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Dysmenorrhea

HA_DYSMENORRHEA

Dysmenorrhea is the medical term for the painful cramps that may occur immediately before or during the menstrual period.

 

The symptoms of menstrual cramps include:

  1. Aching pain in the abdomen (Pain can be severe at times.)
  2. Feeling of pressure in the abdomen
  3. Pain in the hips, lower back, and inner thighs

 

When cramps are severe, symptoms may include:

  1. Upset stomach, sometimes with vomiting
  2. Loose stools

 

To relieve mild menstrual cramps:

  1. Take aspirin or another pain reliever, such as acetaminophen, ibuprofen or naproxen. (Note: For best relief, you must take these medications as soon as bleeding or cramping starts.)
  2. Place a heating pad or hot water bottle on your lower back or abdomen. Taking a warm bath may also provide some relief.

 

To relieve menstrual cramps, you should also:

  1. Rest when needed.
  2. Avoid foods that contain caffeine and salt.
  3. Avoid smoking and drinking alcohol.
  4. Massage your lower back and abdomen.

 

Women who exercise regularly often have less menstrual pain. To help prevent cramps, make exercise a part of your weekly routine.

 

If these steps do not relieve pain, your health care provider can order medications for you, including:

  1. Ibuprofen (higher dose than is available over the counter) or other prescription pain relievers
  2. Oral contraceptives (Women taking birth control pills have less menstrual pain.)
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