Menstrual pains and cramps…they have plagued women from time immemorial! Did you know that one out of two women suffers from them every month, and that is in addition to the nausea, vomiting, fatigue, diarrhea and headaches they usually come with? So it is not surprising to hear they are the primary cause of absenteeism from work and school in young women. Although menstrual pains and cramps are more intense for women between the ages of 20 and 24, they tend to weaken with age. Thankfully, there are solutions to relieve the pain so menstruations do not have to be so hellishly painful!
One of the first reflexes to appease stomach cramps is to run to the pharmacy and purchase an analgesic. But which one should you choose? Although acetaminophen (Tylenol) and ibuprofen (Motrin or Advil) both relieve menstrual pain, ibuprofen is the more effective of the two because of its anti-inflammatory properties. The recommendation is to take 400 mg of ibuprofen every six to eight hours for the first few days of a period. If you have any questions regarding these over-the-counter medications, the pharmacist will be able to assist you.
In addition to over-the-counter medications, there are other ways to relieve pain and cramps. For instance, we know that doing regular physical activities diminishes the intensity of menstrual symptoms. Whether you take a warm bath or use a heating pad, you can also get great relief by applying heat directly to the abdomen.
You should speak with your physician or gynaecologist if ibuprofen and heat have failed to bring relief, as they can recommend a solution that best suits your needs. He or she may recommend taking “the pill”, which, in addition to being a reliable contraceptive method, can usually assuage 90% of menstrual symptoms. There are other medications similar to ibuprofen that may be prescribed by your physician to get you the relief you so long for.
Although menstrual pains and cramps are not fatal and can be easily relieved in most cases, they are incredibly unpleasant. So do not let them keep you from enjoying life to the fullest!