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Solutions for Menstrual Cramps

Menstrual cramps at a glance
Menstrual cramps (dysmenorrhea) can start before a woman’s period and last for several days. Cramps are caused by an increased production of hormones during a woman’s menstrual cycle, including prostaglandin, which causes the uterus to contract and shed the monthly lining.

Hormonal medication/therapy can help regulate a menstrual cycle and reduce or eliminate cramping from primary dysmenorrhea within six months to one year of use.

Although this method is packaged as “birth control,” hormonal therapy is a safe and effective way of regulating the menstrual cycle for women, whether or not they are sexually active. Options like the pill, vaginal ring, skin patch, Depo-Provera shot, IUD and implant contain hormones that prevent ovulation and reduce the severity of menstrual cramps. They can also make periods lighter, shorter and less painful. 

When should I consider hormone therapy for menstrual cramps?
After trying other remedies without any relief, your doctor may talk with you about hormone-based birth control as a treatment option for painful cramping during your period.

The pill is generally prescribed to make periods lighter, shorter and less painful, while still maintaining the normal monthly cycle.

Other options are available for women looking to minimize dysmenorrhea and pain through continuous hormone medication methods. These stop the monthly period from occurring, or limits a scheduled period to every few months.

The cause of menstrual cramps may also be due to underlying problems such as endometriosis, uterine fibroids or Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID). Be sure talk with your doctor about potential causes, which will determine the best treatment.

Other treatment options for painful period & menstrual cramps
For women who cannot or do not want to use birth control/hormonal methods to treat painful periods or menstrual cramps, alternate options may include NSAIDS (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen or naproxen) and clot-busters (like tranexamic acid tablets) to help reduce the flow and pain of menstrual periods.

Talk with your Genesis OB/GYN physician for the best solution for your menstrual cramps.

 

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