Menstrual cramps are extremely common but that doesn’t mean they are ideal. It is normal to feel some abdominal discomfort but intense pain that requires pain relieving medication is not healthy. It is usually an indicator of a hormone imbalance and excessive inflammation in the body.

Menstrual cramps can cause throbbing, sharp or cramping sensations in the lower abdomen. Some women also experience pain in their lower back and the tops of their thighs. Pain is usually worst just as menstrual bleeding begins, and tapers off by the second day of bleeding. Pain that lasts longer may be associated with a medical problem such as endometriosis or uterine fibroids and requires further investigation.

The medical term for menstrual cramps is dysmenorrhoea and it is typically treated with anti-inflammatory pain relieving drugs such as aspirin or naproxen. Many doctors recommend the oral contraceptive pill as a suitable remedy because it suppresses the regular menstrual cycle. It’s not a solution though of course. Bleeding once a month while on the pill isn’t a proper period; it’s a withdrawal bleed.

Research has shown that zinc can help to prevent menstrual cramps. A large percentage of females are zinc deficient. Zinc helps reduce the production of pro inflammatory prostaglandins which cause cramps. It also improves circulation to the pelvic organs, helping relieve congestion. A three month clinical trial of 120 adolescent girls showed that both pain duration and pain severity were decreased by taking oral zinc. The dose used was 50mg.

Zinc is found in animal foods such as red meat, seafood and poultry. It is also present in plant foods such as nuts, seeds and legumes, but the fiber present in those foods significantly reduces the ability of your digestive system to absorb it. There is a blood test your doctor can arrange for you to check your zinc status.

Apart from zinc, magnesium works well to relieve pain as it is a muscle relaxant. Magnesium also helps to reduce PMS symptoms such as anxiety, tension and poor sleep. Progesterone cream also helps, because high estrogen levels can worsen menstrual cramps.


The above statements have not been evaluated by the FDA and are not intended to diagnose, treat or cure any disease.