Menstrual pain means that it hurts in the lower abdomen, back, and back end in connection with menses. The pain can also radiate into the lower back, groin, and thighs.

There are several things you can do to reduce the pain. Test yourself for what works best for you.

Symptoms of menstrual pain

Some get only a little pain while others get very sore. The aches can make you feel dizzy, become cold sweaty or it feels like you should faint. 

It is common to get hurt someday before the period comes. Menstrual pain is usually strongest during the first and second days of menstruation.

Once your period has started, you may also feel ill and have diarrhea. The diarrhea is because you have high levels of the hormone prostaglandin in the body.

What can I do for menstrual pain myself?

For menstrual pain, you can use non-prescription painkillers. It is good to take the drug as soon as possible when you feel the trouble is on the way. 

Medicines containing, for example, ibuprofen or naproxen often relieve menstrual pain best. They reduce uterine contractions.

If you are unable to use this type of drug, you can test medicines containing paracetamol. Always follow the dose recommended on the package.

Relieve the pain with heat

Put something warm on your stomach or back. It can be, for example, a hot water bottle or a heated wheat pillow. You heat the wheat pillow in an oven or in a microwave. The heat makes the muscles relax and then it hurts less.

You can also try bathing or showering in warm water.

Relieve the pain with movement

It is good to move more, often you can exercise before the period comes to prevent pain. For example, you can take a walk or work out if you can manage it despite the menstrual cramps.

When and where should I seek care for menstrual pain?

Contact a health care center or gynecologic clinic if any of the following is true of you:

  • Prescription-free painkillers do not help your menstrual pain.
  • You suddenly get menstrual pain without having had it before.

It is often not in a hurry. If it is a weekend, you can wait until it is every day.

Some of you who attend elementary school or high school can contact student health. You can also contact a youth reception, where you can go if you are 12 or 13 years until you are between 20 and 25 years, it is different at different receptions.

Treatment of menstrual pain

A doctor may prescribe other painkillers or contraceptives if non-prescription painkillers do not help your menstrual pain.

Some contraceptives cause the ovaries to disappear as long as the treatment is in progress. Then you avoid the menstrual pain. Other contraceptives make the lining of the uterus thinner, and you bleed a little, rarely or never. Ask the person who prints the recipe that works best for you.

A doctor or a physical therapist can give you treatment with tens. It is a method of pain relief which means that nerves under the skin are stimulated by electric currents, which causes the body to work to reduce the pain. You will receive the treatment when you have pain and the effect lasts as long as the treatment is ongoing.

What happens in the body?

The pain is due to the uterus contracting to expel the mucosa.

There are many nerves around the uterus that are affected as the uterus contracts. That’s why it can hurt your back, groin, and thighs too.

Severe menstrual pain can have other causes:

  • It may be due to endometriosis which means that there is uterine mucosa in places other than inside the uterus.
  • Menstrual pain may be due to myoma,  which is a muscle node in the uterus.
  • It can be due to inflammation in the fallopian tube or in the uterus.

Ehtisham Nadeem

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