Menstrual cramps or period pains. How big is the problem?

I always knew there were more than 12 menstrual cramps relief remedies as a doctor but did not know there are so many questions asked online about menstrual cramps. The most frequently asked questions are listed below. I will present the most popular and best-selling online products to solve all the questions asked.

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Obviously YOU want the answer to the most commonly asked question.  What to do about menstrual cramps i.e. menstrual cramps fast relief?

  • Take over-the-counter pain medicine like ibuprofen, naproxen, or acetaminophen/paracetamol. Always follow the instructions.
  • Do aerobic exercise, like walking, running, riding a bike, swimming, or any activity that gets your heart rate up. Regular exercise at least 30 minutes most days of the week is ideal, BUT especially before the periods start.
  • Do breathing exercises, meditation, or yoga
  • Put a heating pad on your belly or lower back.
  • Take a hot bath.
  • Have an orgasm (by yourself or with a partner).
  • Get plenty of rest. Sleeping regularly every night can help with stress, mood changes, and feeling tired or fatigued.
  • Eat healthy foods like fruits, veggies (especially the leafy green ones), whole grains, and yogurt.
  • Limit fat, salt, sugar, caffeine, and alcohol.
  • Make sure you get enough vitamins in your diet, or take vitamin supplements.
  • Take a supplement of minerals like calcium and magnesium.
  • Use hormonal birth control (like the pill, patch, ring, implant, and hormonal IUD). Your doctor can help you find a birth control method.

Menstrual cramps facts

Menstrual cramps are painful periods. Its medically called dysmenorrhea, meaning pain during menstruation. Its usual onset occurs around the time that menstruation begins. Symptoms typically last less than three days. The pain is usually in the pelvis or lower abdomen. Other symptoms may include back pain, diarrhea, or nausea. It is the most common menstrual disorder. Typically it starts within a year of the first menstrual period. When there is no underlying cause and often the pain improves with age or following having a child. Dysmenorrhea is estimated to affect approximately 25% of women. Dysmenorrhea is the leading cause of recurrent short-term school and work absence.

Signs and symptoms of Menstrual Cramps

The main symptom of dysmenorrhea is pain concentrated in the lower abdomen or pelvis. It is also commonly felt in the right or left side of the abdomen. It may radiate to the thighs and lower back. Symptoms often co-occurring with menstrual pain include nausea and vomiting, diarrhea or constipation, headache, dizziness, disorientation, hypersensitivity to sound, light, smell and touch, fainting, and fatigue. Symptoms of dysmenorrhea often begin immediately after ovulation and can last until the end of menstruation. This is because dysmenorrhea is often associated with changes in hormonal levels in the body that occur with ovulation.

Causes of Menstrual Cramps

In young women painful periods often occur without an underlying problem. In older women it is more often due to an underlying issue such as uterine fibroids, adenomyosis, or endometriosis. It is more common among those with heavy periods, irregular periods, whose periods started before twelve years of age, or who have a low body weight. The most common cause of secondary dysmenorrhea is endometriosis, which can be visually confirmed by laparoscopy in approximately 70% of adolescents with dysmenorrhea. Other causes of secondary dysmenorrhea include leiomyoma, adenomyosis, ovarian cysts, and pelvic congestion.

Diagnosis of Menstrual Cramps

The diagnosis of dysmenorrhea is usually made simply on a medical history of menstrual pain that interferes with daily activities. Once a diagnosis of dysmenorrhea is made, further workup is required to search for any secondary underlying cause of it, in order to be able to treat it specifically and to avoid the aggravation of a perhaps serious underlying cause. Further work-up includes a specific medical history of symptoms and menstrual cycles and a pelvic exam. Additional exams and tests include laboratory tests, gynecologic ultrasonography, laparoscopy, etc.

Management of Menstrual Cramps

Treatment may include the use of a heating pad. Medications that may help include NSAIDs such as ibuprofen, hormonal birth control, and the IUD with progestogen. The use of certain types of birth control pills can prevent the symptoms of dysmenorrhea because they stop ovulation from occurring. Taking vitamin B or magnesium may help. Yoga, acupuncture, and massage help kill the pain. Surgery may be useful if certain underlying problems are present.

Medications you can buy online or over the counter

Paracetamol (acetaminophen)

Paracetamol, also known as acetaminophen, is a medication used to treat pain and fever. It is typically used for mild to moderate pain. In combination with opioid pain medication, paracetamol is now used for more severe pain such as cancer pain and after surgery. It is typically used either by mouth or rectally but is also available intravenously. Effects last between two and four hours. Paracetamol is classified as a mild analgesic. Paracetamol is generally safe at recommended doses. Paracetamol is used to treat headaches and most non-nerve pains. Two 500mg tablets of paracetamol up to 4 times a day is a safe dose for adults (never take more than 8 tablets in a 24-hour period). Overdosing on paracetamol can cause serious side effects, so do not be tempted to increase the dose if your pain is severe. If the pain lasts for more than 3 days, see your Doctor/Physician.


Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), are a drug class that groups together drugs that decrease pain and lower fever, and in higher doses decrease inflammation. The most prominent members of this group of drugs, aspirin, ibuprofen and naproxen, are all available over the counter in most countries. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen, diclofenac and naproxen, seem to work better when there’s clear evidence of an inflammatory cause, such as menstrual cramps or an injury. They should not be used for long periods unless you have discussed it with your doctor. If you take them for long periods, there’s an increased risk of stomach upset, including bleeding, and kidney and heart problems. Do not take more than the recommended dose, as this will increase the risk of serious side effects. 


These pills are effective for menstrual cramps . The daily dosage varies from 600mg to 1200mg in divided doses. The maximum total daily dose is 2400mg. The dosage for children with menstrual cramps is 20mg per kilogram body weight. The maximum is 40mg/kg in divided doses. Click here to view the most popular and best-selling online ibuprofen products


The daily dosage varies from 500mg to 1000mg in divided doses. The starting dose is 500mg and then 250mg every 8 hours. Children over 5 years use 5mg/kg twice daily. Click here to view the most popular and best-selling online naproxen products


Take 300 to 900mg every four to six hours up to a maximum of 5.4g per day. Never give aspirin to a child younger than 16 unless their doctor prescribes it. The dosage for children is 80 to 100mg per kilogram in 5-6 divided doses. Aspirin can cause bleeding in the stomach especially when taken with alcohol. People with liver diseases, kidney diseases, asthma, allergies and elderly people must use aspirin with caution.

Click here to view the most popular analgesic painkillers

Alternative medicine

Herbal or dietary supplements for treating dysmenorrhea including melatonin, vitamin E, fennel, dill, chamomile, cinnamon, damask rose, rhubarb, guava, and uzara. Some people benefit from fenugreek, ginger, valerian, zataria, zinc sulphate, fish oil, and vitamin B1, thiamine, fish oil and vitamin B12 and vitamin E.


Acupuncture, acupressure, topical heat, transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation and transdermal nitroglycerin are effective. Behavioral interventions are effective.

Menstrual cramps herb

Medi-Heally Herbal Relief Heating Patch Herb-on 1 Pack (3ea)

PMS Relief Herb Pack Natural Period Cramp Remedy – 10 Packet Box – Alternative Pain Relief – Use 1-2 packets per month for Cramps, Headaches, Bloating, Moodiness, Backache

Menstrual cramps melatonin

Nature’s Bounty Super Strength Melatonin 5 mg Softgels 60 ea (pack of 3)

Menstrual cramps chamomile & valerian

Wasserstein 4oz Chamomile Therapeutic Grade Essential Oil, 100% Pure & Natural

Menstrual cramps vitamin E

HealthForce SuperFoods Oxygen Extreme Liquid – 4 fl oz – pH Neutral Oxygen Supplement, Helps Oxygenate Blood, Supports Detoxification & Athletic Performance – Gluten Free – 100 Servings

Menstrual cramps rhubarb

Green Jay Gourmet Strawberry Rhubarb Jam – All-Natural Fruit Jam with Strawberries, Rhubarb & Lemon Juice – Vegan, Gluten-free Strawberry Jam – Contains No Preservatives – Made in USA – 2 x 20 Ounces

The Perfect Puree Pink Guava Puree, 30 Ounce — 6 per case.

Menstrual cramps fennel

Fennel Tea – 100% Organic and Alkaline – 15 Unbleached/Chemical-Free Fennel Tea Bags – Caffeine-Free, No GMO

Menstrual cramps cinnamon

Nature’s Wonder Cinnamon 500mg Capsules 300 Count

Menstrual cramps ganoderma


Menstrual cramps damask rose

Lucia Candle, Damask Rose and Cypress, 0.47 Ounce

Menstrual cramps fenugreek

Fenugreek Seed 500 mg, Trigonella foenum-gracium, 100 Vegetarian Capsules

Menstrual cramps ginger


Menstrual cramps valerian

Funat Valerian Extract Drops Anxiety, Insomnia, Stress Relief Baldrian Amantilla 60ml 2Oz

Menstrual cramps zinc

Pure Encapsulations – Zinc 30 – Zinc Picolinate (30 mg.) Highly Absorbable Hypoallergenic Supplement for Immune Support* – 180 Capsules

Menstrual cramps fish oil

Nordic Naturals Ultimate Omega SoftGels – Concentrated Omega-3 Burpless Fish Oil Supplement with More DHA & EPA, Supports Heart Health, Brain Development and Overall Wellness*, Lemon Flavor, 90 Count

Menstrual cramps vitamin B1

Standard Vitamins Vitamin B1 250mg 100 Capsules

Menstrual cramps vitamin B12

Pure Encapsulations – B12 Folate – Activated Vitamin B12 and Folate – Hypoallergenic Supplement – 60 Capsules

Menstrual cramps calcium

Nature’s Bounty Calcium-Magnesiuim-Zinc, 100 Caplets (Pack of 2)

Menstrual cramps acupressure

Click here to view most popular acupressure products

Menstrual cramps patches

Essencell Menstrual Cramp Relief Natural Heat Therapy Patches -Pack of 5

Livia-The Off Switch for Menstrual Pain -Pink. Instant Period Cramp Relief Treatment. Natural Drug Free Device with Gel Pads – Get Rid of Menses Aches. Safe and Proven

Menstrual cramps heat therapy

Sunny Bay Menstrual Heating Pad: (Pack of 20) Adhesive Period Pain and Cramp Heat Patches, Disposable, Air-Activated, Portable (Menstrual Pain Heat Pads) Personal Non Electric Deep Muscle Hot Pack

Menstrual cramps nerve stimulator

Click here to view most popular TENS products

Menstrual cramps meditation therapy

Click here to view products for meditation pain therapy

Menstrual cramps yoga

Jillian Michaels: Yoga Meltdown

Menstrual cramps exercise

Marcy Recumbent Exercise Bike with Resistance ME-709

Menstrual cramps video & funny quotes



Published by an experienced medical doctor

Dr BA Mabaso, MB ChB, MPhil, MBA, DHSM


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