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How to Deal with Menstrual Cramping

More than half of all women experience the pain and aggravation of monthly cramps. Fight back effectively with these tips.


  • : See your doctor if cramping is severe or sudden; you experience pain at times other than your period; or cramping is accompanied by fever.
  • Step 1: Take naproxen or ibuprofen Take naproxen or ibuprofen. Don’t wait -- take it at the onset of pain and repeat every six hours until the pain subsides.
  • Step 2: Apply heat Put a heating pad on your abdomen or lower back to soothe the pain, or take a hot bath to relax your pelvic muscles.
  • TIP: Drink ginger root tea to ease cramping. Make your own by slicing ginger root and simmering it in water for 15 minutes.
  • Step 3: Exercise Exercise reduces muscle tension and increases circulation, so take a walk, get on your bike, or practice yoga. Getting on all fours with your hips elevated can also relieve pain.
  • Step 4: Take supplements Take vitamin B in the morning, and calcium and magnesium supplements before bed one week before your period starts to help prevent uterine contractions.
  • TIP: Birth control pills prevent ovulation and reduce the severity of menstrual cramps.
  • Step 5: Use progesterone cream Use an over-the-counter progesterone cream to help fight cramps. The South American medicinal plant maca root may also offer relief.
  • FACT: A 1978 study named menstrual pain and discomfort as the greatest single cause of school and work absences among American women.

You Will Need

  • Naproxen or ibuprofen
  • A heating pad
  • Exercise
  • Vitamin B
  • calcium
  • and magnesium
  • Progesterone cream
  • Maca root
  • Ginger root tea (optional)
  • Birth control pills (optional)

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