Up: Menstrual Cramps Ain't Gonna Cramp My Style
Mar 28, 2008
Pros: Comforting, Discrete, Relieves cramps
Cons: Can cause one to be too hot
The Bottom Line: While its no box of chocolate, this box of heating pads provides me much needed and appreciated relief during that time of month
I'm sure many women would agree with me when I say there's one time of the month I wish I could stay in bed, read a good book, drink some tea (or alcohol) and eat chocolate for a few days. Unfortunately, I'm a working woman who can't afford to work less than 6 days a week, let alone take an entire week off. I do have alternatives, luckily. There's usually hot tea and sometimes even chocolate at my job, and I've always got my ThermaCare Menstrual Air Activated Heatpatches handy in the cabinet. When I can't actually curl up in a ball with a plug-in heating pad I can slap one of these on and I get the same relief.
ThermaCare makes heating pads for various needs and parts of the body. The menstrual heating pads are obviously for the relief of menstrual cramps. For most women cramping can be relieved with heat, and these pads are made to do so discreetly and conveniently for women who can't take time off to comfort themselves otherwise. The ThermaCare Menstrual Air Activated Heat Patches are activated once opened and exposed to air (as their name subtly suggests) and will begin warming up immediately after opening the foil packaging. They claim to last for 8 hours. Also, they are thin, discreet, and odorless.
1. Tear open the pouch when ready to use. It may take up to 30 minutes for ThermaCare to reach its therapeutic temperature. 2. Peel away paper to reveal adhesive side. 3. Apply the Menstrual Patch to your lower abdomen, attaching it to the inside of your underwear. 4. For maximum effectiveness, we recommend you wear ThermaCare for 8 hours.
The package comes with three heating pads. Included on the packaging near the directions are several warnings. I'm not going to list all of them, but there are a few I feel I should point out to you:
-Do not wear the heat patch for more than 8 hours in a 24-hour time period -Be cautious when using during sleep (people over the age of 55 should NOT use during sleep) -Do not microwave the heat patch -Do not use with other ointments, creams, rubs, etc. -Do not use on infants or babies (duh) -Do not use if you have a heart condition or poor circulation
While I didn't see this anywhere on the packaging (though maybe I just really missed it) I wouldn't suggest using this while you were pregnant or if you have any kind of condition or problem with your reproductive organs without talking to your doctor first.
When I start feeling crampy I peel the backing off of one of these bad boys and stick it to the inside of the front of my underwear so that the patch (which is about 3 inches x 5 inches) sits directly against my pelvis. Within about 15 minutes (although I've had it take both less and more time than that) the patch was very warm. If I touch the skin of my pelvis after a longer period of time the skin is very hot to the touch, but the heat is rarely uncomfortable to me. As everyone knows, many pains can be relieved with heat, and most women know that cramps specifically can be comforted with heat. As soon as the pad heats up I feel a warm (no pun intended, of course) sense of comfort and my pelvic muscles seem to just relax. Voila'... my cramps have relief. While I obviously feel the heat coming from this heating patch I generally never feel that it is too obtrusive otherwise: the cloth isn't scratchy or sticky, and it doesn't add extra padding to my usually-already bloated belly. If my underwear is kind of thin I sometimes feel like the patch weighs it down, but that's generally not a problem. I wouldn't suggest using this patch with no underwear or with, let's say, a thong. Occasionally if I wear this patch when I'm really on the move or in a hot environment it causes me to sweat excessively. One of my favorite things about this patch is that it can provide relief without having to take medicine.
Someone told me once that you could put ThermaCare patches of all sorts in a baggie if you haven't used them for the whole 8-hour time period and they would be ready to use later. I've tried this a few times and it has seemed to work for me, but I don't know that I would always count on that. There are three patches in the box, which is a decent amount for the price of about $7.50 per box. There are some months where I only use one patch, if I use one at all. Other months I could go through two boxes of these. They really take the intensity out of my cramps and give me that comforting feeling I can't take time off of work to get on my own. I don't like to wear them in the summer because they do seem to warm me up quite a bit. While I haven't ever done this (though maybe I'll resort to it sometime!) these patches would probably warm me up on a wintery night with little heat otherwise.
While it's not a box of chocolates, this box of ThermaCare Menstrual Air Activated Heatpatches is still one of my favorite things to turn to during 'that time of month.'
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