How can I Deal with Menstruation Pain?

Rhonda Rivera

A normal menstruation cycle can be accompanied by cramps, breast tenderness, and joint and muscle pain. There are a plethora of ways to treat cramps, including over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications, applying heat, and exercise. Breast tenderness can dealt with through exercise, over-the-counter medications, and wearing a well-fitted bra day and night. For women experiencing joint and muscle menstruation pain, over-the-counter medications or oral contraceptives might be able to ease the pain. Menstruation pain varies from woman to woman, and treatment should be discussed with a health professional before beginning.

Limiting your salt intake may help reduce the bloating and discomfort associated with menstruation.
Limiting your salt intake may help reduce the bloating and discomfort associated with menstruation.

The most commonly reported menstruation pain is cramps in the abdominal area. For mild cramps, sometimes a hot water bottle placed on the abdomen provides some relief, though it is unsafe to leave it there for long periods of time. It is also generally recommended to stay active and exercise daily to help reduce cramps. Women with more severe cramps might benefit more from anti-inflammatory medications. Cramps that severely hinder your lifestyle should be discussed with a doctor; sometimes using a different birth control method can reduce or eliminate cramping.

Cramps that hinder one's lifestyle should be discussed with a doctor.
Cramps that hinder one's lifestyle should be discussed with a doctor.

Breast tenderness is often coupled with minor — or sometimes severe — breast swelling. Some women find comfort in wearing a bra that was professionally fitted before or during their menstrual cycle. Some medications, like water pills, can also help, but sometimes the potential negative side effects of taking a medication to reduce breast tenderness outweighs the benefits. You can also try reducing your salt, caffeine, and alcohol intake to reduce bloating overall.

Birth control pills can be taken to help alleviate menstrual pain.
Birth control pills can be taken to help alleviate menstrual pain.

A woman might also experience joint and muscle menstruation pain that can be temporarily relieved by a variety of other methods: over-the-counter pain relievers can provide some relief. Some women find that a warm shower or bath also helps ease the pain. It is also generally recommended to stay well-hydrated and active. Others find that relaxation methods such as light yoga or meditation soothe their bodies. If you are overweight, you may be experiencing more menstruation pain than usual, and gradual weight loss might help.

Breast tenderness is common during a woman's menstruation cycle.
Breast tenderness is common during a woman's menstruation cycle.

Though somewhat controversial, another method of dealing with menstruation pain is taking vitamins; specifically, B6, calcium, and magnesium supplements can be found in a once-a-day multi-vitamin. These vitamins are often used before trying an over-the-counter or prescription medication. You might find that they work well enough to justify not taking a medication, but it is advisable to let your primary physician know about the extra vitamin intake. Do not exceed the recommended amount of supplement unless advised to do so by a health professional.

An ice pack may help relieve pain associated with menstruation pain.
An ice pack may help relieve pain associated with menstruation pain.

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