Periods can be really painful to some women. Especially for women who suffer from dysmenorrhea. Primary dysmenorrhea is a condition that causes cramping of the uterus, resulting in moderate to severe lower abdominal pain.
Commonly called as menstrual cramps, primary dysmenorrhea occurs due to the contracting action of the uterus before or during a period. This is mainly caused by prostaglandins, a type of hormone, released with the uterine lining (bleeding). These hormones cause congestion or blood pooling in specific areas like the pelvis. Such pooling causes heaviness in the pelvic regions, resulting in painful flow while squeezing out clots through the small opening of the cervix. Sometimes, dysmenorrhea causes a drop in blood pressure, which in turn changes a woman’s moods, making her cold, clammy and sensitive or lightheaded when she is menstruating. Secondary dysmenorrhea, similar to primary dysmenorrhea, is caused by a disease called endometriosis.
Motrin for menstrual cramps: Cramps are a colicky kind of pain, which rise slowly, hit a peak and drop and then, rise again. There are several drugs and methods to alleviate pain caused by menstrual cramps and Motrin or Ibuprofen is one of them. A non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug, Motrin works by inhibiting the action of prostaglandins. Since prostaglandins are the main cause of any kind of menstrual pain, stopping them would mean putting an end to painful periods.
Below are a few tips to treat menstrual pain with Motrin:
1. Start early: Keep a watch over your menstrual cycle and note the approximate date of your period. When you know that you are going to get your period in two days, start taking Motrin. Instead of taking it after the onset of cramps, it is better to take it beforehand and prevent the trauma of pain.
2. Stick to dosage instructions: This is important if you are allergic to certain medications or have a history of abuse or some chronic health conditions. Stick to dosage instructions on the label or consult with your gynecologist on what is best for you. Do not take more than the maximum dose per day.
3. Heating pads do help: Use them if you feel severe pain. It is not that Motrin alone is sufficient. If you have severe pain and you know that one or two doses of Motrin may not work for you, resort to other methods like heating pads. Place a lukewarm heating pad on your lower abdomen and lie down for a few minutes. You will not just feel relieved, but your cramps will also have reduced.
4. Massage: Yes, a self massage works exceptionally well. If you have pain in the lower abdomen, back or pelvic area, do a self massage on the places. This would relieve the pain and discomfort, giving you space to breathe before you take another dose of Motrin.
5. Once-a-day-pill: If you are a first timer to the whole process of menstruation, start by taking Motrin once a day before and during your period. Though Motrin is safe, it is better to start with a low dose as you may not build tolerance for the drug.
6. Consult your doctor: When self medication fails and all other therapies don’t bring relief, contact your gynecologist immediately. You maybe experiencing a condition severe than dysmenorrhea, so it is better to contact your doctor than waste time with ordinary pain relievers.
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