Dysmenorrhea

Also indexed as:Painful Menstruation
A woman’s monthly cycle may include several days of pain and discomfort due to cramps, also known as dysmenorrhea. How do you find relief? According to research or other evidence, the following self-care steps may be helpful.
Dysmenorrhea: Main Image
A woman’s monthly cycle may include several days of pain and discomfort due to cramps, also known as dysmenorrhea. How do you find relief? According to research or other evidence, the following self-care steps may be helpful.
  • Use an OTC remedy

    To block the body’s production of pain-producing chemicals, take the recommended dose of over-the-counter ibuprofen (Motrin IB, Advil) or naproxen (Aleve)

  • Mix in magnesium

    Take a supplement containing 360 mg a day of this essential mineral to help keep uterine muscles relaxed

  • Don’t forget the fish oil

    Take a supplement containing 1,800 mg a day of EPA and DHA to help prevent menstrual symptoms

  • Take vitamin E in advance

    To help prevent severe pain, take 400 to 600 IU of vitamin E a day for five days, beginning two days before menstruation

  • Talk to your doctor

    Ask about prescription strength nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as celecoxib (Celebrex), ibuprofen (Motrin), and diclofenac (Voltaren); birth control pills may also offer relief

  • Make time for a checkup

    See your healthcare provider to find out if your dysmenorrhea could be caused by a treatable medical condition

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The information presented in Aisle7 is for informational purposes only. It is based on scientific studies (human, animal, or in vitro), clinical experience, or traditional usage as cited in each article. The results reported may not necessarily occur in all individuals. Self-treatment is not recommended for life-threatening conditions that require medical treatment under a doctor's care. For many of the conditions discussed, treatment with prescription or over the counter medication is also available. Consult your doctor, practitioner, and/or pharmacist for any health problem and before using any supplements or before making any changes in prescribed medications. Information expires June 2015.