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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Bodies » Managing Cramps

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Author Topic: Managing Cramps
LianHua
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Member # 96145

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I get abysmal menstrual cramps: continual vomiting, diarrhea, extreme pain, and, very occasionally, fainting if I don't take any pain medication. I usually use ibuprofen, and in the past it has worked quite well. However, I suspect that I am developing an allergy to it as last time I took it (four hours ago), I experienced some trouble breathing. What other pain medicine could I take instead? What are other ways of managing the pain? (I already use a heating pad, but those generally have to be scaldingly hot to be of any use to me.)
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Heather
Executive Director & Founder
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LianHua: have you yet had a physician evaluate your menstrual pain?

I ask because knowing the why of that pain is pretty important when it comes to you finding a way of managing it that works. heck, it might even be due to an underlying condition where treatment of that condition not only takes care of that pain, but is better for your health.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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LianHua
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I haven't been to a doctor for that pain; however, it does run in my family- both my mother and my maternal aunt experienced similar cramps before they had children. So I figure it's probably an inherited narrow cervix opening.

And for other people experiencing similar difficulties with their pain meds- I asked a pharmicist, and he told me that Tylenol is the only pain medicine not in the same family as Ibuprofen.

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Heather
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I don't see any reason why a narrow cervical opening (mind, nearly EVERY cervical opening is teeny-tiny, even after childbirth -- which doesn't tend to change the size of the os so much as the shape -- and cramps aren't about the cervix anyway) would create more cramping.

If women in your family found their cramping eased up after childbirth, that could be about age and timing, about hormonal changes, about less tension in the muscles of and surrounding their uteruses, but it's not likely to have anything to do with a cervical opening.

As well, we really can't "inherit" severe menstrual pain. When menstrual symptoms are severe, there's usually a cause for that, be it things we *can* have run in our families, like PCOS, hypothyroid or endometriosis -- or hormonal imbalances, nutritional issues,and other things that aren't often about genetics.

So, how about seeing a healthcare provider about this? Chances are awfully good you could not have to deal with this level of pain every cycle if you get this evaluated. If nothing else, a doctor could also find what pain medication is a good fit for you, including those not sold over-the-counter, and make sure you have something that both works and is safe for you.

In the meantime, I'm not sure why your pharmacist told you that. Naproxen sodium (aleve), for instance, which tends to be excellent for uterine cramps, is a very different medication than ibuprofen. Some people also find they have decent luck with aspirin.

However, if you think you're developing an intolerance, then again, I'd check in with a doctor.

[ 10-24-2012, 04:55 PM: Message edited by: Heather ]

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Heather
Executive Director & Founder
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Also, here are some additional things that might help until you can get evaluated to find out what's really going on here: http://www.scarleteen.com/article/pink/stamp_out_cramps_without_the_pill

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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LianHua
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Thanks for the correction regarding cervix openings- bad quality sources. [Frown]

Unfortunately, I do not have medical issurance right now, so seeing a doctor any time soon is doubtful.

And thanks for the information regarding pain medication. I'm not sure why he told me that either. [Frown]

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Heather
Executive Director & Founder
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Actually, if you're a resident in CA and do not have health insurance that covers sexual/reproductive healthcare, you may be eligible for a state plan to cover some or call of that care. It also covers contraception, if that's something you want or need (and if perhaps a hormonal method or IUD might be something that helps with your cramps, as it can be for many people).

In Cali, that program is called FamilyPACT. Info on it is here: http://www.familypact.org/

As well, Planned Parenthood and other public health clinics use sliding scale fees based on your income.

So, the care you need probably is within your reach.

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

Posts: 68290 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

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