– Menstruation is a natural part of life that all women experience during their childbearing years. A variety of symptoms can accompany periods and occur in the days leading up to them. You may experience different symptoms each month, and the intensity of these symptoms can also vary with each cycle. One of the most bothersome symptoms that can develop during the premenstrual period and menstruation is pain, which can include headaches, lower abdominal cramps and discomfort in your back or thighs.
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While menstrual pain does have the potential to be severe, it can often be reduced with the help of the right medicine and health products, and at drugstore.com, we have many options available to help you manage menstrual pain. Be sure to discuss your symptoms with your doctor and ask which products are right for you.
Options for Pain Relief
Pain and fever relief over-the-counter medications are among the most commonly used products for alleviating menstrual pain, and there are different types from which you can choose. Acetaminophen interferes with the production of prostaglandins, natural substances that give rise to feelings of pain. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications like ibuprofen also interfere with the production of prostaglandins but provide the secondary benefit of reducing inflammation, which can be beneficial for dealing with tenderness in the back and thighs. All over-the-counter pain relief products do pose risks for side effects and may not be suitable for women with certain health care problems, making it important that you check with your doctor concerning which type is best for your needs.
Studies have found that the use of hot compresses can be as effective at addressing menstrual cramps as pain relief medications. When applied to the abdomen, hot packs, heating pads and hot water bottles make the blood vessels widen, improving circulation to the area. This might bring some relief to uncomfortable cramping. Some women find that cold packs are helpful.
Women who prefer to use alternative medicine to address their health care concerns can find many options for dealing with menstrual pain on the market. These include herbs that have long been used as natural remedies as well as homeopathic products that contain diluted extracts of various natural substances. The benefits of these types of products are still being studied by western medical science, and like pain relief products, they can cause side effects in some individuals.
Menstrual pain is a very common symptom that many women experience; however, very severe cramps or pain that does not respond to over-the-counter remedies may be an indication of a more serious medical problem. Be sure to discuss your symptoms with your doctor to get a personalized recommendation as to what methods of dealing with menstrual pain are best for your body's unique needs. You can find whatever over-the-counter interventions your doctor recommends here at drugstore.com.
This summary is intended for general informational purposes only, and should not be interpreted as specific medical advice. You should read product labels. In addition, if you are taking medications, herbs, or other supplements you should consult with a qualified healthcare provider before taking any over-the-counter medication as they may interact with other medications, herbs, and nutritional products. If you have a medical condition, including if you are pregnant or nursing, you should speak to your physician before taking these products. Consult a healthcare provider immediately if you experience side effects.