by Habiba Gambo Umar | Jun 22, 2022 | Health & Wellness
Many ladies experiencing dysmenorrhea (painful menstruation) have asked this question over and over again, “Should I take pain relievers for cramps?” Some have received “Yes” but have been battling with the question “What then should I take? Some have received “No” for an answer with the reason being that painkillers affect the period either reducing the flow or abruptly ceasing it, but how true is this?
In this article, we shall be exploring menstrual cramps and addressing some vital questions associated with this phenomenon.
What are Menstrual Cramps?
Menstrual cramps are painful sensations in the lower abdomen and back that range from dull and bothersome to excruciating and unbearable experienced by a lady before or during menstruation. Sometimes associated with dizziness, nausea, loss of appetite, headache, and diarrhoea.
It is worthwhile to note that not all cramps are normal as some could be due to some underlying problems. This is fundamental knowledge to the question, “Should I take pain relievers for cramps?”
This classifies menstrual cramps into:
- A primary menstrual cramp that comes with the normal menstrual cycle and
- Secondary menstrual cramps that come due to uterine fibroid, pelvic inflammatory disease etc.
The latter must require adequate treatment beyond pain- relievers. The reason the above exposition remains basic and indispensable.
What Helps with Menstrual Pain?
Having laid an important foundation, it is essential to know what type of menstrual cramp it is, this here points to the importance of consulting a medical doctor to rule out whether it is primary or secondary.
Associated symptoms like foul-smelling discharge, previous history of itching and rashes in the vagina, and burning sensation are indicative of pelvic inflammatory disease which requires meticulous attention from requesting a vaginal swab for microscopic culture and sensitivity test to prescribing appropriate antibiotics to eliminate the organism.
In this case, handling the infection is tantamount to handling the menstrual cramp. Thus, seeking medical attention is very important. However, if it is primary, then the answer to the question; should I take pain relievers for cramps is a yes.
What Helps with Period Cramps Instantly?
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAIDS e.g. Ibuprofen, piroxicam, meloxicam) or Acetaminophen (Tylenol)
How These Drugs Act
Menstrual pain occurs due to a chemical that is produced during that time called “prostaglandin”. This causes the uterus to tighten up. Throughout your menstrual cycle, the uterus, the muscle organ where a baby grows, contracts (tightens up). The uterus contracts more heavily during menstruation as more of this prostaglandin is produced.
When the uterus contracts (tightens up) excessively hard, it can press on adjacent blood arteries, cutting off the oxygen supply to muscular tissue. When a muscle loses its oxygen supply for a short period, it causes discomfort that comes with menstrual pain.
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs act by preventing the production of Prostaglandin which is the main culprit. Acetaminophen (Tylenol or paracetamol) acts by blocking that pain transmission thus relieving pain although it is not as strong as NSAIDs because it does not affect prostaglandins directly.
Aside, from medications for primary menstrual cramps, there are other methods to employ to help get rid of cramps;
What to Do Instead of Taking Pain Relievers for Cramps
1. Applying Heat
Heat can help relax the muscles contributing to cramping, so applying heat to your abdomen or back can help relieve your pain.
Using a heating pad or soaking in a warm bath are great ways to ease period pain.
When you’re in pain, you may believe that the greatest thing you can do is relax and sleep. Physical activity, on the other hand, is a natural pain reliever. Easy anaerobic exercises you can do at home can help in this aspect.
Exercise causes the release of endorphins, which are substances generated by the body that assist suppress pain perception.
Furthermore, exercise is an excellent way to lower stress, which influences how you perceive pain.
3. Stress Management
Stress impacts your body in a variety of ways, including reducing your pain threshold (one’s limit to bear pain). Taking steps to relieve stress naturally can help you get rid of period cramps naturally. They include;
4. Taking an Adequate Diet
Food rich in vitamins and minerals also contributes to reducing period pain. Taking adequate fluid is also good. People who eat junk and refined sugars have experienced much more pain than those who do not.
Do These Medications Affect Menstrual Period in Any Way?
Before you decide; ” should I take pain relievers for cramps ” know that they affect you. Yes, it is very important to know that most drugs or medications have side effects. Most NSAIDs e.g. Ibuprofen can reduce menstrual flow by 28-49% and are very high doses can even halt it.
This is because one of their side effects is clot formation (i.e. they cause the blood to thicken). Also, the prostaglandin is what causes the Uterus to contract and bleed subsequently and this chemical (prostaglandin) release is affected by NSAIDs.
Aspirin on the other hand is a blood thinner and so can cause heavy flow. Other side effects such as Peptic ulcers, gastritis, and kidney disease (from long-term use of NSAIDs).
How and When Should I Take NSAIDs e.g. Ibuprofen
It is advisable to take NSAIDs before the onset of menses and continue for 1 to 3 days or the usual duration of painful symptoms. Patients with severe symptoms may begin taking an NSAID 1 to 2 days before the onset of menses.
Over-the-counter pain relievers, such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, others) or naproxen sodium and paracetamol can be used.
Start taking the pain reliever at the beginning of your period, or as soon as you feel symptoms, and continue taking the medicine as directed for two to three days, or until your symptoms are gone.
- Tab. Ibuprofen 200mg three times daily with food
- Tab.Diclofenac 50mg morning and evening with food
- Tab.Naproxen sodium with food 500mg morning and evening
- Tab.Paracetamol 500mg three times daily.
There is also a need to try as much as possible to do away with medications during menstrual pain and to utilize the other method above.
The question”Should I take relievers for cramps?” have been the most challenging question for ladies with painful menstruation. This question is however only an umbrella to many other questions. The correct answer is “Yes”, and other aspects have been addressed in this article.
Let me know if I skipped your burning question in the comments.
by Aisha Zakari | Sep 18, 2021 | Relationships & Weddings
There should never be inequality and disrespect in a relationship but rather, your partner should let you be you and do you. In this article, I’ll be running you through things your partner should never ask you to do.
“I love you to the moon and back, I’ll do anything for you”
“I’ll move mountains, heaven, earth and then swim across the ocean, just to do anything for you”
Yes, when we’re in a relationship, it’s only natural you’d want to do all and anything for the person you love but an ideal and great partner is someone who is always supportive, loving, trustworthy, thoughtful, and above all, has your best interest at heart.
10 Things Your Partner Should Never Ask You to Do
1. Give up Something You Love
I know relationships call for sacrifices but not a complete submissive one where it makes you unhappy or does things you don’t want to.
Your partner asking you to give up on something you love means they are asking you to give up on what makes you whole, what gives you peace of mind, what makes you sane, and what makes you happy. This is selfish of your partner as they are not putting your interest at heart and this is non-negotiable.
2. Quit Something You Love
This is something I’ve noticed is mostly done to ladies. You tend to give up your love for a hobby – hair styling, baking, cooking, fashion designing, or law career.
Yes, you love your partner to the moon and back but accepting to quit what you love for them is not proof of your love at all. If your partner is asking you to quit something you love and is not at least compensating you with something greater that is comforting – this should be a NO.
If you’re asked to quit your job which is a pay of 250k monthly and they are willing and able to give you that 250k to do so, now that’s negotiable. This is one of the things your partner should never ask you to do.
3. Put up With Unacceptable Behaviours from Friends and Family
When it comes to things your partner should never ask you to do, this should not even be a topic of discussion and should not be accepted no matter how much you want to move that mountain for them. Let that mountain remain the way it is, don’t move it.
“We want you to stop working”
“I want you to be a full-time housewife”
Their friends and family should accept you for who you are and not be rude to you, or even ask you about things you don’t want to. There should be respect from both parties. Remember, your partner even asking this of you should be telling you he only cares, values, and cherishes his own and that is wrong. Your partner’s love towards you is how their parents will love you – let him love and treat you right.
In general, your partner should not ask you to accept unacceptable/uncomfortable behaviors from friends and family and you definitely should not ask that of him too.
Your partner should not ask you to do things in the bedroom you’re not comfortable with. Take, for instance, you hate doggy style/anal sex or you hate it when he uses objects on you, you talk to him about it. Him asking you to tolerate such should not be a topic of discussion, make it clear that you do not like such.
4. Keeping You Away from Friends and Family
Your partner should never ask this of you but here, there’s room for negotiation which is limiting the time you spend out with friends and family due to the kids, your safety, chores, or your career. Our husbands are our kings and as such we should always respect them.
But when they start asking you to not spend time with your friends and family at all, that’s when you don’t accept. They should know you cherish and love your friends and family and that’s selfish of them to ask such.
5. Coverup for Domestic Violence
First off, speak up if you’re being battered in your own matrimonial home – cry out for help, talk to friends and family. Say NO to abusive and domestic violence.
Your partner should not ask you to lie or cover up a bruise they gave you due to a mistake you made neither should they ask you not to tell your friends and family. There’s no reason or justification for such an act.
Your partner should never lay their hands on you, ever. This is harmful to you, your health, and your kids as you’re subconsciously ruining what marriage should be for them.
6. Change Yourself Completely
Your partner should not ask this of you and you should never accept this. You’re YOU and that’s your superpower.
A partner asking this of you is only abandoning you both emotionally and physically – and you should never feel alone and abandoned in a relationship. It’s a relationship remember, it takes two to work.
Your partner rather should love and accept you for who you are, correct you when you’re in the wrong, support you, and guide you.
7. Do Drugs
Among the things your partner should never ask you to do, this is my second best. Your partner should not tell you to pick up bad habits and you should never accept this in a bid to move a mountain. Picking up bad habits like doing drugs is harmful to you, your health, and the relationship and it is unhealthy.
Such a partner tends to have a controlling edge over you and trust me, you don’t want that. A controlling personality weakens you, your strength and restrains you from having your own free will of thinking. Stand up and say NO to drugs.
8. Agree to/with Everything They Tell You
Saying “Yes love” every time to your partner is unhealthy especially when you’re being compelled to. You should tell them the truth and they should listen and understand if they are wrong and make adjustments too if need be.
You’re entitled to your opinions, options, and saying ‘no’ to something you find wrong. Tell them the truth always, that’s how you move mountains not by lying because you’re trying to please them. Always stand your right – let them hear the truth. This is a thing your partner should not ask you to do.
9. Give up Your Religion
Changing your beliefs, values, and religion just because you’re trying to please someone and showing them you love them should never cross your mind. Never sacrifice that just because they ask you to.
I know people change religions but that is because they want to and that is okay, we respect everyone’s decision without judging them but do not change your religion just because they ask you to.
No, stand for your right and tell them you won’t, but if the thought crosses your mind, let it be that you’re doing that for you and not for them. If that mountain doesn’t want to stay because you said NO, then let it move in another direction.
10. Include Someone into Your Sexual Life
When it comes to things your partner should never ask you to do, this is my top 1. Your partner even asking this should be an eye-opener that they do not value what they have with you neither do they respect your body.
Your partner should not ask you to have a threesome with us friends or your friends or some stranger from the street. You also should not think of accepting this and it is non-negotiable as this is preposterous. If your love and sex life is boring, there are things you could do like see a therapist or start all over again and if it’s not working, there are other people who will move mountains for you.
Your partner should never ask you to be someone else other than your true and original self. Don’t let them pressure you into doing things that make you uncomfortable just because you’re trying to please them – it’s a relationship, lookout for signs of a controlling person before going into it.
Communicate about what they might be doing as some might be doing so without their knowledge but never, do not negotiate your happiness because you want to move that mountain to please them.
I might have missed a thing or two, comment below, and let’s talk about it.