Period cramps are a common complaint among adolescent girls and women before or during their menstrual period. Also called menstrual cramps or dysmenorrhea, period cramps refer to the aching pain in the abdomen, hips, lower back and inner thighs, which can range from mild to severe. Symptoms of severe period cramps may include upset stomach, vomiting and loose bowel movement.
Fortunately, there are easy and effective steps that you can take to relieve mild period cramps:
Take over-the-counter pain medications. These include acetaminophen, ibuprofen, or naproxen. Take these medications as soon as menstrual bleeding or cramping starts to get maximum pain relief. Make sure you do not have an allergy to these medications.
Put a heating pad or hot water bottle on your lower back or stomach, or take a hot bath. Heat promotes blood flow and helps muscles relax.
Other ways to help relieve period cramps include:
If your period cramps are not relieved by these steps or you have severe period cramps, consult a doctor.
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