For girls and women, the menstrual cycle is the natural process that happens every month as the body prepares itself for a possible pregnancy. During this time when the lining of the womb is being shed, it’s perfectly normal to experience some cramping pain in the lower abdomen which may spread to the lower back and thighs.
Applying a little bit of heat to the abdomen may help to relax cramped muscles.
Regular exercise releases feel-good hormones known as endorphins, which can help to ease menstrual pain.
For menstrual cramp relief, try massaging the painful area of your abdomen with gentle, circular motions.
TIPS FOR MANAGING MENSTRUAL PAIN
There are plenty of ways to help ease period pain.
What is menstrual pain?
During menstruation it’s normal to experience some cramping pain in the lower abdomen, which may spread to the lower back and thighs. The pain typically starts around the same time as menstrual bleeding or just before. It can last for around a day, although some may suffer for a couple of days. For many girls and women the pain can be tolerated, but for some, the pain will be so severe enough to affect day-to-day activities such as going to school or work attendance.
Here are a few tips to help ease the pain:
Applying a little bit of heat to the abdomen can help ease menstrual pain. Try a heat patch or resting a hot water bottle on the abdomen.
There’s some evidence to suggest gentle exercise may help to reduce period pain.
Some people use massage to ease their body aches and pains. Try massaging the painful area of the abdomen with gentle, circular motions.
Easing pain with medicines
For effective, temporary pain relief, try over-the-counter pain relief such as paracetamol, NSAIDs or aspirin. These have been shown to help relieve period pain and research shows that medicines containing 500mg paracetamol plus 65mg that is stronger than ordinary paracetamol.
When to see a doctor
If you have any concerns about menstrual pain, seek advice from your pharmacist or doctor, especially if you experience any of the following:
- Increased or prolonged pain
- Bleeding or period pain in between your menstrual periods
- An abnormal discharge from the vagina, especially if it is thick or smelly
- Pain that will not go away with over-the-counter medicines