Finding Relief: Managing Period Pain with Tablets 

For many women, the arrival of their monthly period is accompanied by an unwelcome guest – menstrual cramps. These intense bouts of pelvic pain and discomfort can range from mildly distracting to completely debilitating, often interfering with daily activities and overall quality of life. While period pain is extremely common, that doesn’t make it any easier to endure.

Fortunately, there are various treatment options available to help manage menstrual cramps and their associated symptoms. From over-the-counter medications to prescription painkillers and alternative therapies like ‘tens machine for period pain’ relief, understanding your choices can go a long way in finding an effective solution for your needs.

Period Pain Tablets – What Are The Options?

When it comes to period pain tablets, there are several different categories of drugs that may bring relief:

Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs)

NSAIDs like ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) and naproxen (Aleve) are typically the go-to medications for menstrual cramp relief. They work by blocking the production of prostaglandins – hormone-like substances that contribute to inflammation and uterine contractions during your cycle.

NSAIDs can be quite effective at reducing the intensity of cramps as well as other symptoms like headaches, backaches, and breast tenderness. However, they do carry some risks like stomach irritation, ulcers, heartburn, and potential kidney issues when taken long-term or in high doses.


A different class of pain medication called acetaminophen (Tylenol) may also provide relief for some women. While not an anti-inflammatory, acetaminophen works by dulling pain receptors in the brain and raising the body’s pain threshold.

It is generally safer on the stomach than NSAIDs but should still be used cautiously, especially for those who consume alcohol regularly. Exceeding recommended dosages can potentially damage the liver over time.

Many women opt to take a combination of acetaminophen and an NSAID for powerful, multi-modal cramp relief. Always consult your doctor first before combining medications.

Combination Pain Relief Products

In addition to single-ingredient drugs, there are combination menstrual relief products that contain a mix of pain relievers, diuretics, and other active ingredients marketed specifically for cramp relief.

Common brand names include Midol, Pamprin, and Premysyn. Their varied formulas may include antiinflammatory drugs, acetaminophen, caffeine as a diuretic to reduce bloating, antihistamines for breast tenderness, and other ingredients.

Prescription Medications

For those who don’t respond adequately to over-the-counter options, prescription drugs may be recommended by your doctor. Birth control pills can help regulate hormone levels and reduce period pain and flow in some women.

Stronger prescription anti-inflammatories or opioid pain relievers may also be prescribed for severe cramps, though these carry more significant risks and side effects with prolonged use.

Alternative Period Pain Relief With TENS Therapy

While medications can certainly help manage menstrual cramps, many women also seek out drug-free alternatives – especially for long-term period pain management. This is where ‘tens machine for period pain’ relief can be a game-changer.

TENS, which stands for Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation, is a non-invasive therapy that uses gentle electrical currents to disrupt pain signals before they reach the brain. A small, battery-powered TENS unit transmits these currents through electrodes placed on the skin near painful areas like the lower abdomen.

Many women find that using a ‘tens machine for period pain’ can provide significant relief from menstrual cramps without the side effects and risks associated with oral pain medications. The electrical pulses are believed to stimulate the body’s natural pain-killing defenses while also helping relax tense pelvic floor muscles that contribute to cramps.

Some TENS units intended for period pain even come pre-programmed with frequencies and waveforms optimized for menstrual relief. Others allow you to customize the settings yourself to find the right “tingling” sensation level.

While research on TENS efficacy for menstrual cramps is still relatively limited, many women swear by this therapy either alone or combined with medication. TENS machines are widely available without a prescription and are safe for most individuals when used as directed. Some even find success with this drug-free option when other treatments have failed.

Other Natural Period Pain Relief Methods

In addition to TENS machines, there are several other natural remedies and alternative therapies that may help ease menstrual discomfort:

Heat Therapy

Applying a heating pad or taking a warm bath can work wonders for soothing menstrual cramps by relaxing tense muscles and increasing blood flow to the pelvic area.


Gentle exercises like walking, stretching, or light yoga may help relieve cramps and release endorphins that raise pain thresholds. Avoid high-intensity workouts during heavy flow days.

Dietary Changes

Reducing intake of pro-inflammatory foods like processed foods, red meat, and refined carbs may help minimize cramps. Anti-inflammatory foods like green leafy veggies, fish, nuts, and turmeric may also provide relief.  

Herbal Remedies

Supplements like ginger, fennel, cramp bark, and calcium may help reduce cramp severity for some women, though evidence is mixed.

Acupuncture and Massage

Alternative therapies like acupuncture and abdominal massage can improve pelvic blood flow and promote muscle relaxation, though they require treatment by licensed professionals.

Making Period Pain More Manageable

Ultimately, the key to managing menstrual cramps lies in exploring different treatment options to find what works best for your body and unique cycle. Some general tips include:

• Start medication as soon as cramps begin, don’t wait for pain to become severe 

• Alternate between heat and cold therapies for added relief

• Stay hydrated and get plenty of rest during your period

• Make a period pain relief kit with your go-to tablets, heating pads, TENS unit, etc.

• Keep a log of remedies tried to identify patterns and refine routine each cycle

No woman should have to suffer through debilitating cramps month after month. By combining conventional and alternative therapies as needed, period pain can be significantly reduced.

Working closely with your doctor is advisable, especially if you have an underlying medical condition or are exploring prescription treatments. But don’t be afraid to also embrace drug-free options like ‘tens machine for period pain’ relief.

Your menstrual cycle is a natural, healthy process – not an affliction to be endured with negativity. Taking a proactive, holistic approach to period self-care can make those few days each month much more manageable and allow you to stay feeling your best.

Linda S.Ruehlman,PhD

Linda S.Ruehlman,PhD

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