From time to time, a person may need to take pain medications during their period to relieve cramping. The medical term for period cramps is dysmenorrhea. Individuals can use a range of medicines to ease the pain.
Sometimes, people find managing their diet, taking medication, and keeping active help reduce the severity of their period cramps.
There are also alternative therapies, such as food supplements or plant-based therapies, which some brands market to help relieve period cramps. However, they are
People who have periods should speak with a doctor for advice on treating period cramps. Read more to learn about the best pain medications for this type of pain.
Several medications can help with period cramps, including over-the-counter (OTC) and prescription options.
In most people, these OTC medications
Taking pain relief 1–2 days before a period begins and for the first 2–3 days of bleeding should help alleviate some painful cramps.
Prescription medicines for period cramps
If someone has endometriosis that is
These could include prescription pain relievers or using an intrauterine device (IUD).
Oral contraceptive pills (OCPs)
Generally, contraceptive pills help reduce period pain by reducing prostaglandins, which are compounds that help regulate bodily functions. Prostaglandins
Progestin-only pills (POPs) are a specific type of OCP that
Additionally, POPs can prevent ovulation from happening and help keep the lining of the uterus thin.
Aside from taking pain relief medications, there are several methods a person can follow to help with their period pain. They include:
Eating a nutritious diet
For this reason, focusing on eating a nutritious and balanced diet could form a significant part of period pain management.
People with period pain may find applying heat
It is important to also consider that current evidence investigating heat’s effects on period cramps is weak and more research is necessary. So if possible, a person should try OTC pain relievers first.
Research focusing on the effect of exercise on period cramps is generally low quality, so it can be difficult to draw conclusions from the data.
However, researchers generally agree that exercise can reduce period cramps if a person does around
Research around the effect of acupuncture on exercise is very mixed and tends to be of low quality.
For that reason,
If heavy bleeding accompanies period pain to the point a person is experiencing anemia and fatigue, a doctor may refer them for endometrial ablation.
Endometrial ablation is a
Period pain is very common. Many people feel pain before or during their menstrual cycle.
In fact, more than half of individuals report having period pain for about 1–2 days each month.
While some period pain is a typical part of menstruation, it is important for a person to consult a doctor if the pain is affecting their quality of life and well-being.
A person should always speak with a doctor if OTC medicines are not reducing their period cramps, as this could be a sign of an underlying health problem.
They should also seek medical help if the pain is spreading to other areas, such as the back and legs, or if the pain causes them concern.
The best pain medications include a range of OTC pain relievers,
When OTC treatments are
In instances of severe cramping that accompanies additional symptoms, such as heavy bleeding, a doctor may suggest endometrial ablation. However, this is a serious procedure that
Most of the time, mild period pain is a typical part of menstruation. However, if the pain seriously affects a person’s quality of life, they should speak with a doctor.