- What You Should Know About Menstrual Cramps:
- Cramps happen in over 60% of girls.
- Pain medicines can keep cramps to a mild level.
- Cramps can last 2 or 3 days.
- Here is some care advice that should help.
- Ibuprofen for Pain:
- Give 2 ibuprofen 200 mg tablets 3 times per day for 3 days.
- The first dose should be 3 tablets (600 mg) if the teen weighs over 100 pounds (45 kg).
- Take with food.
- Ibuprofen is a very good drug for cramps. Advil and Motrin are some of the brand names. No prescription is needed.
- The drug should be started as soon as there is any menstrual flow. If you can, start it the day before. Don't wait for cramps to start.
- Note: acetaminophen products (such as Tylenol) are not helpful for menstrual cramps.
- Naproxen if Ibuprofen Doesn't Help:
- If your teen has tried ibuprofen with no pain relief, switch to naproxen. No prescription is needed.
- Give 220 mg (1 tablet) every 8 hours for 2 or 3 days.
- The first dose should be 2 tablets (440 mg) if the teen weighs over 100 pounds (45 kg).
- Take with food.
- Use Heat for Pain:
- Use a heating pad or warm washcloth to the lower belly. Do this for 20 minutes 2 times per day. This may help to reduce pain.
- A warm bath may also help.
- Stay Active:
- It's fine to go to school.
- Your teen can take part in sports during her period.
- She can also swim, bathe, or shower like normal.
- What to Expect:
- Cramps last 2 or 3 days.
- They will often happen with each period.
- The cramps sometimes go away for good after the first pregnancy and delivery.
- Call Your Doctor If:
- Neither ibuprofen or naproxen helps the pain
- Cramps cause her to miss school or other events
- Pain lasts over 3 days
And remember, contact your doctor if your child develops any of the 'Call Your Doctor' symptoms.