If you’re lucky, you don’t get cramps at all, or you only experience slight discomfort. But if you’re like the estimated 15% of women who suffer from severe cramps, your pain can be debilitating. If that’s the case, you ought to consult with your doctor to make sure your pain isn’t related to something more serious, like endometriosis.
If your pain is less severe, but still sets your teeth on edge and makes you cranky, here are some tried-and-true ways to avoid cramping.
1. Try Advil.
Start taking an over-the-counter anti-inflammatory drug (I prefer Ibuprofen, like Advil) regularly three or four days before your period is ready to start. Ibuprofen lowers your body’s production of prostaglandins, which scientists believe contribute to menstrual cramps. But if you wait until you actually have cramps to take the Ibuprofen, it won’t be nearly as effective, so make sure to take it in the recommended dosage BEFORE your period starts.