Period Pain
Period pain is a natural part of a woman's menstrual cycle, but it affects different women in different ways; some may only have mild pain while others may find it very painful and debilitating. The severity of the pain can also vary from month to month. In many cases, period pain can be eased with over the counter painkillers, but if these prove ineffective period delay medications can be used to delay periods, ensuring your menstrual cycle does not get in the way of a special occasion or important event. Order period delay tablets online at Medicine Direct, browse our products below.

Period Pain

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  1. Ponstan
    • Effectively treats period pain
    • Non-steroidal Anti-inflammatory Drug (NSAID)
    • Works by soothing flaming agents in the body responsible for pain

    Please note Ponstan Forte is no longer manufactured. See Mefenamic Acid for alternative treatment

  2. Feminax Ultra
    Feminax Ultra
    • Feminax Ultra is no longer manufactured, Naproxen 250mg is a recommended alternative
    • Fast acting medicine that provides pain relief during your period
    • Effective treatment for Women aged between 15 - 50 Years old
  3. Mefenamic Acid
    Mefenamic Acid
    From As low as £34.99
    • Provides effective treatment for period pain
    • Very fast acting nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID)
    • For best results, take tablets on the day of your period

What is period pain?

Period pain is part of a woman's menstrual cycle. It is a perfectly normal and common problem and most women will get it at some point during their lives.

It is most commonly experienced as muscle cramps in your stomach, which can also spread to your thighs and your back.

In some cases, you may experience intense spasms, but it may also be a more constant but duller pain. The pain can vary between periods, too, with some causing few problems while others may be more painful.

It is not uncommon to get pelvic pain even when not on your period.

Period Pain Symptoms

The most common symptoms of period pain are:

  • A dull, continuous ache
  • Pain in your lower back and thighs
  • Throbbing or cramping in your stomach
  • Pain that begins 1 to 3 days before your period, that is at its worst 1 day after your period starts and that goes away 2 to 3 days later

Some women also experience the following symptoms:

  • Headaches
  • Loose stools
  • Nausea
  • Dizziness

Your doctor may also prescribe you with anti sickness Cyclizine Hydrochloride Tablets which can help reduce the feeling of nausea and dizziness. 

Side effects of period pain medication

It is rare to experience side effects while taking pills to stop your period. At most, women may notice light spotting towards the end of the course. However, it is important to be aware of any potential side effects so that you can speak with your doctor regarding a change in prescription.

Reported side effects include:

  • Dizziness or tiredness
  • Headaches
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Tender breasts
  • A change to your libido
  • Diarrhoea or constipation

Period delay tablets may not be safe for you to take if you have allergies, or if you are taking another medication. You must share your medical history on the online assessment. Our doctors need to understand this medical history to make sure it is safe for you to use the medicine.

Period Pain Causes

Period pain is caused by the muscular wall of the womb contracting. The womb is continually contracting, but these contractions are mild enough for women to not notice them.

When you are on your period, the wall of the womb contracts more vigorously so the womb can shed lining as part of the menstrual cycle. This compresses the blood vessels in your womb's lining, temporarily cutting off the blood and oxygen supply to the womb. The tissues in the womb release chemicals that trigger pain as a result of having no oxygen.

While these chemicals are being released, your body also produces prostaglandins, which are chemicals that make the womb muscles contract even more.

It is suggested that period pain affects some women more than others as a result of a build-up of prostaglandins, meaning their contractions are much stronger than other women's.

Medical conditions

In rare cases, period pain can be the result of an underlying medical condition, including:

  • Fibroids
  • Endometriosis
  • Adenomyosis
  • Pelvic inflammatory disease

Period Pain Diagnosis

In a lot of cases, period pain does not need a diagnosis and can be treated with painkiller tablets like paracetamol, which you can purchase over the counter.

However, if your symptoms are severe or are unaffected by painkillers, you should speak to your doctor. They may wish to carry out a pelvic examination, to either rule out or diagnose any other possible causes of your period pain. This involves inserting gloved, lubricated fingers into your vagina to feel for anything unusual in your ovaries or womb.

This examination will only be carried out with your permission; if you would feel more comfortable, you can specifically ask that a female doctor does the examination and ask a friend or relative to be present. You can also ask a practice nurse to be present as a chaperone.

If your period pain has not eased after three months of treatment, your doctor may refer you to a gynaecologist to rule out any other medical conditions.

Period Pain Relief Tablets and Treatments

Tablets to for period pain can be bought online from Medicine Direct following an online consultation with a qualified doctor, who will prescribe you the most suitable tablets for your problem. You can then order these tablets from our online pharmacy. Order online by 2pm and we can offer you free next day delivery, meaning you can delay your period as soon as possible.

Mefenamic acid is a very fast acting NSAID which is commonly prescribed to treat period pain. Mefenamic acid is also sold under the brand name Ponstan.

Naproxen is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug and can be used to treat a number of different conditions. With the global stock shortage of Feminax Ultra, women are being recommended Naproxen 250mg Tablets for period pain which is the same active ingredient and strength contained in Feminax Ultra.

What are the symptoms of period pain?

The main symptoms of period pain are:

  • A dull, continuous ache
  • Pain in your lower back and thighs
  • Throbbing or cramping in your stomach
  • Pain that begins 1 to 3 days before your period, that is at its worst 1 day after your period starts and that goes away 2 to 3 days later

Some women also experience the following symptoms:

  • Headaches
  • Loose stools
  • Nausea
  • Dizziness

In many cases, you can treat these symptoms by taking over the counter painkillers such as ibuprofen or paracetamol. If taking these painkillers does not prove effective, you should speak to your doctor, who will examine you (with your consent) to make sure you do not have any underlying conditions.

Period delay tablets such as Norethisterone can help to delay bleeding to relieve your symptoms. Speak to your doctor about using period delay medication. Alternatively, you can have an online consultation with one of our certified doctors at Medicine Direct. They will assess your symptoms and prescribe you the most appropriate medication for you to use for the pain.

Order by 2pm and we can offer you free next day delivery.

How long does period pain last?

Typically, period pain will start when your bleeding begins, although some women experience pain a few days before they start their period. Period pain will normally last for between two and three days, although it can last for longer than this. The pain is normally the most severe when your bleeding is at its heaviest.

Period pain tends to improve as women get older if there are no underlying causes. If you have children, you may find that your pain improves after giving birth. Young girls quite often suffer pain when their period is due.

What medicines can I use to treat period pain?

In many cases, over the counter painkillers such as paracetamol can treat period pain. You can buy these painkillers without needing to see a doctor from pharmacies and supermarkets. In some cases, you may wish to use period delay medicines such as Norethisterone tablets, so your period does not come when you don't want it to.

Period delay medication is often taken by women who are getting married, going on holiday or have an important event coming up, and who do not want the event to be hindered by period pain. You can order period delay medications from Medicine Direct after an online consultation with a certified doctor. They will review your symptoms and medical history and prescribe the most appropriate medication to delay periods for you. You can then order this medicine from our online pharmacy; order by 2pm and we can offer you free next day delivery.

What non-medical alternatives can I try?

Some women find that some of the following measures can help to lessen menstrual pain:

  • Light, circular massages around your lower abdomen
  • Stopping smoking as smoking is thought to increase the risk of menstrual pain
  • Take a warm bath or shower to relax and relieve pain
  • Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS), which is a small device that is operated by batteries. It delivers mild electric currents to your stomach to lessen the pain
  • Try relaxation techniques like yoga or Pilates to distract you from the pain
  • Keep active, such as swimming, walking or other forms of gentle exercise

Put a heat pad or a hot water bottle that is wrapped in a tea towel on your abdomen

Can period pain be prevented?

You can use tablets to delay period pain, such as taking Norethisterone, which is an artificial version of the hormone progesterone. Period delay medication such as the contraceptive pill can help to prevent the pain for up to 17 days. You should take Norethisterone three times a day in order to delay your period. You can order Norethisterone from Medicine Direct after an online consultation with a certified doctor. Once they have prescribed this period delay medicine, you can order it from our online pharmacy.

Do I need to see my GP about period pain?

Normally, period pain can be eased with over the counter painkillers, which you can buy without needing to see your doctor. However, if painkillers are not effective at relieving your pain, you should make an appointment to see your doctor. They will make sure that your pain is not the result of an underlying condition, and will be able to prescribe a medicine to help combat the pain. If this medication has not worked at relieving the pain after three months, your doctor may wish to refer you to a specialist, most likely a gynaecologist. The gynaecologist will run tests and examine you to make sure you are not suffering from an underlying medical problem like fibroids.

Can period pain affect my fertility?

If your period pains get worse later in life, this could be a symptom of an underlying condition, such as problems with your womb or pelvic organs. This can affect your fertility and may make it difficult for you to conceive if the condition is not diagnosed and treated promptly. If you suffer from menstrual pain later in life, or if your pain is particularly severe and is not eased with the painkillers you are taking, you should make an appointment to see a doctor. Your doctor will examine you with your consent, to diagnose any conditions you may be suffering from. If they cannot find the root cause they may refer you to a specialist, such as a gynaecologist.

My mother suffers from period pain, will I suffer the same fate?

Period pain can be hereditary. If your mother suffered from menstrual pains, it is more likely that you too will have them during your menstrual cycle. Menstrual pain is accompanied by premenstrual symptoms, such as bloating, stomach swelling and breast tenderness in 40% of women.

Doctor Notes

Medicine Direct have an experienced clinical team of doctors, pharmacists and dispensers, all of whom are based in the UK. All are fully trained and qualified to provide appropriate and considered care across all areas of treatment we have available at our online pharmacy.

This means that no matter which member of our team is assigned to your case, you can rest assured that you are in the hands of a highly skilled medical professional, who possesses the compassion and clinical expertise to properly advise you on the best course of treatment.

We are fully regulated

All of our doctors and pharmacists are fully registered with both the General Medical Council (GMC), MHRA and the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC). Each member of our team has also worked in various clinic settings in the past, such as community pharmacies and NHS hospitals.

Sonia Khan Medicine Direct Pharmacist

Sonia Khan
MPharm: 2076091


This content has been written by our Pharmacist Sonia Khan and has been medically reviewed by our Superintendent Pharmacist Hussain Abdeh

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