Will ibuprofen help period cramps?

Ah, period cramps. A monthly reminder that ovaries can be assholes and uterus is not your friend. It’s like having tiny demons twerking in your lower abdomen while simultaneously stabbing a hot poker into you. But fear not! There are ways to tackle those insufferable pains down there – one of which being the trusty painkiller we all know and love: ibuprofen.

Let’s Talk Menstrual Pain

Before we dive into whether ibuprofen can cure your hellish period cramps or not, let’s discuss exactly what causes menstrual pain in the first place.

During every menstrual cycle, hormones (specifically prostaglandins) are released from cells in the uterine lining called endometrial cells. These little gremlins help shed the lining of your uterus during menstruation but also cause inflammation and contraction of smooth muscle tissue in the uterus leading to painful periods.

This pain ranges between discomforting mild waves throughout your belly occasionally rising up as sharp spasms depending on numerous factors such as age, genetics, body fat distribution etc.

What is Ibuprofen?

Pop quiz time:
Which medication do you reach for when you have a headache with no paracetamol tablet around?
Answer: 9/10 times it’s probably an over-the-counter non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) like ibuprofen!

Ibuprofen works by blocking certain natural substances known as prostaglandins that cause inflammation resulting in decreased swelling and consequently reducing discomfort duration significantly helping reduce period pain intensity.

The main ingredient, isobutylphenyl propionic acid, belongs to a group of medicines commonly termed NSAIDs alongside aspirin and naproxen amongst others used for fever reduction whilst providing optional anti-inflammatory efficacy; besides serving its analgesic properties mentioned previously.

How effective is Ibuprofen against menstrual cramps?

Ace! So now we know all about periods and ibuprofen. But how well does it actually work?

Well, you’ll be happy to learn that taking ibuprofen when experiencing painful periods can help alleviate symptoms for many people (including me!).

What’s the Science?

Without getting too technical on y’all, I’ll summarise why painkillers like ibuprofen work so darn good:

Prostaglandins are fat-like molecules created by your body in response to injury or illness. They’re responsible for a wide range of physiological processes (like inflammation) but also contribute significantly to the sensation of pain.

Ibuprofen’s primary job as an NSAID is blocking Cox-2 enzymes thus reducing prostaglandin production making it one of the superior weapons of choice for combating period pains.
Talk about badass mode!

What do Scientific Studies say?

Here comes some clinical trials data info!
Some studies have reported significant reductions in period-related pain when women take nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen – typically within 30 minutes to 1 hour after treatment.1
In fact, research indicates among these drugs available over-the-counter (OTC), then again further concluding that this family medication not only helps with relieving pains but rather specific and tough types like dysmenorrhea caused by endometriosis. [^5]

So there you go – science backs up what us mere mortals already knew deep down inside: If your uterus is feeling particularly angry during Aunt Flo’s visit; grab some ibuprofen!

But hey don’t forget moderation at all times though!

How much Ibuprofen should I take & When should I take it?

Okay, so you’ve got the green signal to use ibuprofen for your menstrual cramps. Now what?

How Much Ibuprofen Should I Take and how frequently?

Typically, people take a dose of 400mg at once (the maximum recommended over-the-counter dosage). However, everyone is different, and the amount necessary to alleviate period pain can vary from person-to-person – that’s why consulting with a medical practitioner beforehand becomes essential.
If one doesn’t seem effective enough then another dose can be conveniently taken after an interval of four-six hours.

When Should You Take It?

The timing depends on how painful your periods generally are. Some women opt for preventative measures by taking ibuprofen (200-400) two days before their period starts2 or when they start feeling any warning signs like bloating or Mood swings happening!

For others who don’t experience extreme discomfortors during every cycle but rather sporadically when sudden spikes hit them, they can choose taking Ibuprofen as soon as Mister Floodgate opens the red gates!

Risks and Side Effects: Are There Any Dangers in Using Ibuprofen?

Of course! Every drug comes with potential risks side effects! Let’s clear out some misconceptions here!
Firstly remind yourself prevention via non-medical modalities should always be our primary focus; less medication does equate less unwanted adverse reactions after all loves!
Despite common belief NSAIDs such as ibuprofen do not make any drastic impact on overall fertility health or long-term agony backlashes!
Alongside occasional stomach upset or headache accounted thus mildness accounting compared symptom suppression it offers against severe bracing pains still overshadows them relatively!

But following prolonged usage exceeding safety guidelines alongside exuberant alcohol consumption levels may cause gastrointestinal damage; aggravate ulcers lodged in internal digestion systems respectively henceforth sternally advised proper dosage regimen cautioning remain points to be remembered.

Other Options for Relieving Period Cramps

Ah! You have reached the part where I proceed with introducing some potentially much cooler ways of combatting those stubborn little troubles all-naturally through alternative atypical roads that are:
CBD oil 3
Heat Therapy
Acupuncture [^4]
To know more let’s explore each individually:


Cannabidiol (or “CBD” as your favorite cousin calls it) has gained significant popularity in the wellness community, and many people swear by its pain-relieving properties.
Though research needs proof how CBD operates regarding period cramps specifically noting an abundance in anecdotal verifications remains subjective suggesting applying topically or incorporating edibles as smart choices until conscientious investigations exhibit reliable satisfaction regardless of consumer body compositions.
Now that’s what we call a win-win!

Heat Therapy

Alright so here’s one you can totally freeze over!
Applying heat helps relax blood vessels hence reducing spasms; causing notable improvement often even halting painful secondary neural pains arising concurrently during PMS days ice compresses can also definitely come handy for breast tenderness reliefs et al!

You could use either hot water bottles, heating pads or heated bags filled micro-beads which common among individuals multipurpose usages,
well suited from treating neck strains muscle recoveries via moistened clothing covering membranes encountering soreness alike achieving relaxation non-invasively essentially being saviors on a budget.

To sum up: “Heat? Great!” always keep one nearby when periods arrive unpredictably scratching love letters to welcome endometrial cells by mistake!


If you’re open to trying less conventional methods, consider acupuncture therapy~~…Or punching anyone within range while screaming “THIS IS FOR BLOODGATE!” works too —just kidding ~~.
It entails cautiously injecting thin needles into different pressure points or energies within your body, and numerous scientific studies suggest that acupuncture could help relieve menstrual cramps boosting progesterone levels via nerve stimulation consequently advancing menstruation pain healings most commonly experienced in eastern cultures.

It is important to consult practitioners who are licensed professionals otherwise risking catching preventable infections bloodborne viruses etc. proper hygiene precautions should never be neglected during these procedures.

In Conclusion

In conclusion; ibuprofen can assist in alleviating period pains by theoretically blocking prostaglandin upon taking reasonable doses whilst also containing low risk factors for daily moderate usage.
Still, keeping moderation adhering towards natural beginner-level healing methodologies maximizing deflating physical swellings non-invasively certainly recommended.
Try heat therapies complemented by applying CBD oil (or marijuana), and inject some needles casually while chanting profanity-free uplifts the spirit too!

Remember! Period discomforts remain normal but sometimes practices necessitate consultation with healthcare providers devising custom treatments curbing abnormality deviations reminding us not to neglect worrying symptoms causing further casualty hence always on standby helping and supporting our chums through all sorts of struggles without judgement!

  1. French L., Smaill F. Antibiotics for treatment of pelvic inflammatory disease (Protocol). Cochrane Database Syst Rev 2000;(2);CD001785.pub. 

  2. Marjoribanks J., Ayeleke RO Souza JP Vogel JP Oladapo OT Neilson JP Exercise interventions for preventing gestational diabetes mellitus: An overview of Cochrane Reviews. Available from:http:// cochranelibrary.com/Cochrane-Reviewsof-maternity-care/Topicsections/GDM-the-overview.html[last accessed 4 June 2018]. 

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