Are menstrual cramps cramping your style? Below are 10 solutions to this common problem, also known as dysmenorrhea:
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS)
Anti-inflammatory drugs such as diclofenac, ibuprofen and naproxen can help relieve severe period pain. However, these drugs may cause headaches or stomach issues.
Heat or cold therapy
Soaking in a hot bath or using a heating pad on your lower abdomen may ease menstrual cramps. Heat therapy works by relaxing the muscles of the uterus, increasing blood flow and easing pain. If a build-up of blood in your pelvis is causing your cramps, use an icepack to help draw the blood out of the pelvis and toward the extremities. Experiment with hot and cold packs to see which works best for you.
Studies have found that physical exercise may help reduce the pain of menstrual cramps.
Oral birth control pills contain hormones that prevent ovulation and reduce the severity of menstrual cramps. Hormones can be delivered by injection, patch, implant, a flexible ring, or through an intrauterine device (IUD).
Tranexamic acid is used to reduce menstrual blood lossand it’s part of a class of medications called antifibrinolytics.
Studies have found that chamomile tea may ease muscle spasms and help fight inflammation.
Vitamins and supplements
Vitamin D helps your body use calcium and may reduce inflammation. Also, Omega-3 fatty acids such as those found in fish oil may help lower inflammation.
Take positive steps to cut out unnecessary stress and you’ll decrease the frequency and severity of menstrual cramps.
Reduce trans-fatty acids and eat more vegetables for cramp relief. Eat foods high in calcium such as beans, almonds and green leafy vegetables. Choose foods that are high in antioxidants, including blueberries, tomatoes, cherries, squash and bell pepper.
Acupuncturists treat menstrual pain based on an individualized assessment of the excesses and deficiencies of energy (qi) located in various meridians. Acupressure may also relieve period pain.
- American Family Physicians
- Mayo Clinic
- Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine
- U.S. National Library of Medicine
If you would like to meet with a knowledgeable doctor, consider contacting Women’s Health Arizona. As Arizona’s largest ObGyn group, we’re trained and solely dedicated to delivering the best ObGyn experience in convenient and comfortable settings around Phoenix.