What are the treatment options for primary dysmenorrhea?

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Treatment options for primary dysmenorrhea include the use of over-the-counter and prescription anti-inflammatory medications, hormone treatments, heat, exercise and surgery. Anti-inflammatory medications, like ibuprofen, are used to block the effect of the prostaglandins on the uterine muscles.

Women who still have severe symptoms after trying anti-inflammatory medications may be prescribed an estrogen and progestin hormone treatment, a combination often found in low-dose birth control pills. The birth control pills will prevent you from ovulating and reduce the level of prostaglandins produced by your body.

Alternative treatments for primary dysmenorrhea include acupuncture, nerve stimulation, yoga and dietary supplements. Acupuncture is sometimes used as an alternative way to relieve pain that stems from primary dysmenorrhea, believed to work by triggering pressure points and stimulating certain areas of the body. Nerve stimulation is thought by some to heighten your ability to endure certain pain, and triggers the release of feel good chemicals that soothe your brain.

Applying heat may help relax the contracting uterine muscle and exercise to increase blood flow. In very severe cases of primary dysmenorrheal, surgery may be used to address the symptoms and underlying issues.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.