Having menstrual pain is no fun. If you do have menstrual pain, you're not alone – up to 90% of girls and women have pain around the time of their period. The good news is that there are many things you can do to help ease your pain.
If you have pain and cramping around the time of your menstrual period, this is perfectly normal. It usually feels like a cramping pain in the lower part of the stomach, although you may also have some pain in your lower back and at the top of your legs.
You’ll find that the pain starts around the same time as your menstrual bleeding or just before. It can last for around a day, although some people may suffer for a couple of days. For most girls and women, the pain is generally mild, but around 10% can suffer from severe pain that stops them from going to school or work.
There are a number of things you can do to help ease your pain.
You might not realise it, but putting a little bit of heat on the stomach can actually help ease your menstrual pain! Applying a heat patch or putting a hot water bottle on your stomach might be what you need.
There’s some evidence to suggest that exercise may reduce menstrual pain. This could be any form of exercise that suits you.
Some people use massage to ease their body aches and pains. Try massaging the painful area of your stomach with gentle, circular motions to see if that works for you.
Easing pain with medicines
If you find you need some extra relief, then over-the-counter pain relievers have been proven to relieve menstrual pain. Research shows that medicines containing paracetamol plus caffeine can be particularly useful.
When to see a doctor
If you’re at all worried about your menstrual pain, ask your pharmacist or doctor for advice. In particular, you should see a doctor if any of the following apply to you:
Menstrual pain is a normal part of growing up and being a woman. While it may be hard to deal with at first, there are things you can do to ease your pain so you can find the right way for you to manage it.