Is Ibuprofen or Paracetamol better for period pain?
Paracetamol or Ibuprofen? If you’ve ever struggled with period cramps and not sure which way to turn, you’re in the right place. In this blog, we take a look at whether Paracetamol or Ibuprofen is best for period cramps...
A commonly used over-the-counter pain reliever & antipyretic (fever reducer), Paracetamol is used to treat mild to moderate pain, like headaches, muscle aches or toothaches, it can also be used to reduce fever caused by infections. Paracetamol works by blocking the production of certain chemicals in the body that cause pain & fever.
A type of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID), Ibuprofen is used to relieve pain, reduce inflammation and lower fever. Often used to treat a range of conditions like headaches, toothaches, period cramps, muscle pain & arthritis. Ibuprofen works by blocking the production of certain hormones that cause pain & inflammation.
It’s important to always take Ibuprofen as directed as taking too much can cause side effects like stomach upset, nausea and even increased risk of heart attack or a stroke.
What’s best for period cramps - Paracetamol or Ibuprofen?
Both paracetamol and ibuprofen are commonly used to relieve period cramps. The choice between the two will depend on your individual needs & preferences.
Paracetamol is generally considered a mild pain reliever that is effective for reducing fever and mild to moderate pain, but is not as effective for reducing inflammation.
Ibuprofen is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) that is more effective in reducing inflammation, which can be the cause of menstrual pain. It also has pain-relieving properties, making it a good option for period pain relief.
Remember, both Ibuprofen & Paracetamol have potential side effects, so always consult with a doctor or pharmacist before starting new medication. They can help determine the best course of action for your specific needs and help minimise any risks associated with using these medications.
In all, whilst Paracetamol is a great painkiller, Ibuprofen is an anti-inflammatory so it’s best for targeting period pain.
What else can I do to minimise period pain?
- Exercise regularly: make sure you get your blood pumping with some exercise to naturally relieve cramps.
- Heat therapy: grab your hot water bottle or a heating pad and apply to your lower abdomen.
- Get some sleep: aim for 7-9 hours of sleep every night to help reduce crampons & other symptoms.
- Avoid salt & caffeine: both of these can make your cramps worse, so limiting their intake may help reduce any discomfort.
- Eat a healthy diet: try to eat a balanced diet with enough iron, calcium & magnesium to help reduce cramps.
- Chill out: easier said than done right? Try fitting some yoga, meditation or deep breathing exercises into your day to help relieve stress.
Remember, if you’re suffering from severe cramps or they interfere with your daily activities then make an appointment with your doctor to get everything checked out.
Got another question about period pain? We’re here for you. Drop us a message firstname.lastname@example.org. Plus, we've got lots of guides on surviving your period: at school, at work and at night for even more tips!