Menstrual cramp, or also known as period cramp is a painful throbbing in the lower abdomen before and during the menstrual periods. Some people call it menstrual cramps or dysmenorrhea. It can cause pain in your stomach, lower back, groin area, or upper thighs

The severity of menstrual cramps varies. While for some women it comes off as a slight discomfort, menstrual cramps can be severe enough to interfere with the everyday activities of other women. 

The pain occurs when your uterus contracts to shed the uterine lining. To shed the uterine lining, hormone-like substances (prostaglandins) involved in pain and inflammation trigger the uterine muscles to contract. Higher levels of prostaglandins are associated with stronger menstrual cramps.

Sometimes severe period pain can also be caused by:

  • Adenomyosis- endometrium grows into the muscle wall of the uterus.
  • Cervical stenosis- the opening of the cervix is small enough to obstruct menstrual flow.
  • Endometriosis- uterine lining grows inside the uterus.
  • Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) – hormone imbalance causes many small, harmless cysts to grow in the ovaries that can cause painful menstruation.
  • Pelvic inflammatory disease- the uterus and ovaries become infected.
  • Uterine fibroids- growths in the wall of the uterus that can enlarge and change the shape of the uterus.

Period cramps can be uncomfortable and painful. Luckily, there are several best medicine for menstrual cramps , home remedies and medications that can give you period cramps relief including: 

1. Naproxen Menstrual Pain Relief

Naproxen is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug that works by reducing hormones that cause inflammation and pain in the body. It is used to treat pain or inflammation caused by conditions such as arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, tendinitis, bursitis, gout, or menstrual cramps.

It reduces swelling by lowering the levels of prostaglandin.

Is naproxen 500 mg good for menstrual cramps?

The naproxen dosage for pain is 500 mg initially, then 250 mg after 6-8 hours, or 500 mg after 12 hours as needed.

Naproxen should not exceed 1250 mg per day on your first day and subsequent daily doses should not exceed 1000 mg per day.

2. Aleve

Aleve is used to temporarily reduce fever and relieve minor pains caused by arthritis, muscular aches, backache, menstrual cramps, headache, toothache, and the common cold. 

Aleve comes in capsule form and gel form. It is also available in a combination formulation that includes a sleep aid—25 milligrams (mg) diphenhydramine hydrochloride.

Dosage for period pain

One pill every 8 to 12 hours. You can consume two tablets within one hour for your first dose. It is not recommended to consume more than two pills in any 8-12 hour time period or more than three in any 24- hour period after your first dose.

3. Cataflam

Cataflam (diclofenac) is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory used to treat the symptoms of pain or inflammation caused by conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, menstrual cramps, and acute migraines.

Cataflam has analgesic, anti-inflammatory, and antipyretic properties.

Dosage for period pain

Immediate-release (Cataflam): 100 mg orally once, then 50 mg orally every 8 hours as needed.

4. Advil Liqui-Gels

Advil Liqui-Gels is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory pain relief liquid-filled ibuprofen capsule for minor arthritis pain, back pain, period pain, and aches associated with the common cold.


Solubilized ibuprofen equal to 200 mg ibuprofen (NSAID) 1 (present as the free acid and potassium salt) 1 – a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug.

5. Lavender Oil For Period Pain

Lavender is a natural muscle relaxer that helps in releasing the tension associated with cramping. 

You can use lavender oil as an aromatherapy massage oil to reduce pain and discomfort associated with menstrual cramps. You can also apply it topically on your abdominal area or add a few drops to a warm bath.

6. Primrose Oil For Menstrual Cramps

Primrose oil is extracted from the evening primrose plant. It is a rich source of gamma-linolenic acid (GLA).

GLA interferes with the production of inflammatory prostaglandins released during menstruation in the body. Consequently, it offers relief from menstrual cramps, bloating, headaches, and breast tenderness.

NOTE: These pain relief techniques might not always work, especially for chronic conditions. Nonetheless, period pain relief tablets can offer relief for mild to moderate period pain. Treating the cause of the pain is the key in reducing and eventually eradicating it. Luckily, normal menstrual cramps that are not caused by another underlying condition are believed to lessen with age, and  your pain tolerance improves after giving birth.