Doctor’s ibuprofen tip to help stop period cramps before they start

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As anyone who menstruates will tell you – no two periods are the same. Everything from the length of period to its heaviness will vary from person to person, and while some experience milder cramps, for others, the pain can be debilitating.

If you are someone who suffers from the latter, an expert has shared a tip for relieving pain, including an ibuprofen tip you can use before your period even starts to get ahead on tackling pain from menstrual cramps.

Dr Susanna Unsworth, an NHS menopause and women’s health expert who also works as an in-house gynaecology expert for the intimate wellbeing brand, INTIMINA, shared her advice with The Mirror.

She explained: “Some people can struggle with pain around the time of their period and a little bit of pain is not uncommon and for most people, there are simple things you can do that will really help relieve it.

“One of the things I often advise is taking ibuprofen.

“If you have no issues taking ibuprofen then it’s really good for relieving pain and you might want to consider taking it the day before your period comes as getting it into your system before you actually develop the pain can be really helpful.

“You can then continue to take it for a few days around your period and hopefully the pain will ease quite quickly.

“If you are having to do this frequently and are taking a lot of pain relief, then it’s something you should speak to your doctor about as it might be that there are other things causing that pain.”

The doctor continues: “One of the most helpful things you can do to reduce pain is exercise.

“We know that exercise produces chemicals in our body that cross into our brain and make us feel good and they also impact pain signaling and one really good form of exercise that can be effective is having sex.

“I know some people don’t like the idea of having sex at the time of your period but there are now products available that can help, for instance INTIMINA makes a menstrual cup that you can keep in place while having sex and it reduces any potential mess.

“Having sex at the time of your period produces chemicals that impact on pain signals and help with pain relief, so it’s something that’s definitely worth considering.”

Using a hot water bottle is another simple way doctors recommend to deal with the pain, though many people who menstruate will likely already know this.

This comes after Dr Unsworth shared when a person should seek medical help about having heavy periods.

“If your period is ongoing for more than 10 days it would be wise to speak to a doctor, as that’s really the maximum that a period should last,” she urged.

And it’s not just the period itself you need to consider, but also your full cycle.

According to the NHS, the average person who menstruates will have a period every 28 days, but if your cycle is getting shorter and is less than 24 days, then Dr Unsworth recommends getting this checked out too.

Dr Unswoth added: “If you feel that your periods are really heavy and that’s impacting on your ability to do normal daily activities, if your period cycle changes length and becomes either longer or shorter, if you start getting bleeding in between periods or bleeding after sex, then these are all things that are worth speaking to a doctor about.

“I always feel really sad when I speak to people who feel like their periods are stopping them from doing things, your period should never be a reason not to do something, so if you’re at that point then it’s worth speaking to a doctor as it shouldn’t be like that.”

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