ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Menstrual Pain

Updated on November 2, 2014

Why do women have menstrual pain?

During the menstrual cycle, the lining of the womb is being shed and sometimes the muscular wall of the womb contracts. This results in the release of chemicals in the body which triggers pain. This is usually felt as painful muscle cramps in your lower tummy, which can sometimes spread to your back and thighs. The pain varies with each cycle- at times, it may come in intense spasms, while at other times the pain may be dull but more constant. The medical term for period pain is dysmenorrheal. Apart from felling pain in your abdomen, you may also experience other symptoms such as:

  • Headaches
  • Nausea
  • Tiredness
  • Light-headedness
  • Dizziness
  • Diarrhea

Period pain is very common. Up to 75% of women were reported to be suffering from menstrual cramp. One in five women experience pain so severe that it stops them from doing their daily activities. Speak to your doctor if you are one of them.

How Long does menstrual pain usually last?

The pain usually starts at the beginning of the menstrual cycle and normally last for 12-24 hours, although in more severe cases it may last for several days.

Are you suffering from menstrual pain every month?

See results

What are the treatment options for menstrual pain?

Mild menstrual pain can usually be managed with self-medication at home. However, if your pain persists or becomes more severe and is affecting your usually activities, you should see your doctor.

There are a number of treatments that may help with relief of menstrual pain:

  1. Paracetamol
  2. Non-Selective, Non-Steroidal Anti-Infammatory Drugs (NSAIDS)
  3. Cyclo-Oxygenase 2 Selective inhibitors (COX-2 selective inhibitors)


Oral paracetamol is an effective option for pain relief. It has a good safety profile and is considered to be first line treatment for relieving pain. Its pain-relieving efficacy is lower than non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAIDs) or COX-2 selective inhibitors. However, paracetamol is associated with fewer gastrointestinal side effect that NASAIDs.

The main side effect of paracetamol is the potential to cause liver damage. This is usually associated with over-dose but can happen even at recommended dosage if ingested together with moderate amount of alcohol.

As with all pain killer medication, only take the medications when required for relieve of pain. If there is more menstrual pain, there is no need to take the medications. Always read the details on the package so that you do not exceed the maximum daily dose. Most of these medications can only be prescribed by a doctor.

Non-Selective, Non-Steroidal Anti-Infammatory Drugs (NSAIDS)

These medications work by blocking the effect of the chemicals released during your menstrual cycle which are thought to be the cause of pain, and are able to provide effective pain relief.

NSAID treatment is associated with gastrointestinal side effect such as gastric ulcers, gastric bleeding and gastric perforation (or hole in stomach). Patients with prior his history of gastrointestinal problems are at higher risk of developing the above side effects with NSAIDs.

Other potential side effects include kidney associated problems like high blood pressure, water retention and kidney failure.

Some patients may also develop allergic reactions.

Examples of non-selective NSAIDS include ibuprofen, menefamic acid, sulindac, indomethacin, naproxen, ketoprofen and meloxicam.

Cyclo-Oxygenase 2 Selective inhibitors (COX-2 selective inhibitors)

This class of painkillers is commonly called the COX-2 selective inhibitors as they selectively inhibit an enzyme called cyclo-oxygenase 2 (COX-2). Like NSAIDS, they effectively reduce pain and inflammation.

Like NSAIDs, they effectively reduce pain thought to be cause by the chemicals that are released during your menstrual cycle. In addition, COX-2 selective inhibitors have a relatively lower risk of causing gastrointestinal side effects. They provide a treatment alternative for patients who cannot tolerate the gastrointestinal side effect of NSAIDS therapy. Lon-term use of these agents has however been associated with heart attack and stroke. These drugs are not recommended for patients with risk factor such as high blood pressure, abnormal blood lipid level, diabetes, smoking and peripheral artery disease.

Examples of COX-2 selective inhibitors are: etoricoxib and celecoxib.


There are number of ways you can manage your menstrual pain at home. Although, you may not stop your pain completely, these measures can help to ease or reduce your menstrual pain:

  • Execise

Exercising while you are having a painful period and keeping active can help to reduce pain. Try some gentle swimming, walking or cycling.

  • Heat

Applying heat to your tummy can help to ease your pain. This can be done using either a heat pad or hot water bottle. If using a hot water bottle, make sure the water is hot, not boiling, to prevent damaging your skin.

  • Warm bath or shower

A bath or shower can help to ease your pain, while also helping you to relax.

  • Massage

Light circular massage around your lower abdomen may help to reduce pain.

  • Relaxation techniques

Try a relaxing activity, such as Yoga or Pilates, to help distract you from pain and discomfort.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)