Dolly Doctor

How to stop cramps

No one likes that time of the month... especially if you suffer from seriously bad period pain. But how do you deal if your cramps are too much to handle?

Dear DOLLY,

I've had my periods for about 18 months. I get really bad pains during them, and again approximately two weeks after them. I don't know why ... is this normal? And why am I getting pain when I'm not due?

Anonymous Period pain is common, and is caused by the release of hormones called 'prostaglandins' that cause the uterus to contract, helping it to shed its lining. Prostaglandins can also cause vomiting and dizziness. These symptoms are usually worst on the first and second day of a period and then settle down.

The anti-prostaglandin tablets (period pain tablets) that can be bought over the counter can be very effective at controlling these symptoms, especially if taken at the first sign of your period. If the pain is so bad that you're missing school/ uni or work then you should talk to your doctor about other treatments such as the Pill.

It's not necessary to suffer period pain so severe you can't function! Pain in the middle of your cycle could be ovulation pain. This is usually a sharp pain on one side or the other. It's thought to occur when an egg is released from the ovary each month - when this happens a bit of fluid and blood can also get released into the pelvic area, causing a sharp pain.

Again, if these symptoms are occurring every month and really getting you down, chat to your doctor about what's causing them and what you could do about them.