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Menstrual cramps--what works?

GracieBeeGracieBee Registered User Posts: 30 New Member
edited August 2009 in Parent Cafe
My teen (16) has terrible cramps the first day. I have been giving her tylenol and motrin together but I am wondering if any of the OTC things like Midol actually work, or if there is something a doctor could prescribe. Any advice?
Post edited by GracieBee on

Replies to: Menstrual cramps--what works?

  • swimcatsmomswimcatsmom Registered User Posts: 15,693 Senior Member
    If they are really bad then talk to the doc. If all else fails she can prescribe birth control pills which should really help. (I know :eek:) My daughter eventually went on birth control because her first day was so bad that she would be throwing up. I think she found midol helped some but not enough.
  • cnp55cnp55 Registered User Posts: 3,707 Senior Member
    I think a trip to the doc is in order. If not to your OB/GYN, then perhaps a female pediatrician. But 16 isn't too young for a GYN visit.
  • mamabear1234mamabear1234 Registered User Posts: 3,522 Senior Member
    I would first check with her doctor.

    There are various forms of midol containing different pain relievers. As an adult, my gyne has told me I can take up to 800 mg (4 tablets) of ibuprofen at a time. Usually 2 tablets works for me. My youngest uses ibuprofen as well. Exercise helps for some. I take the ibuprofen and try to relax for 30 min to an hour until it kicks in. I feel for your D. I would get sick at school and throw up, and my mother, who never had problems with her period, would tell me it was all in my head.
  • nysmilenysmile Registered User Posts: 5,850 Senior Member
    In my experience--the combination of motrin, heating pad, and daily exercise may help.
  • Gwen FairfaxGwen Fairfax Registered User Posts: 2,435 Senior Member
    My D has terrible cramps and has learned to start the ibuprofen the day before her period and take it regularly for the first couple of days...apparently the ibuprofen helps lower the prostaglandins which cause the cramps. It does seem to work for her.
  • TwistedxKissTwistedxKiss Registered User Posts: 2,535 Senior Member
    Pamprin works GREAT for me, I think it's just acetaminophen and a small amount of caffiene so tylenol would probably be fine. I've also had good luck with midol. Can't hurt to try them. I would also recommend a heating pad or a hot bath--I am stealing the family's heating pad when I leave for college, I can't live without it. I'd also recommend a trip to the doctor if this becomes a regular occurrence. There's just no reason to live with that, they can take care of it for her.

    My cousin has always had bad cramps even after going on the pill and she is presently being tested for endometriosis, among other things, so when terrible cramps become a regular thing it's not always the best idea to assume it's "just cramps." While it most likely is, if it gets really bad and nothing seems to help it's definitely worth a trip to the doctor to see what can be done. They can most likely fix it for her, and if not they can figure out what exactly the problem is.
  • mom2threemom2three Registered User Posts: 810 Member
    Naproxin (aleve) works better than motrin, IMO. It's what my ob/gyn prescribed for me back before it was OTC.
  • mimk6mimk6 Registered User Posts: 4,162 Senior Member
    The over-the-counter disposable heat pads help. I don't know what they are called -- in the section with feminine products. They are sticky on one side, you put the sticky side on panties and the warm side on the ab. They don't take the place of Advil but you can leave the house and still have heat for several hours and the heat is comforting and helpful.
  • mimk6mimk6 Registered User Posts: 4,162 Senior Member
    And I should add -- no one can tell you are wearing it as it's very thin and you can move about freely.
  • HisGraceFillsMeHisGraceFillsMe Registered User Posts: 4,782 Senior Member
    Pamprin works very well for me. Also, if possible, I lay on my side in a sort of fetal position while I'm waiting for the meds to kick in. It works well for me. :)
  • mousegraymousegray Registered User Posts: 1,642 Senior Member
    Exercise and yoga always helps me, but my cramps are on the mild side.
  • CBBBlinkerCBBBlinker Registered User Posts: 3,387 Senior Member
    Talk about timing! I was just reading the August issue of Good Housekeeping; there's a little blurb about taking ginger for cramps. In an Iranian study of 150 women, the ginger eased cramps as well as 2 painkillers, versions of Motrin & Ponstel (?). The women took the ginger capsules (250 mg) 4x/day. It says the capsules are sold in natural foods stores.

    NB -- no personal experience with this. Back in the day I went through all the OTC stuff and moved on to a prescription painkiller(codeine) and then birth control pills. This was back in the day when the pill had much stronger dosages of hormones, and I ended up taking myself off it as I was getting leg aches, etc. My eventual "cure" was having kids -- not that I'm suggesting this for OP's D!
  • anxiousmomanxiousmom Registered User Posts: 5,733 Senior Member
    timing is everything - a day before her period starts is important. Once the cramps start, it's hard to knock them out. Prevention is the cure- motrin is good.
  • ec1234ec1234 Registered User Posts: 1,201 Senior Member
    ibuprofen used to work for me-- id take 2 pills every 4 hours or so, starting as soon as I got my period. I then went on BC and have only had cramps that needed a painkiller maybe twice in the last three years. It definitely made a huge difference
  • dmd77dmd77 Registered User Posts: 8,663 Senior Member
    Back when ibuprofen was first introduced, I was taking codeine and aspirin for cramps with no success. My doctor gave me a prescription for 800 mg tablets and told me to take two at the first sign of cramps. That worked, more or less.

    It turned out that I had severe endometriosis (diagnosed with a laparascopy) which I cured by having my kids back-to-back (14 months apart) and nursing both. I have not had cramps since.

    If your daughter has not had a thorough check with a gynecologist, that should be the first step.
This discussion has been closed.