We’re going say it straight up — period pains suck…and while there are several contributing factors that cause the aches, cramps, and downright painful discomfort, the U.S. National Library of Medicine states that an increase in prostaglandins, the lipids that aid the recovery of tissue damage or infection, are usually to blame.

Some common treatments to remedy the pain include applying a cloth-covered heating pad, taking a warm bath, using relaxation techniques (like yoga), and –the most common– an over-the-counter pain reliever such as Advil, Motrin, or Tylenol.

While pain relievers work to reduce the number of prostaglandins the body produces, should you really be taking painkillers during your period?

Researchers at the Cochrane Collaboration reviewed 80 studies on the effects of painkillers and found that it relieved pain in an average of 31 percent of women with period pain. They also found medicines like ibuprofen (Advil and Motrin) are slightly more effective than acetaminophen (Tylenol) at relieving period pain.

If you have period pain, painkillers can help you feel better. However, there’s always the risk that the medicine might not work along with other side effects like an upset stomach, headaches, drowsiness, and bleeding.

So the next time you’re not feeling so hot during your cycle, consult your doctor or physician or even discuss taking birth control pills to get your hormones under control, which can also help reduce symptoms.

Do you take painkillers during your period? Weigh in on the comments below!

xx, The FabFitFun Team