Some home remedies for menstrual cramps other than using NSAIDs include taking hot baths,applying warm packs to the lower abdomen, and massaging the abdomen or lower back, according to WebMD. Avoiding alcohol, caffeine and smoking and limiting salty foods often help as well. Some women benefit from herbal remedies, such as pycnogenol or fennel, Mayo Clinic reports.
Women who exercise regularly typically have less severe menstrual cramps, so regular exercise is an important preventive measure, states WebMD. Additionally, taking hormonal contraceptives, either as pills, an injection, a patch or a hormone-releasing intrauterine device, often decreases menstrual flow and cramping, advises eMedicineHealth. Nutritional supplements, such as omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin E, vitamin B-1, vitamin B-6 and magnesium have benefited some women, Mayo Clinic reports.
Some studies show that alternative therapies, such as acupuncture and acupressure, decrease menstrual pain, Mayo Clinic explains. Transcutaneous nerve stimulation has been effective for some women as well. Also known as TENS, this therapy uses a small device that delivers an electrical current through electrodes placed on the skin. Doctors believe that it raises the threshold for pain signals, which results in the release of endorphins, the body's natural painkillers.
For women with severe menstrual cramps due to an underlying gynecological abnormality or disease, surgery is occasionally an option, states eMedicineHealth. This typically involves destroying or removing the uterine lining or complete removal of the uterus.