What is Period Pain?
Period pain is common and a normal part of your menstrual cycle. Most women get it at some point in their lives. It’s usually felt as painful muscle cramps in the tummy, which can spread to the back and thighs. The pain sometimes comes in intense spasms. At other times it may be dull but more constant.
It may also vary with each period. Some periods may cause little or no discomfort, while others may be more painful.
Treating Period Pain – NSAID
The NSAID (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory) is the most common over the counter medication like ibuprofen. If you start taking the NSAIDs 1-2 days before the onset of cramping they work even better. (NSAIDs are not recommended for people with stomach ulcers. Please contact your pharmacist or Dr).
Treating Period Pain – Heat
Heat is highly effective for reducing menstrual pain. You can use hot water bottles when at home or if you must be on the move, you can use heat patches to ease the pain. Taking a warm bath or shower.
Treating Period Pain – Exercise
Exercise such as aerobic exercise has shown to reduce cramping and pain that is associated with your period. Relaxing activities, such as yoga or Pilates, may help distract you from feelings of pain and discomfort.
Treating Period Pain – Massage
Massage has also shown to be effective in reducing period cramping, whether you visit your local Spa or perform a self-massage at home it will reduce the pain of the cramps.
Treating Period Pain – Hormonal Therapy
90%. The pill works by keeping your hormones at a steady state, so less tissue is grown in the uterine lining and with no hormone shift, the prostaglandin production doesn’t get triggered.
Treating Period Pain – Contraception
Your GP may give you the contraceptive pill. This can ease period pain because it thins the womb lining. A thinner womb lining means the muscles of the womb do not have to contract as much when it sheds. Your period will also be lighter.
If the contraceptive pill is not suitable for you, the contraceptive implant or the contraceptive injection are good alternatives.
The Mirena intrauterine system (IUS) can also sometimes help with painful periods.