Normal Menstrual Cycle - Managing Menstrual Cycle Symptoms and Bleeding
a calendar and mark the day you start your menstrual period each month. If your
cycle is regular, it can help you predict when you'll have your next period.
If you're trying to figure out
whether you have a pattern of premenstrual symptoms, it may be helpful to keep
premenstrual daily symptom diary(What is a PDF document?).
You can improve your body's ability
to handle menstrual changes by getting regular exercise, eating a healthy diet,
limiting alcohol and caffeine intake, and reducing stress. Nonprescription pain
relievers can also help reduce some symptoms.
Medicine for menstrual pain and bleeding
nonprescription medicine to help relieve your pain and bleeding. Start taking
the recommended dose of pain reliever when symptoms begin or 1 day before your
menstrual period starts. If you are trying to become pregnant, talk to your
doctor before using any medicine. Be safe with medicines. Read and follow all instructions on the label.
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen (for example,
Advil), reduce menstrual cramps, pain, and bleeding by lowering the level of
the hormone prostaglandin.
- If NSAIDs do not relieve the pain, try
acetaminophen, such as Tylenol.
- Take the medicine for as long as
the symptoms would normally last if you did not take the medicine.
Be sure to follow all labels and directions.
Do not take aspirin if you are younger than 20 because
of the risk of
Additional ways to relieve menstrual cramps
- Apply heat to your abdomen with a heating pad
or hot water bottle, or take a warm bath. Heat improves blood flow and may
decrease pelvic pain.
- Lie down and elevate your legs by putting a
pillow under your knees.
- Lie on your side and bring your knees up
toward your chest. This will help relieve back pressure.
regular exercise. This improves blood flow, produces pain-fighting endorphins,
and may reduce pain.
- If you have vaginal pain with cramps, try using pads instead of
For more information on managing menstrual cramps, see:
- Menstrual Cycle: Dealing With Cramps.