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How to Get Rid of Period Cramps

The menstrual cycle affects the lives of women all over the world. Whilst many have a regular period cycle with few unpleasant symptoms, others might experience irregular periods, heavy periods or severe period pain. (You can read more about what causes period pain in another of our articles.)

If you’re in the latter category and have been wondering how to stop period pain, we have five ideas for period pain remedies you can try.  

Stay hydrated

Although drinking water won’t get rid of your period cramps, staying hydrated can help significantly to lessen the bloating that often accompanies menstruation. If you are bloated, bad period pain can often feel worse.

For this reason you should avoid drinking too much caffeine and alcohol. You should also try and avoid consuming too much salt, as this can draw water out of your digestive system too.

Apply some heat

It has been discovered that continuous topical heat is as effective as ibuprofen for treating period cramps. This means that holding a heat pad or hot water bottle to your abdomen should ease your menstrual pain as effectively as if you were to take ibuprofen.

Do some light exercise

It might be the last thing you feel like doing when you’re suffering with period pain, but light exercise can definitely help. Raising your heart rate with aerobic exercise and stretching your muscles with yoga can both ease period symptoms. One form of exercise isn’t more effective than the other, so you can choose the one that best suits your lifestyle.

The endorphins released by exercise may also help to improve your mood and ease any PMS symptoms you may be experiencing.

Take some painkillers

Painkillers such as ibuprofen and aspirin are effective at reducing period pain and stopping cramping. Ibuprofen can also make your flow a little lighter. It’s important to make sure these medications are safe for you to take, however, as they aren’t recommended for people with asthma or those with stomach, liver or kidney problems.

You could also try paracetamol, but this has been found to be less effective at lessening period pain.

Try mefenamic acid

Mefenamic acid capsules can be used for period pain relief. These period pain tablets are prescription-only and are part of a group of drugs called non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs for short).

Mefenamic acid works to reduce inflammation. This makes it effective at lessening menstrual pain, especially when other measures such as lifestyle changes and painkillers like paracetamol and ibuprofen haven’t worked. However mefenamic acid shouldn’t be taken at the same time as ibuprofen, as they are both NSAIDs.