Menstrual cramps or dysmenorrhea, which typically occur before or during a woman’s menstrual period, can be painful and uncomfortable. Pain is usually felt in the abdomen and lower back, and can be either mild or severe. It is especially prevalent in younger women.
Suffering from menstrual cramps? Here’s how to manage the pain:
- Take a pain reliever as early as possible
- Place a heating pad or hot water bottle on your abdomen or lower back
- Rest as needed
- Avoid caffeine and salty food
- Gently massage your abdomen or lower back
Though dysmenorrhea can be common, there are ways to prevent menstrual camps or lessen severity. Studies show that women who exercise regularly are less likely to experience menstrual cramps.
Though dysmenorrhea is common, severe or unusually long menstrual cramps can be a sign of reproductive conditions such as endometriosis or pelvic inflammatory disease. If you suspect your cramps are unusual, see a doctor immediately.