How to Make a Homemade Heating Pad for Menstrual Pain

Menstrual cramps, also known as dysmenorrhea or period pains, are painful sensations in the lower abdomen that can occur before or during a menstrual period. Some people only experience the slightest of cramps during their period. For others, the pain can be severe. Sometimes, this pain also radiates outward to the pelvis and the lower back.

A woman laying on her bed holding her stomach
artpipi / Getty Images

Anti-inflammatory medication can help but, if you'd prefer to avoid medication, a heating pad could also ease your pain. And you don't even have to shell out big bucks to get one.

DIY Heating Pad for Cramps

Here's how you can make a heating pad using things you probably already have at home.


Assemble these supplies:

  • Tube sock
  • Rice (do not use instant rice)
  • Microwave oven


Here is what to do:

  1. Fill the foot of a tube sock with rice. 
  2. Tie the open end of the tube sock into a knot.
  3. Place the rice-filled sock into your microwave oven for 2 to 3 minutes on high power. Time may vary by microwave, so check after one and a half minutes.
  4. Remove the sock from the microwave and place it onto the area of your body where you're feeling pain.

The sock may be very hot. Protect your skin from burning by using a towel or other material between your skin and the sock.

Other Remedies

If the homemade heating pad isn't doing it for you, there are other ways to ease the pain. Exercise, oral contraception, certain vitamins, herbal remedies, and a warm bath are all methods that have proven helpful for people.

When to Call the Healthcare Provider

While it’s perfectly normal to experience mild cramps during menstruation, you may want to consult with your healthcare provider if cramping becomes especially painful.

You should also call your healthcare provider if your cramps are accompanied by a fever, if there is an increased or foul-smelling vaginal discharge, if you experience severe pain, or if your period is more than one week late and you have been sexually active.

3 Sources
Verywell Health uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. American Academy of Family Physicians. Dysmenorrhea.

  2. Jo J, Lee SH. Heat therapy for primary dysmenorrhea: A systematic review and meta-analysis of its effects on pain relief and quality of life. Sci Rep. 2018;8(1):16252. doi:10.1038/s41598-018-34303-z

  3. Mirabi P, Alamolhoda SH, Esmaeilzadeh S, Mojab F. Effect of medicinal herbs on primary dysmenorrhoea- a systematic review. Iran J Pharm Res.

By Tracee Cornforth
Tracee Cornforth is a freelance writer who covers menstruation, menstrual disorders, and other women's health issues.