This National Pain Week we want to start a conversation about a painful topic for lot of the wonderful women who visit us – period pain.
Period pain is the commonest type of pelvic pain affecting as many as 50% of women and 10% of these suffer so severely they cannot work or go to school for between 1 – 3 days every menstrual cycle! (4)
So what is normal period pain?
Period pain is typically considered normal if:
- The pain is only there on the first 1 or 2 days of your period, and,
- It goes away if you take period pain medications
- If not, it is not normal. (3)
Effective remedies for period pain include:
- Magnesium 100-200mg every 2 hours at period time (no more than 6 times/day) and for no more than 2 days. (4)
- Vitamin B1 taken at 100 mg daily. (4)
- Herb Chaste tree (Vitex Agnus Castus) taken at 1,000mg daily (if you are not on a contraceptive pill). (3)
Other natural medicine recommendations include:
- Ginger 500 mg of ginger root powder taken 3 times/day started two days before the onset of the period and continued through the first three days of the period. (5)
- Fennel taken as a liquid extract used (used every 6 h) found to be as effective as NSAID medication mefenamic acid (250 mg taken every 6 h) to reduce pain. (1)
- Calcium showed reduced mood and period pain symptoms. (4)
- Acupuncture. (2)
A study of diet and menstrual pain demonstrated that what you eat effects the severity of your period pain with a diet rich in Omega 3 fatty acids (fish and walnuts) experienced less pain than women who ate a diet rich in processed vegetable oils. (4)
What if these remedies don’t work?
If these treatments for period pain don’t help you should talk with your GP who can assess if you need further investigations.
1. Bokaie, M., Farajkhoda, T., Enjezab, B., Khoshbin, A., & Mojgan, K. Z. (2013). Oral fennel (Foeniculum vulgare) drop effect on primary dysmenorrhea: Effectiveness of herbal drug. Iranian Journal of Nursing and Midwifery Research, 18(2), 128.
3. Pelvic Pain Foundation Australia (2016) Period Pain. Retrieved from: http://www.pelvicpain.org.au/information/teens/period-pain/
5. Rahnama, P., Montazeri, A., Huseini, H. F., Kianbakht, S., & Naseri, M. (2012). Effect of Zingiber officinale R. rhizomes (ginger) on pain relief in primary dysmenorrhea: a placebo randomized trial. BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 12(1), 1.