Women go through a monthly menstrual cycle cumulating in a period every 28 days, although it is common for the cycle to be slightly longer. Girls have their first period during puberty and finish when women reach menopause+.
The start of a period often triggers pain, it is something that most women experience at some point in their lives as it is a common and normal part of the menstrual cycle.
Period pain is a cramp-like pain in the lower stomach and back, which usually starts at the beginning of the period and lasts for a couple of days.
What are the symptoms?
The most common symptom is lower abdominal pain, which can vary from a dull ache to painful cramps. PMS often includes both physical and emotional symptoms, such as:
- Spots or ‘acne’
- Swollen or tender breasts
- Feeling tired
- Trouble sleeping
- Upset stomach, bloating, constipation, or diarrhoea
- Headache or backache
- Appetite changes or food cravings
- Joint or muscle pain
- Trouble with concentration or memory
- Tension, irritability, mood swings, or crying spells
- Anxiety or depression.
Symptoms usually begin just before or at the start of the period and last for one or two days.
How common is it?
Most women suffer from painful periods at some point during their lives, and for 10-20%’ of women the pain is so bad that they have to take days off school, college, or work. Fortunately, period pain usually becomes less intense as a woman gets older.
What causes the pain?
The muscles in the uterus (womb) contract and relax throughout the menstrual cycle, but around the time of the period, the contractions become stronger, more frequent and can be painful. They are triggered by natural chemicals called prostaglandins which are released by the body to signal that it is ready to break down the extra lining on the wall of your uterus.
Remember: Periods are different for every woman. If you aren’t fortunate enough to sail through your monthly cycle without a problem, there is no need to suffer in silence.
- Wear loose comfortable clothing during the period.
- Period pain is a common problem. Many women suffer in silence - don't! Ask our pharmacist about treatments.
- Period pain is easier to prevent than treat.
- Using a hot water bottle on the lower stomach and back can help the pain.
- Exercise as much as the condition will allow as this helps to clear out toxins from the muscles.
- Period pain can cause a lot of disruption to daily life. If this is true for you ask our pharmacist about treatments.
Products we recommend for this condition are:
- Feminax Ultra Tablets 250mg 9s - Targets period pain and menstrual cramps to provide long lasting relief for up to 8 hours. Contains naproxen, an effective anti-inflammatory agent that works directly at the site of pain to help relieve cramps. Suitable for women aged 15 to 50. Directions: First day - as soon as the pain starts, take 2 tablets. After 6 to 8 hours, take one more tablet if needed. Second and third days - take one tablet every 6 to 8 hours if needed. Please read the enclosed leaflet carefully before taking this medication. Do not take this medication if you are taking other NSAID painkillers or aspirin, or ever had stomach ulcers or other serious stomach problems. If you ever have had an allergic reaction to naproxen, other NSAIDs or any other ingredient in this product. If you are breast feeding or there is any chance you may be pregnant, you started to have period pain more than a year after your first period, if you have heart problems, kidney or liver problems, a blood clotting problem or asthma. Can cause dizziness, drowsiness or vertigo, loss of concentration, difficulty sleeping, depression or visual problems. Do not drive or use machines if this happens to you. Consult your doctor or pharmacist before taking if you are already taking- ciclosporin, steroids, quinolone antibiotics, sulphonamides, lithium, methotrexate, probenecid, water tablets, medicines for high blood pressure, medicines for your heart, medicines to stop blood clots, phenytoin, mifepristone, aspirin or any antidepressants.
- Numark Ibuprofen Tablets 200mg 24s - Relief of pain from non-serious arthritic conditions, rheumatic and muscular pain, backache, neuralgia, migraine, headache, dental pain, period pains and feverishness and for relief from the symptoms of colds and influenza. Contains Ibuprofen. Do not take if: - You have ever had a stomach ulcer, perforation or bleeding. - You are in the last 3 months of pregnancy. Consult your doctor or pharmacist before using this product if: - You are aged 75 years or over. - You have asthma or have suffered from asthma. - You have liver, kidney or heart problems. - You have Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE) - You are in the last six months of pregnancy or are breastfeeding. Do not take with any other ibuprofen containing products. Not recommended for children under 12 years. If you have any other symptoms after taking this product, consult your doctor or pharmacist. Keep out of reach of children. Always read the label.
- Nurofen Express Period Pain Soft Capsules 200mg 10s - Targets period pain fast. Lasts up to 8 hours. For rapid relief from period pain and associated symptoms such as period pain cramps, muscular pain, backache, headache and migraine pain. Contains Ibuprofen. Do not take if you: Have (or have had two or more episodes of) a stomach ulcer, perforation or bleeding. Are allergic to ibuprofen or any other ingredients of the product, aspirin or other related painkillers. Are taking other NSAID painkillers, or aspirin with a daily dose above 75mg. Speak to our pharmacist or your doctor before taking if you: Have or have had asthma, diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, a stroke, heart, liver, kidney or bowel problems. Are a smoker. Keep out of reach of children. Always read the label.
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