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Menstrual Pain (cont.)

Menstrual Cramps Remedies and Relief

Patient Comments

The best way to relieve painful menstrual cramps is to take an anti-inflammatory medication. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) inhibit the formation of prostaglandins and reduce pain and inflammation. Ibuprofen (Advil is a familiar brand name), naproxen (Aleve, Naprosyn), and ketoprofen (Orudis) are available over-the-counter and without a prescription, and are effective at blocking the effects of prostaglandins.

  • These medications work better if taken before the start of menstruation and can be continued as long as needed. If one type of OTC medication does not relieve the pain, try another, because these medications do not work the same in everyone.
  • Anti-inflammatory medicine such as these can be harsh on the stomach. If the woman has a history of kidney problems or stomach problems (such as ulcers or reflux), consult with the health care professional prior to taking this type of medication. Taking the medication with meals may help prevent upset stomach.

If anti-inflammatory medicine is not an option, or if additional relief is needed, the following strategies may help relieve menstrual cramps:

  • Heating pad laid over the pelvic area
  • Massage to the back and lower abdomen
  • Exercise, especially prior to the start of a menstrual period may be helpful to some women

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 11/12/2014

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Patient Comments & Reviews

The eMedicineHealth doctors ask about Menstrual Cramps:

Menstrual Pain - Treatment

What treatment do you use for your menstrual pain?

Menstrual Cramps - Home Remedies

What kind of home remedies have you found helpful in reducing the discomfort of menstrual cramps?

Read What Your Physician is Reading on Medscape

Dysmenorrhea »

Dysmenorrhea is defined as difficult menstrual flow or painful menstruation.

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