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Biological and psychosocial issues



Painful menstrual periods


The following steps may allow you to avoid prescription medications:

Apply a heating pad to your lower abdomen (below your belly-button). Be careful not to fall asleep with it on.
Take warm showers or baths.
Drink warm beverages.
Do light circular massage with your fingertips around your lower abdomen.
Walk or exercise regularly, including pelvic rocking exercises.
Follow a diet rich in complex carbohydrates such as whole grains, fruits, and vegetables, but low in salt, sugar, alcohol, and caffeine.
Eat light but frequent meals.
Try over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medicine, such as ibuprofen.
Practice relaxation techniques like meditation or yoga.
Try vitamin B-6, calcium, and magnesium supplements.
Keep your legs elevated while lying down. Or lie on your side with knees bent.

Call your doctor right away if:

You have a fever.
Vaginal discharge is increased in amount or foul-smelling.
Your pain is significant, your period is over one week late, and you have been sexually active.
Your pain is severe or sudden.
Self-care measures don't relieve your pain after 3 months.
You pass blood clots or have other symptoms with the pain.
Your pain occurs at times other than menstruation, begins more than 5 days prior to your period, or continues after your period is over.
You have an IUD that was placed more than 3 months ago.


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