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5 tips for relieving menstrual pain

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Is your period extremely painful, making certain days of the month hard to get through? Next month, try these tips at the first hint of discomfort.

Get warm

Immerse yourself in a warm bath or apply a hot water bottle on your stomach. The heat helps relax the muscles of the uterus, relieving pain and cramps.

Give yourself a massage

Place both hands beneath your navel and contract your stomach about 10 times per minute until you feel warm. Continue the exercise for about 5 minutes.

Move

You might not feel like exercising during your period, but physical activity such as walking or stretching activates circulation in the lower abdomen and helps reducing pain.

Relax

Did you know that stress increases pain? Try relaxation techniques like yoga, meditation, tai chi, or whatever it is that helps you disconnect.

Consider anti-inflammatory drugs

Choose a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) like ibuprofen, which reduces the production of prostaglandins. The NSAID must be taken on a regular basis, not only when needed, to maintain a low level of prostaglandins. To minimize stomach irritation, the NSAID must be taken with milk or food. 

When to see a doctor

You should see a doctor when:

  • You get no relief from over-the-counter pain medication, including NSAIDs;
  • Pain appears in adulthood or worsens over time;
  • You experience painful cramps several days before and after your period;
  • You experience the following symptoms: fever, thick and yellowish vaginal discharge, bleeding between periods, or an abnormally heavy period.

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