Get full access to Outside Learn, our online education hub featuring in-depth nutrition, fitness and adventure courses, and more than 2,000 instructional videos when you sign up for Outside+..
Women who take birth control pills may experience menstrual cramps and other discomfort during the days of each cycle when they don’t take a pill. Pycnogenol, a proprietary extract of French maritime pine bark, can bring relief, according to a study published in the International Journal of Women’s Health. In a three-month trial, researchers compared 100 mg daily of the supplement and a placebo in a group of 24 women with monthly menstrual pain. Women taking Pycnogenol experienced significantly less pain, and 27 percent of them were completely pain free by the end of the study.