For many women, period pain is not so severe that it interferes with their daily lives or requires any special attention. However, for others it means taking the day off work or school and shutting the door on the rest of the world until the pain goes away. If monthly cramps disrupt your life, we have some tips to assist with period pain relief and provide comfort.
What causes period pain?
Period pain is caused by contractions of the uterus or womb. The womb contracts to help shed its delicate lining so a new lining can grow. To help start the contractions the body releases chemicals, called prostaglandins, and it’s these chemicals that cause the pain.
How can you get period pain relief?
Heat is a good way to help soothe and relax the muscles of the uterus. Taking a bath, curling up with a hot water bottle are traditional solutions that can work. Here are some other simple remedies.
- Massage - help your muscles to relax by massaging your stomach
- Exercise - you may not feel like it, but getting active is a good way to ease pain. Try gentle swimming, walking or cycling.
- Period pain relief medication - ibuprofen (the active ingredient in Nurofen) is effective because it has anti-prostaglandin effects.
- Complementary therapies – such as meditation, herbal teas (raspberry leaf tea) or homeopathic remedies or evening primrose oil might help.
When should you consult your doctor?
Please see your doctor if your period pains are more severe than normal (this is especially important for older women), if your periods are heavier or less regular than before, or if your period is late.
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If symptoms persist see your healthcare professional.
All information presented on these web pages is not meant to diagnose or
prescribe. In all health related matters please contact your doctor.