Menstrual Disorders Treatment

Sometimes, the pain of a menstrual period just goes away. For instance, some women find that severe cramping during periods lessens after the birth of their first child.

Easy at-home remedies include anti-inflammatory drugs such as aspirin, ibuprofen (Advil®), or naproxen (Aleve®). Acetaminophen (Tylenol®) can also help. These are available in over-the-counter or prescription strength.

A hot water bottle or heating pad applied to the area may soothe the pain, and some women find that a warm bath (even more than one a day) relaxes the pelvic muscles and provides relief.

Acupuncture has long been used to help ease numerous painful conditions. Many American women are turning to acupuncture for relief from menstrual cramping.

Note: If you have heavy bleeding consult your doctor before taking anti-inflammatory drugs, which can “thin” the blood.

Nutrition and Exercise

Eat more fiber (raw and lightly-cooked fruits and vegetables), and soy products. Take a quality multi-vitamin with minerals, such as magnesium and B6, daily.

Eat less salt, sugar and caffeine. Quit smoking.

Should I exercise? Yes. Walking, stretching and gentle exercises, such as yoga, help relieve menstrual pain.

Non-Invasive Treatments

Anti-inflammatory drugs (i.e. ibuprofen and naproxen) may reduce the amount of blood and relieve cramping.

Birth control pills and a combination of hormone therapies can help regulate periods, including balancing the flow and duration of bleeding.

If excessive bleeding (menorrhagia) is a problem, a doctor can determine whether an intra-uterine device (IUD) is the cause, in women using that form of birth control. If so, the doctor will remove the IUD.

Any of the effects of blood loss should also be treated. For example, if the bleeding is of such a quantity and duration that it causes anemia, then regularly taking an iron supplement is important.

Surgical Alternatives

In cases that are not responsive to birth control methods, anti-inflammatory drugs and other medical therapies, especially when combined with other underlying problems, a hysterectomy may be considered. A hysterectomy is the surgical removal of the uterus.

A laparoscopic presacral neurectomy is a procedure in which the nerves are cut so that pain is no longer felt. An incision is made, usually in the navel, and the nerves to the uterus are severed. Because a high number of blood vessels and other important systems (such as the urinary tract) are located in the area, the presacral neurectomy is a delicate surgery performed only by experienced, specially trained surgeons.

Resource

Lichten, E. M. (nd). Medical Treatment of PMS. Retrieved August 15, 2002, from www.usdoctor.com/pms.htm.