Period cramps can be a pain (literally)! Your daughter has most likely heard the term premenstrual syndrome (PMS), but she may not know what it is. Here’s how to help.
Here's a quick fact sheet about period cramps and PMS. Below you'll find useful topics and practical information for talking to your daughter about PMS and helping her find relief from menstrual cramps.
Well Known but Not Popular: PMS
PMS is the combination of symptoms some girls suffer for a week or so before their period. Symptoms can include headaches, upset stomach, cramping, bloating, acne and moodiness. Symptoms like these will peak just before the start of a period but disappear during it. Some teenage girls can suffer badly from PMS, while others are hardly affected.
Tackling Menstrual Cramps
It’s likely your daughter will also experience menstrual cramps before or during her period. They can vary in severity and can often feel like a sharp, stabbing pain that might make her double over, or a nagging pain that spreads through her belly and lower back. Some girls also experience dizziness, nausea, diarrhea or even vomiting.
If your daughter is suffering from cramps, try a combination of these steps to help her feel better:
- Encourage her to stay active. Regular exercise and stretching will help ease her cramps
- Suggest that she lie down and gently rub her abdomen to help relax the muscles
- Ask her doctor for a recommendation of herbal remedies or medicines that may relieve symptoms
- Draw her up a warm bath and sprinkle a few drops of lavender, clary sage or rose aromatherapy oils into the water
- Give her a hot water bottle or heating pad she can place on her lower abdomen or back
- The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), Pamphlet 57 PMS
- The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), Brochure 4: Dysmenorrhea