Things you may want to try at home include:
May 08, 2014
- Exercise. Studies have found that physical activity may ease the pain of menstrual cramps.
- Heat. Soaking in a hot bath or using a heating pad, hot water bottle or heat patch on your lower abdomen may ease menstrual cramps. Applying heat may be just as effective as over-the-counter pain medication for relieving menstrual cramps.
- Dietary supplements. A number of studies have indicated that vitamin E, omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin B-1 (thiamine), vitamin B-6 and magnesium supplements may effectively reduce menstrual cramps.
- Avoiding alcohol and tobacco. These substances can make menstrual cramps worse.
- Reducing stress. Psychological stress may increase your risk of menstrual cramps and their severity.
- Smith RP, et al. Primary dysmenorrhea in adult women: Clinical features and diagnosis. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Jan. 15, 2014.
- Dysmenorrhea. The Merck Manuals: The Merck Manual for Health Care Professionals. http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/gynecology_and_obstetrics/menstrual_abnormalities/dysmenorrhea.html#v1062408. Accessed Jan. 17, 2014.
- Smith RP, et al. Treatment of primary dysmenorrhea in adult women. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Jan. 15. 2014.
- Cunningham FG, et al. Williams Obstetrics. 23rd ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2010. http://www.accessmedicine.com/resourceTOC.aspx?resourceID=46. Accessed Jan. 15, 2014.
- South-Paul JE, et al. Current Diagnosis & Treatment in Family Medicine. 3rd ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2011. http://www.accessmedicine.com/resourceTOC.aspx?resourceID=52. Accessed Jan. 15, 2014.
- Rigi SN, et al. Comparing the analgesic effect of heat patch containing iron chip and ibuprofen for primary dysmenorrhea: A randomized controlled trial. BMC Women's Health. 2012:12:25.
- Dieltjens T. Towards evidence-based emergency medicine: Best BETs from the Manchester Royal Infirmary. Emergency Medicine Journal. 2012;29:853.
- Rahbar N, et al. Effect of omega-3 fatty acids on intensity of primary dysmenorrhea. International Journal of Gynaecology and Obstetrics. 2012;117:45.
- Rakel D. Integrative Medicine. 3rd ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2012. http://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed Jan. 15, 2014.
- Ju H, et al. The prevalence and risk factors of dysmenorrhea. Epidemiologic Reviews. In Press. Accessed Jan. 15, 2014.
- Smith CA, et al. Acupuncture for dysmenorrhoea. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/14651858.CD007854.pub2/abstract. Accessed Jan. 15, 2014.
- Khan KS, et al. How effective are non-drug, non-surgical treatments for primary dysmenorrhoea? BMJ. 2012;344:e3011.
- Jiang HR, et al. Systematic review of randomized clinical trials of acupressure therapy for primary dysmenorrhea. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine. 2013;169692:1. http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2013/169692/. Accessed Jan. 15, 2014.