It is common to feel pain during menstruation. About a quarter of all women regularly use painkillers for menstrual cramps.

How does menstrual pain feel?

Menstrual cramps feel like pain in the lower abdomen before and during menstruation. Some also get pain in the back, groin and thighs. It is common to feel dizzy, get cold sweats and experience fainting in connection with menstrual cramps. Some women do not feel any menstrual cramps at all while others are in so much pain that they need to stay home for a couple of days.

Those who suffer from menstrual cramps usually get milder symptoms with age or after a pregnancy.

What does it depend on?

During menstruation and a few days before menstruation, the uterus contracts to expel the mucous membrane. These contractions can hurt. There are many nerves around the uterus that radiate into the body. When these nerves are affected by the uterine contractions, it can also hurt the back, groin and thighs.

How can I relieve menstrual cramps?

Menstrual cramps can be relieved with medication, heat, vitamin E and exercise. Try to find the one that works best for you.

There are over-the-counter medications that usually work well for menstrual cramps. In the first instance, choose a medicine with ibuprofen , naproxen or diclofenac and take it immediately when you feel the menstrual cramps begin. If you can not take these medicines, for example due to asthma, stomach ulcers or if you want to get pregnant, you can instead take a medicine with paracetamol. Feel free to ask us for advice if you are unsure.

Heat on the lower abdomen can feel nice during menstrual cramps. Try a wheat pillow / hot water bottle or bathe / shower hot and the muscles in the uterus relax.

Walking and exercising before and during menstruation can both prevent and relieve menstrual cramps.

Vitamin E in doses of 330-500 mg / day before and during menstruation is probably effective against menstrual cramps, but first consult your doctor if you can take such a high dose.

If these tips do not help with your menstrual cramps, you should seek medical attention, who may prescribe other painkillers. There are also contraceptives that can help with menstrual cramps and heavy menstruation. Also contact healthcare if you suddenly have menstrual cramps for the first time. 

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