1:42 pm - 02/27/2009

Extremely painful period cramps +feeling like going to vomit?

OMG... I am in serious pain. I cannot stand how bad my cramps get. Like doubled over, extreme pain. My period started today and the cramps are horrid. So awful that it's pretty much made me very nauseated and I've been VERY close to vomiting because of it. Has anyone else's cramps been so bad they vomited or thought they were going to?

I am definitely going to ask my doctor for prescription pain meds for this because even Ibuprofen doesn't do a whole lot, and for it to do anything, I have to take MORE than is acceptable in an entire day.

Since the Ibuprofen (so far I've only taken three tablets, usually I take four at a time and then wait six or so hours to take more), the cramps have settled some, but I still feel very weak and pukey.

PS - is anyone else on prescription pain meds for their cramps?

Also, I am not on any form of HBC, and that is really not an option for me because I'd just rather not.
kelsietrpt 27th-Feb-2009 06:52 pm (UTC)
Yes, I have had vomit-inducing cramps before--very, very frequently when I was younger, and less frequently now.

Yes, I am on prescription pain meds for my cramps. I don't have to use them every month, and I only take them at night when I'm prone to waking up with killer cramps. I take Darvocet. I tried hydrocodone, but it made me throw up. :(

Have you tried a heating pad? Seriously, it's one of very few things that actually stops (or at least dulls) my cramps without making me resort to overdoing the ibuprofen. I usually put it on a medium setting. They're really cheap from Walmart or the pharmacy.

You might also try a yoga position called "Child's pose." That also helps my cramps a lot.

Good luck!

disturbedme 27th-Feb-2009 06:56 pm (UTC)
Yes, I do have a heating pad. I've noticed it helps sometimes, but not all the time. I also have the ThermaCare menstrual heating pads that also help sometimes. They haven't helped today, that's for sure! :-P

I am definitely going to ask my doctor for prescription pain meds for this. I probably won't have to use them every month either because my cramps are not ALWAYS this bad... it's just some months it decides to make my life more hellish than it already is. lol.
kelsietrpt 27th-Feb-2009 07:00 pm (UTC)
I saw on your profile that you're a member of the apothecarium community, and I was wondering if you'd ever tried any herbal remedies for your cramps? If you're not a heavy bleeder, I can't recommend motherwort tincture enough. It works SO WELL for my cramps, but I can't take it very often because it makes my already heavy bleeding almost unmanageable. Cramp bark also works for some people, and while I haven't tried it yet, I'm going to give California poppy tincture a whirl. Just thought I'd throw that out there!
disturbedme 27th-Feb-2009 07:05 pm (UTC)
Actually, yes, I have been taking Chasteberry, AKA Vitex (my doc wanted me to try this before he agreed to prescribe a pain med) and it does help some cycles. There were a few cycles I had almost NO cramps and it was AMAZING... So it helps, but not always.
kelsietrpt 27th-Feb-2009 06:56 pm (UTC)
P.S.--I don't want to (nor have I ever wanted to) use hormonal BC either. I spent three years convincing the doctor that NO I did not want to be put on birth control and NO, I wasn't going to abuse a prescription pain med. I go through probably 20 pills over the course of an entire year, so I suppose it's obvious to them that I'm actually using them ONLY for management of sever pain.

Your doctor will undoubtedly try to tell you that HBC is the only way. At least that's what my doctors kept doing. It's not the only way, and I'd much rather take one or two Darvocet per month than a hormonal pill every day. :)
disturbedme 27th-Feb-2009 07:00 pm (UTC)
Exactly. I'm just not into HBC.

My doctor is actually pretty open minded and he's also holistic as well, so I don't think he'll try to make me take HBC. :-)

Thanks for your comments, I really appreciate it!

PS - when you were only taking Ibuprofen for your cramps, how many Ibuprofen would you take in an entire day? The bottle says not to take more than 6, but the pharmacist told me I could probably do 9 but no more. Sometimes even 9 isn't enough, but I've been scared to take more than that.
kelsietrpt 27th-Feb-2009 07:02 pm (UTC)
My doctor told me I could take up to 10 a day, and that's usually what I set my limit at. I KNOW it's really, really terrible for me/hard on my liver, so I try the herbal route first (see above) and if that doesn't work, I use the ibuprofen. If that doesn't work...onto the Darvocet! And a hot bath, of course.

Lucky you, having a holistic Dr.!! We only have one around these parts, and she doesn't take insurance. Each appointment is also $200, so....not quite an option right now.
disturbedme 27th-Feb-2009 07:07 pm (UTC)
Are prescription pain meds also hard on the liver or no?
frolicnaked 27th-Feb-2009 11:35 pm (UTC)
I'm on my way out the door right now, so I can't back this up with a link until later -- But a couple of NPs have advised me (one while prescribing ibuprofen 800s) that the maximum "safe" dosage was 3200mg in any 24 hour period. That's actually the equivalent of 16 OTC ibuprofen pills.

That said, I was taking this much with the knowledge and recommendation of my health care provider. If you're going to take more than what the instructions and/or a pharmacist recommends, it's probably best to check in with your own provider first.
archangelbeth 27th-Feb-2009 11:53 pm (UTC)
(For me, I took 2 ibuprofen every 4 hours for the first 24-48 hours (though I could usually fall asleep and not wake up for 8-12 hours), when my cramps were in the hellish mode. Which they were every time for years. It's only recently that I can just take a couple ibuprofen at the start and get them to sulk off. Prescription strength would have been 4 ibuprofen (800mg) every 4 hours.

As an anecdote, I took only 3, about every four hours, after I was discharged from the hospital after my c-section. Either ibuprofen really works for me, or I have a high pain threshold after years of periods like rabid weasels gnawing their way out of my belly.)

Something else you may want to talk to your doctor about would be calcium-magnesium. Magnesium-sulfate, in an IV drip, was something I had to relax my muscles when they were afraid I'd go from pre-eclampsia into eclampsia-seizures, so having a muscle relaxant might help? Cal-mag tablets alone, or even paired with aspirin, did nothing to touch my cramps, but they might help other people.

You can also try interleaving ibuprofen and tylenol -- take 1-2 tablets of ibuprofen. Wait 2 hours. Take the safe dosage of tylenol. Wait 2 hours. Take the ibuprofen again, etc. (Since I believe both are on a X every 4 hours schedule.) [I know they're hardly "natural," but if they work...]

lougolas 27th-Feb-2009 08:50 pm (UTC)
I'd like to point out that HBC is not a miracle cure for cramp, so neither you nor the OP should feel pressured into trying it for that. It's helped me a little but it's definitely not helped enough to justify taking it solely for that reason. I still need Nurofen Plus (ibuprofen + codeine, strongest non-prescription painkiller in the UK) to get the me through my cramp. I take HBC for birth control purposes, anything else is just a bonus.

Just wanted to let you know you're not missing out on fantastic pain-free periods because you don't want to take HBC :-)

frolicnaked 28th-Feb-2009 04:02 am (UTC)
This. HBC is a great thing for a lot of people, but it's not a miracle drug, and it's not a guarantee. I went on HBC primarily to control heavy and painful periods. I'm seriously considering discontinuing it because I end up more days of bleeding and pain on the pills than I do off of them.
lougolas 28th-Feb-2009 05:20 am (UTC)
I asked my doctor about the effect HBC would have on my heavy/painful periods and was basically told that everything would be wonderful. They're a LOT lighter now, but the pain hasn't decreased much so I don't consider it to have really helped - the volume wouldn't bother me if I could lose the pain! The only real impact it's had on the pain is that I no longer have ovulation pains, but I could deal with those.

It really annoys me that doctors push it as a cure for heavy/painful periods - I thought I was completely abnormal for still being in huge amounts of pain every month, until I looked it up online and discovered it wasn't just me.
frolicnaked 28th-Feb-2009 05:33 am (UTC)
Exactly. My period/withdrawal bleed flow has decreased from very heavy/gushing (according to this scale) to moderate bleeding. But it's never been the amount of blood that's bothered me. The cramps are still there, and with the amount of breakthrough bleeding I get (on multiple brands, many multiple brands) I'm in pain for more days per month than when I was cycling naturally.
happy_texas_mom 27th-Feb-2009 07:07 pm (UTC)
Yes. From the time I first got my period until I was 19, I threw up every month. I kept hoping it would get better, but it didn't. That particular day, I was walking around my college campus from bathroom to bathroom, puking my guts out. I finally stumbled into the student health center, crying in pain and begging for them to do something, anything, to help me. I've never been suicidal, but that day I understood how people can get to be that way.

For the short term they gave me a muscle relaxant of some sort, and then I ended up going on birth control even though I wasn't sexually active and had no plans to be (don't know what kind and don't know if it would apply now, anyway, as this was the early 90s). This did lessen my flow (I always bled a *lot*) and eased the cramps to the point that they were manageable.

I stayed on BC until after I was married and hubby & I decided to try for kids. Once I got through my trying/miscarrying/having kids/breastfeeding stage (which lasted, start to finish, about 4 years), my periods were still lighter and not so painful. It's been about 5 years since then. They have gone back to being painful and heavy again, although not as bad as they were when I was younger. I've considered going back on BC, but the idea of pushing any artificial substance through my system for a long-term basis (I'm 36 now, so I still have a good number of years left, I'm guessing) worries me. I've actually talked with my doctor about getting a hysterectomy, but have been too chicken to go through with it (and too worried about how much time off of work it would cost me).

I've never been prescribed pain meds, but I've used leftover Vicodin & Percocet from previous surgeries when I just couldn't stand it anymore. The heating pad helps, a lot (but isn't always convenient). A double dose of ibuprofen sometimes helps (which is what a prescription dose is; I've asked my doctor friend who says this is fine as long as I'm not doing it *all* the time, which I'm not). I've also found that if I'm going to take pain meds, it helps to take them before the pain gets bad, rather than afterwards.

Oh, and hot baths sometimes help, too.
happy_texas_mom 27th-Feb-2009 07:10 pm (UTC)
Ok, I see that there have been other posts since I wrote this, and that you do not want to go on HBC. I don't blame you! I just didn't realize this when I suggested it. :)

I hope you feel better soon...I know how life-affecting the pain can be (and tiring...I used to just pass out once I got the pain relieved, because I was so tired from it).
bunnygirl02 27th-Feb-2009 07:25 pm (UTC)
Before you go on prescription pain meds try Aleve it worked for me I take two in the morning and two every 8 hours it really works its the only pain med thats worked for me and i used to throw up from the cramps and couldnt even go to school. I basically stay all drugged up on this med until my periods gone. I told my sisters and now they only use Aleve too.
maiamorgan 27th-Feb-2009 08:05 pm (UTC)
I used to take Anaprox, for years I took it for my cramps which sound an awful lot like yours. Basically, it was just a really high dose of Aleve that I took the 1st 3 days of my period. Fortunately, after I had my daughter and my wonderful ovarian cysts, my cramps haven't been that bad.

I feel for you love, been there. :( Try some aleve and if that doesn't work, your doctor should be able to give your something for the pain.
xx_socold_xx 27th-Feb-2009 08:16 pm (UTC)
Oh yes. Back when I was 14/15 (I'm 19 now) I had those killer cramps. It would always start in my last class of the afternoon in high school. I'd have to stay in the bathroom half the class for fear of throwing up everywhere, then go to the nurse and leave a little early from school. I even blacked out a few times on my way to the nurse.

I went to the gyno and was put on prescription pain meds, but it was just Naproxen Sodium. It didn't work at all for me, so I went the HBC route and it worked. I still have REALLY bad cramps, but no more of the nauseating kind. I understand about not wanting to go on BC though!

Like you said, those Thermacare heating wraps work wonderfully. Also, maybe try some Chamomile tea? I've read that it is good with the contracting muscles that cause your cramps.
analogwatch 27th-Feb-2009 08:21 pm (UTC)
You can alternate the ibuprofen with some tylenol, and I did it to manage the pain of my miscarriage last year. I took tylenol, then three hours later took ibuprofen, then back and forth like that. It helped for me, if you'd like to give it a shot. My miscarriage was the worst cramps I've ever had, though, so I can't give advice for periods. :/
its_raining_jen 27th-Feb-2009 09:35 pm (UTC)
I'm on HBC now but I was on prescription pain meds for my cramps for a few years. The HBC didn't get rid of the cramps; however, taking 2 ibuprofen tablets every 4 hours was good enough to get rid of them.

I was on Anaprox at first, which didn't work. Then I was switched to apo-mefenamic, which was amazing and I could not feel my cramps at all sometimes.
aconstantknot 27th-Feb-2009 11:07 pm (UTC)
I definitely used to be like that. From 14-17.
I used to sit on the toilet, finish there and barf in the bathtub cause it was closest. Curling into a ball even, didn't help.
I was in so much pain once, I went to the emerge.

I'm on HBC, and it definitely has cut back the cramps majorly. I still get them, but not as bad at all.

I'm not sure what else you could do? Sorry
justdeb69 5th-Nov-2009 09:02 pm (UTC)
Let me tell you a story if you are interested lol. I got bad PMS and bad period pains, so much so that I started taking femileve (agnus castus) last month. And I can safely say that my period started this morning without a huge big 2 week PMS stint beforehand so it's also safe to say that agnus castus really helps the pre-menstrual phase.

But as for the period pains? Oh my oh my.... I felt absolutely awful at work today so I can sympathise with you. Normally my period arrives over a weekend so I can just sleep it off but today, I had to work. I managed to lock my computer and sit on the ladies loo floor with the worst stabbing pain ever! I knew what I needed to do though...... Limped my way to lunch and had a warm lunch, got some painkillers and some cura heat period pain patches.

And managed to work happily this afternoon at work. So the moral of the story for period pain? Heat! I swear my warmer when home but if I am out heat patches all the way. Well worth the £3.69 from boots!!!!

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