Period pain can occur before or during a female’s menstrual period. The intensity of the pain can range from mild discomfort to severe cramps.

There are ways to treat or stop period pain.

However, to permanently stop period pain, it may be necessary to try several treatments or home care options before finding a solution that works. This is especially so if the period pain is a result of an underlying health condition.

This article will discuss what causes period pain and look at some treatment options and home remedies that could stop it permanently.

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During a female’s monthly menstrual cycle, the lining of the uterus, or endometrium, thickens to allow a pregnancy to occur. Periods, also known as mensuration, occur when the body sheds this lining due to the absence of a pregnancy.

In order for the endometrium to shed, the uterine muscles tighten and relax in an irregular pattern. This movement helps the uterine lining detach, allowing it to pass through the cervix and out through the vagina.

However, these contractions of the uterine muscles can cause discomfort. This discomfort can range from mild to extremely painful cramping. The pain associated with periods is known as dysmenorrhea.

According to the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecologists (ACOG), more than half of those who menstruate experience period pain for 1–2 days each month.

Underlying health conditions can also cause period pain. Females who receive treatment for these conditions may find that their period pain lessens or stops completely.

Depending on the cause of someone’s period pain, it may be possible to stop the cyclical pain permanently. Those who experience painful periods should speak with their doctor about which treatments are best for them.

Everyone reacts differently to medication, so methods that work for some females may not work for others. However, there are various clinical treatments a doctor may suggest to help stop period pain permanently.

The following sections will look at some of these treatments in more detail.

Hormonal contraception

Hormonal contraception comes in many forms, including oral tablets, injections, and inserted devices.

Oral contraceptives

Oral contraceptives work by using hormones to prevent the ovaries from releasing an egg. Oral contraceptive pills come in two different varieties:

  • Combined pill: The combined contraceptive pill contains both estrogen and progesterone. These hormones play a part in the menstrual cycle.
  • Progesterone-only pill: These pills contain only progesterone. A doctor may prescribe these for those who cannot take the combined pill.

Both forms of oral contraceptive can help stop period pain. For oral contraceptives to be effective, females must take them every day.

Oral contraceptives may also cause some females to have lighter and more regular periods. So, if a female finds that oral contraceptives do not stop their period pain, they can take them to suppress their periods entirely instead.

However, they should always speak to their doctor before changing how they take their birth control pills.

Progestin devices

Progestin is a synthetic form of the hormone progesterone. There are several types of progestin-only device that can help stop period pain. These are as follows:

  • Intrauterine devices (IUDs): IUDs are T-shaped devices that doctors can insert into the uterus. IUDs with progestin last for around 3–5 years.
  • Implantable rod: Healthcare professionals can place these thin rods just under the skin of the arm. Once implanted, the rods steadily release progestin to prevent pregnancy. Implantable rods need replacing every 3–5 years.
  • Contraceptive injection: A female will need a contraceptive injection every 3 months.

Anyone who wishes to become pregnant while also preventing period pain should discuss alternative methods with their doctor.

Treating underlying health conditions

Sometimes, severe period pain is the result of an underlying health condition. In these cases, receiving treatment for the condition may help alleviate period pain.


Endometriosis is a condition that occurs when the tissue that lines the uterus begins to grow in areas outside of the uterine cavity. This tissue bleeds and swells at the same time as the monthly period.

Some symptoms of endometriosis include:

  • painful menstrual cramps
  • chronic lower back and pelvic pain
  • pain during or after sex
  • painful bowel movements
  • bleeding between periods
  • infertility
  • digestive problems


Healthcare professionals can treat endometriosis in a variety of ways, including by:

  • prescribing oral contraceptives or recommending IUDs
  • performing surgery to remove endometriosis implants
  • prescribing gonadotropin-releasing hormone agonists, which halt the production of hormones responsible for ovulation

Learn more about endometriosis here.

Uterine fibroids

Uterine fibroids are benign tumors that arise from the muscle and fibrous tissue of the uterus. They are very common. Fibroids are most often non-cancerous and can be as small as an apple seed or as large as a grapefruit.

Although most fibroids do not cause symptoms, someone who has them may experience:

  • painful periods
  • heavy bleeding
  • a feeling of fullness in the lower stomach
  • a swollen abdomen
  • frequent urination
  • painful sex
  • lower back pain
  • reproductive problems
  • complications during pregnancy and labor


To treat uterine fibroids, a doctor may consider several options, including:

  • pain medication
  • certain birth control methods
  • gonadotropin-releasing hormone agonists
  • surgery to remove the fibroids
  • hysterectomy, which refers to the removal of the uterus
  • endometrial ablation, which refers to the removal of the lining of the uterus
  • the destruction of the fibroids using an electric current or freezing
  • uterine fibroid embolization, which is a procedure that blocks the blood supply to the fibroid, thereby causing it to shrink

Learn more about uterine fibroids here.


Adenomyosis is a condition wherein the endometrial tissue that usually lines the uterine cavity begins to grow within the walls of the uterus.

Someone with adenomyosis may experience:

  • painful periods
  • heavy bleeding
  • severe pelvic pain
  • leg and back pain
  • abdominal swelling
  • pelvic and abdominal pressure
  • painful sex
  • blood clots in the leg and pelvis


Certain birth control methods and hormone suppressants can help manage adenomyosis symptoms. However, the only way to cure adenomyosis is by undergoing a hysterectomy.

Learn more about adenomyosis here.

Pain relievers called nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) can help alleviate period pain.

Over-the-counter NSAIDs, such as aspirin and ibuprofen, may also reduce menstrual cramp pain and prevent nausea and diarrhea.

Depending on the severity of someone’s period pain, NSAIDs may be able to stop the pain completely. However, they would need to take an NSAID during each period for it to provide pain relief.

Learn more about home remedies for relieving period pain here.

These methods may not be able to stop period pain permanently, but they can work quickly.

Females who would prefer fast-acting pain relief for their period pain can try:

  • applying a hot water bottle or heat pad to their abdomen
  • taking a warm bath or shower
  • lightly massaging the area
  • using relaxation techniques, such as practicing gentle yoga or Pilates
  • using a transcutaneous electronic nerve stimulation device, which delivers a mild electrical current to the abdomen to reduce pain
  • gently exercising

When possible, preventing period pain before it starts is a good method for managing the menstrual cycle. Females may be able to do this by making certain dietary changes or by quitting smoking.

Making dietary changes

One 2018 study found that people who ate large amounts of sugary, salty, and fatty foods were more likely to experience period pain. Someone who wants to stop or ease their period pain may benefit from reducing their intake of these types of foods.

Other research notes that students with vegetarian diets and those who ate more fruit and vegetables experienced less period pain.

Quitting smoking

According to one 2020 study, people who smoked cigarettes were 1.45 times more likely to experience period pain than those who did not. Therefore, stopping smoking may help reduce period pain.

Females should speak with their doctor about their period pain:

  • if they have severe period pain
  • if their periods become heavier than usual
  • if they experience irregular periods

For those who would like to stop their period pain permanently, a doctor can recommend several different treatment pathways.

If a female thinks that underlying health problems could be the cause of their period pain, or the pain is frequently severe, they should speak with their doctor.