How can I relieve mild dysmenorrhea (pain with mild menstrual cramps)?

To relieve mild menstrual cramps:

  • For best relief, you should take ibuprofen as soon as bleeding or cramping starts. You may take aspirin or another pain reliever such as acetaminophen.
  • Place a heating pad or hot water bottle on your lower back or abdomen.
  • Rest when needed.
  • Avoid foods that contain caffeine.
  • Avoid smoking and drinking alcohol.
  • 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 ibuprofen or another anti-inflammatory medication (higher dose than is available over-the-counter). Also, oral contraceptives may be prescribed because women who take oral contraceptives have less menstrual pain.

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