The initial treatment is focused on the relief of pain. Anti-inflammatory drugs may be helpful; this includes aspirin, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDS) such as ibuprofen and indomethacin.
In some severe cases, and with disorders such as endometriosis, oral contraceptives may be helpful. They are used in this case to regulate the hormone levels in the body. They may be prescribed even for girls who are not sexually active.
Women who continue to have severe dysmenorrhoea despite the use of NSAIDS and/or oral contraceptives may require laparoscopy for further evaluation.
Mild analgesics are usually effective in treating dysmenorrhoea and oral contraceptives generally control severe cases. Dysmenorrhoea associated with a disease state responds to treatment of the primary problem. A doctor should be contacted if the menstrual cramps are severe or if the discomfort lasts for more than 2 or 3 days.
In addition to medical therapy, there are a number of other ways that can help ease the pain of menstrual periods like:
- Regular exercise
- Direct heat application in the form of a heating pad, hot water bottle or warm bath may be soothing.
- Massage of the lower abdomen and/or lower back
- Relaxation exercises
- Adequate sleep
- Drinking plenty of water
- Avoiding caffeine as in coffee, tea, sodas and chocolate just before and during the period
- Eating plenty of green leafy vegetables and whole grains