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What can I do About Menstrual Problems?

By G. Melanson
Updated May 17, 2024
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Although menstrual problems are most often associated with premenstrual syndrome (PMS), they can occur at any point in the menstrual cycle, including before, during, and after menstruation. Some of the most common menstrual problems include back pain, mood changes, bloating, and cramping. These problems can be alleviated and sometimes eliminated by taking certain precautions, dietary supplements, and pain relievers. However, if menstrual problems are becoming so serious that they are affecting the quality of your life, you should consult with a professional health practitioner. Depending on your symptoms, a health practitioner may refer you to a gynecologist, who can determine whether or not your symptoms could be indicative of a medical condition such as endometriosis or cervical cysts.

If you suffer from back pain at some point during your menstrual cycle, you may also find that the soreness extends to your neck or shoulders. One of the easiest and most effective ways to treat this type of pain is to apply a hot water bottle or other hot compress to the area. Gentle stretching can also alleviate back pain, as can over-the-counter pain relievers. The most effective pain relievers for menstrual back pain are the anti-inflammatory ones, such as ibuprofen, naproxen, and acetylsalicylic acid.

Some of the most frustrating menstrual problems are the emotional symptoms, such as depression, irritability, and mood swings. One of the best ways to deal with changes in mood is to keep track of the points where they occur during your menstrual cycle. Detecting a pattern in your menstrual mood changes and knowing when to anticipate them can help you to cope. While mood swings are typically associated with PMS, many women experience them during or after their period. Daily multivitamins specifically formulated for women can also help regulate mood throughout the menstrual cycle, as can a vitamin B complex.

Bloating and cramping are common menstrual problems which are often painful or uncomfortable. Increasing your protein intake, drinking plenty of water, and avoiding alcohol, carbonated drinks, caffeine, and foods that are high in sodium can all help reduce bloating. Some doctors may prescribe birth control pills to patients that experience cramping, as they prohibit the uterine contractions that cause cramps. Naproxen and ibuprofen can also alleviate pain from cramping, as can a hot water bottle on the abdomen.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.

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