Severe menstrual cramps can have a very real impact on your day to day life. For most people, they are a slight inconvenience once a month, that only lasts for a couple of days. For others, however, they can last for much longer and with far greater pain. Should you find your time of the month unbearable there are some things you can try to make it a little easier.
It is important to try a few simple remedies first of all, to see if you can reduce your pain naturally. Stress can make menstrual cramps worse so the first thing to try is to reduce your stress and make the time around your period as relaxing as possible. Try to get plenty of sleep and if at all possible reschedule your workload around this time so that you are calmer.
It is a good idea to take some gentle exercise, as this can also reduce your stress levels. Try to fit a gentle walk into your day, or even a relaxing swim. Not having enough exercise has been linked to painful periods.
Think carefully about what you are eating during your period. You may be able to see a link between some of the foods that you eat and the onset of the pain. If you see a pattern you can start to exclude the foods that are causing you a problem. In general, eating a healthy diet full of fresh foods should help you feel better.
Another simple idea that may help is to apply heat to your lower abdomen and wherever your pain manifests itself. You can do this with the help of an aromatherapy pillow or a heating pad. Often these can be warmed in a microwave oven. This will probably not get rid of the pain completely but can help ease the discomfort.
If none of these natural ideas help you, you could try some over the counter medications. Aspirin or Tylenol could help with milder pains while Ibuprofen could be better for you if your cramps are stronger as they reduce certain hormone levels. These drugs should be taken as soon as you start to feel discomfort in order to improve their effectiveness. If you know when your period is due to begin you may like to start taking them a few days earlier.
For some women, these simple remedies will not be enough. If this is the case for you, you should see a doctor who can check for any underlying causes that are making menstruation worse for you. A common treatment for a simple case with no complicated issues would be a prescription for birth control pills. However, if there are underlying problems causing the symptoms, more invasive treatment may be required.
Trying some of these natural remedies first may be enough to reduce the pain associated with menstruation for you. For those that still struggle and who suffer from severe menstrual cramps, a visit to the doctor may be wise, in order to diagnose the cause and decide on a course of treatment to alleviate the pain.