Many women suffer from period pain or menstrual cramps. This pain usually starts on the first day of the period and will generally subside after 1 or 2 days. Most women report pain in the tummy and back, in rare cases period pain will also cause pain in the legs. When your period pain interferes with your daily life, a NSAID painkiller can help relieve the pain and make your period easier.
Period pain is caused by contractions of the womb. These contractions occur at the beginning of your period as the womb sheds its lining, a normal part of the menstrual cycle.
When the wall of your womb contracts, the blood vessels that line your womb contract. This temporarily cuts off the blood and oxygen supply to your womb which subsequently triggers the feeling pain in your body.
When your period pains suddenly become much more painful than usual, this might be an indication that something else is wrong. Please contact your physician to make sure you do not have an underlying condition such as endometriosis or pelvic inflammatory disease.
How to reduce period pain
The most common treatment for period pain is taking the contraceptive pill. In addition to protection of unwanted pregnancies, the pill also has a pain relieving effect on women. For more information on all contraceptive pills Medix24 has to offer, please click here.
You can also treat period pain at home by taking painkillers. Paracetamol is available over the counter but studies have shown that it is not as effective as NSAIDs. These Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs) are the most commonly prescribed painkillers against period pain. Drugs like Ibuprofen and Diclofenac can help control pain. In severe cases of period pain, Codeine may be used.
Please note that people suffering from asthma may not use NSAID painkillers. If you cannot take NSAIDs, you might want to consider switching to a combined contraceptive pill. These pills thin the lining of the womb, making the contractions less painful.
A warm bath or shower or a warm water bottle on your tummy may help relieve pain as well. Some women report that exercising, such as swimming or walking, reduces the pain.