If you’re having menstrual cramps, talk with your parents or health care provider (HCP) about your options. If your menstrual cramps are painful, you may think about taking some type of the over-the-counter medication for 1 to 2 days. These medications are called “anti-prostaglandins”. They help relieve the discomfort, make your flow lighter, and cause your uterus to cramp less. Look for over-the-counter medications that contain ibuprofen or naproxen sodium. Take this medicine when you first start to feel uncomfortable, and continue taking it every 4-6 hours or as recommended by your HCP. Since this kind of medicine can upset your stomach, you should take it with food. Make sure you read the label to see how much and how often you should take the medication. You shouldn’t take these products if you’re allergic to aspirin-like medicine or have stomach problems. It’s important not to take more medicine than is recommended or prescribed.
Natural remedies such as a microwavable warm pack or a heating pad placed on your abdomen (lower belly) may help too, just make sure it’s not too hot. Soaking in a warm bath may also relieve uncomfortable cramps. Some teens find that increasing their physical activity helps; others find that resting quietly for short periods of time helps.
If your menstrual cramps are not relieved by over-the-counter medicine, make an appointment to see your HCP. Use a calendar to keep track of your period and symptoms and bring it with you to your next medical appointment. This can help your HCP figure out the best treatment choices for you.