Learn how to deal with the pain and discomfort of menstrual cramps.

If you experience painful menstruation, you’re not alone. In fact, Medline Plus reports that painful menstruation is the leading cause of lost time from school and work among women in their teens and 20s. For some women, over the counter pain relief is enough to regulate the pain of cramps. For others, further treatment is necessary.

What you may not know is that cramps can be treated and alleviated at home in ways other than taking ibuprofen. Try these measures to help make your period more bearable:

  • Adjust your diet, cutting down salt, caffeine, alcohol and sugar.
  • Exercise regularly, including when you’re on your period.
  • Use heat from a microwavable bag or heating pad to treat pain in your abdomen and pelvis.
  • Ask your doctor about vitamin supplements that can help reduce your menstrual discomfort and PMS.
  • Consider stretching, yoga and meditation to help you deal with menstrual pain.

For some women, menstrual pain is so excessive it’s referred to as dysmenorrhea. According to the CDC, women may also bleed excessively during menstruation. Bleeding that occurs for more than seven days is called menorrhagia. It’s recommended that you check in with your doctor if you experience menorrhagia or dysmenorrhea so that your doctor can determine the cause and assist with treatment.

For severe menstrual pain and cramps, your doctor may recommend prescription pain relief, hormonal birth control and prescription anti-inflammatories and further tests to determine why your periods are so painful.

Women in the North Richland Hills community trust North Hills Hospital. Whether they see us to deliver a new family member or to consider gynecologic surgery, we continue to meet their specialized needs at every stage of life. If you would like a physician referral, please call 1-855-5NHILLS.

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