Drugs Q & A

Can I Use Biofreeze For Menstrual Cramps?

Menstrual cramps (dysmenorrhea) are throbbing or cramping pains in the lower abdomen. Many women have menstrual cramps just before and during their menstrual periods. For some women, the discomfort is merely annoying. For others, menstrual cramps can be severe enough to interfere with everyday activities for a few days every month.

Menstrual cramps tend to begin after ovulation when the ovaries release an egg that travels down the fallopian tube. Pain can affect the lower abdomen and lower back. In about 10%  of people who menstruate, the discomfort is severe enough to affect their daily life for 1–3 days each month.

Conditions such as endometriosis or uterine fibroids can cause menstrual cramps. Treating the cause is key to reducing the pain. Menstrual cramps that aren’t caused by another condition tend to lessen with age and often improve after giving birth.

What is Biofreeze?

Biofreeze is a cooling menthol formula that is fast-acting, long-lasting, and provides penetrating pain relief for sore muscles, backaches, sore joints, and arthritis. Biofreeze comes in a variety of formats, well suited for application on small and large muscle areas. However, this product is not formulated with Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).

Biofreeze applies easily for penetrating pain relief to body parts such as the back, neck, shoulder, knee, hand, wrist, elbow, foot, and ankle. The theory behind why Biofreeze is effective lies in the “Gate Control Theory.” When the body experiences stress or trauma, certain receptors communicate the feeling of pain to the brain through the spinal cord. The cold feeling resulting from Biofreeze applied to the painful area is assumed to override these pain signals, thus providing relief.

Using cold therapy is also shown to lessen inflammation and swelling, two major causes of joint and muscle pain. Biofreeze may also temporarily manage nerve activity, another contributor to pain.

Biofreeze therapy works similarly to ice in reducing inflammation and improving circulation but offers more powerful, comfortable, convenient, and long-lasting pain relief.

Can I Use Biofreeze For Menstrual Cramps?

Yes, Biofreeze can provide some relief from cramping pains in the lower abdomen even though it is not formulated with a Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug which is the primary over-the-counter (OTC) form of pain relief recommended for menstrual pain and heavy menstrual bleeding.

Biofreeze contains menthol, which can alleviate the pain of muscle cramps, including working as pain relief for period cramps! Along with providing a cooling, soothing sensation, menthol also enlarges blood vessels through a process called vasodilation.

Women who use the cooling herb-based ointments and oils on their lower abdomen report relief and comfort when they experience period pains. Menthol-based ointments and oils help ease the pain by improving blood flow and creating a cool sensation on your skin. The products enlarge blood vessels and increase blood flow to the areas affected due to period cramps.  The anti-inflammatory properties of the herb reduce inflammation and ease the pain.

According to an article published in the Iranian Journal Of Nursing And Midwifery Research, on a 2016 study that aimed to evaluate the effects of mint-based drugs on Dysmenorrhea, it was found that while mint did not significantly reduce bleeding, it did however significantly help in reducing pain. A similar 2018 study based on 127 young women also revealed that peppermint oil capsules were as effective in relieving menstrual pain as mefenamic acid, which is a type of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug.

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