"What can you do to make my period less intense? These cramps are just not fair!"
Painful menstrual cramps or dysmenorrhea is a common condition affecting 40-80% of all women.
Dysmenorrhea can be mild or severe depending on the degree of pain and cramping produced. Oversensitivity of the nerve fibers within the uterus and muscle spasms results in the symptoms.
Dysmenorrhea is often treated with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory agents, such as ibuprofen, and hormonal suppression, such as oral contraceptives.
It is recommended to start non-steroidal anti-inflammatory agents a few days before your menstrual cycles in order to prevent the symptoms.
Heating pads have been shown to be helpful, so has exercise. With exercise, the blood circulation to the uterus increases, which may alleviate the pain and discomfort. It is unclear as to the effectiveness of certain foods or ingredients on this condition.
Acupuncture may be considered, as it has been shown to be effective in the management of dysmenorrhea.
If you have never had dysmenorrhea before, talk to your doctor to investigate the possible reversible causes of dysmenorrhea.