Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"How can I deal with my menstrual cramps other than by taking pain medication?"
I get really bad menstrual cramps and I'm quite frankly fed up. I take medication for the pain, but isn't there any way to lessen the cramping? Is there something physically wrong with me that my cramps are so bad?
Cramps are caused by the contraction of the muscles in your uterus during your period too hard. Exercise is a good solution to your menstrual cramps. Exercise relieves menstrual cramps because it helps release your body's natural painkiller known as beta-endorphins, your own "human morphine." It also produces analgesia (pain relief) and helps to burn prostagladins that are released during menstruation and cause intense muscle contractions. Swimming is a best form of exercise to swim your pain away. Other aerobic exercises that get your heart rate up, such as brisk walking and biking, are also great options. The important thing is that you do it at least three times a week, 30 minutes each time. If you find exercise does not help alleviating your cramps, it is good idea to consult with your doctor who can prescribe a stronger medication for your cramps or put you on high-dose birth control pills. Birth control pills help maintain a more consistent hormone levels; therefore, they can help alleviate period pain. Having intense menstrual cramps is also a sign and symptom of some underlying medical conditions including endometriosis and fibroids so it is important to visit with a primary care physician or OBGYN to rule out any serious underlying conditions.
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