Menstrual Pain Relief

Written by Sarah Provost
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If you suffer from dysmenorrhea, or cramps, menstrual pain relief can help you get back to your life quickly. Menstrual cramps can range from mild to severe, and often interfere with a woman's normal activities. Knowing how to obtain menstrual pain relief will get you back on track.

Menstrual pain is a result of the steady contraction of the uterus throughout the menstrual period. If it contracts too much, it puts pressure on the blood vessels in the vicinity. When these vessels are constricted, they can't carry enough oxygen to the uterus and cramps result.

Heat Provides Menstrual Pain Relief
Applying heat to the lower abdomen or the back, wherever the cramps are most severe, relaxes the contracted muscle of the uterus. With the muscle relaxed, the blood vessels become less constricted. A hot-water bottle, heating pad or hot bath can help, especially when combined with massage of the area. There are also heat-producing patches which can be worn under clothing so you can apply heat while you go about your daily activities.

Over-the-counter pain relievers such as aspirin, acetaminophen and ibuprofen can also help provide menstrual pain relief. Ibuprofen works best when you take it as soon as bleeding begins. Avoid alcohol, smoking and caffeine. Regular exercise serves to prevent cramping, and gentle stretching may help once cramps have set in. If your cramps are especially severe, or last more than two or three days, see your physician so that he or she can check for other problems that can cause cramping, such as endometriosis or fibroids.

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