Menstrual cramps may make the week of your period miserable and uncomfortable. Cramps occur because your uterus contracts in order to expel your uterine lining and can be quite painful, reports Iris F. Litt, author of "Taking Our Pulse: The Health of America's Women." If your suffer from intense menstrual cramps you may wonder if there are ways to treat them. A variety of treatments exist that can help you get rid of this pain fast.
Lie down and apply heat to your abdominal area. Place a heating pad on your lower stomach as you lay on your back. Leave the heat source on for 15 minutes to help ease the pressure and pain that menstrual cramps can cause, recommends Melissa Kirsch, author of "The Girl's Guide to Absolutely Everything."
Take a dose of pain medication. Choose a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) like ibuprofen or naproxen, recommends the Mayo Clinic. NSAID drugs work to block the prostaglandins that contribute to painful cramps. NSAID medications are available over-the-counter at the drugstore or may be prescribed by your physician.
Do yoga poses. Choose poses that promote relaxation and the stretching of your abdominal muscles, recommend Larry Payne and Richard Usatine, authors of "Yoga Rx: A Step-by-Step Program to Promote Health, Wellness, and Healing for Common Ailments." Breathe deeply while you maintain your yoga poses to help you relax your muscles, including your uterine muscles.
Exercise. Add some gentle exercises, such as walking or swimming to help promote oxygen flow throughout your body so your muscles are able to relax. Stretch well to bring about similar results.
Eliminate dairy products from your diet. Give up eating milk, cheese, yogurt and ice cream during your period, recommends Kirsch, to help reduce cramping as well as the amount of pain you feel.
Things You'll Need
Use a disposable heating pad, recommends Kirsch. You can wear this under your clothes so you can ease your pain even while you work or go to school. A warm bath can have similar results to using a heating pad because it will relax your muscles and help you feel calmer.
If you experience pain and cramps that get in the way of your normal functioning, see your doctor to help rule out more serious causes of your discomfort, such as endometriosis.
Is This an Emergency?
- "Taking Our Pulse: The Health of America's Women"; Iris F. Litt; 1997
- "The Girl's Guide to Absolutely Everything"; Melissa Kirsch; 2006
- "Yoga Rx: A Step-by-Step Program to Promote Health, Wellness, and Healing for Common Ailments"; Larry Payne and Richard Usatine; 2002
- Mayo Clinic: Menstrual Cramps: Treatment and Drugs