6 Side Effects of Taking Medicine to Stop Bleeding During Periods

Menstruation is a natural biological process that women undergo every month. When pregnancy does not occur for a month, the lining of the uterus is shed and menstruation happens. The menstrual cycle is regulated by hormones, specifically estrogen, and progesterone, which are produced by the ovaries. These hormones signal to the uterus to prepare for pregnancy, and when pregnancy does not occur, the hormone levels drop, leading to the shedding of the uterine lining and the start of a new menstrual cycle.

The menstrual cycle generally lasts around 28 days. However,  it can vary from 21 to 35 days in some women. Menstrual bleeding usually lasts for 3-7 days and can range from light to heavy flow. During menstruation, some women experience pain in their abdomen which radiates through their back and legs known as menstrual cramps. These cramps are usually mild and bearable. However, some women experience abnormally intense pain that interferes with their day-to-day life. Period pain and cramps are usually managed with pain relief tablets and paracetamol. However, most women have doubts on the safety of the consumption of these tablets to manage period cramps. If you are one among the thousands of confused women who think “can we take medicine during periods”, then this article is just for you.

Can we take medicine during periods ?

Any medicine, even if it is the mildest pain killer that you take to manage period pain and cramps, is still a drug made from chemical compounds and can still cause you some adverse side effects. Hence, if your pain is mild, we suggest you practice holistic ways of pain management like taking herbal teas, drinking adequate amounts of water, mild exercising, and using hot water bags to manage the pain. If the pain is severe enough that you cannot carry on with your day to day activities at school, college, office, and house, then, you can take medicines under such unavoidable conditions with the advice of a medical practitioner. Paracetamol and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are also used by some women as medicine to stop bleeding during periods which helps control excessive bleeding.

While taking medicines for periods, here are a few side effects that women usually experience 

  • Stomach upset: Nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea are some of the common side effects of taking painkillers; particularly when one goes beyond the recommended dosage. Both non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and prescription drugs irritate the stomach and cause stomach upset.
  • Headaches and dizziness: Certain medication used by women during menstruation may cause headaches in some of the patients.  These drugs also cause dizziness, and this side effect may be magnified by the natural fluctuations in blood pressure and hormone levels that occur during menstruation.
6 Side Effects of Taking Medicine to Stop Bleeding During Periods
  • Acid reflux and GERD: Women who consume pain killer drugs to reduce menstrual pain commonly report acid reflux, a condition where the   stomach acid flows back into the esophagus. This is manifested by symptoms such as heartburn, chest pain, and difficulty swallowing. If a woman has GERD, painkillers, such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) can aggravate GERD (GastroEsophageal Reflux Disease) and make them worse.
  • Constipation: Constipation is a  very commonly reported side effect of painkillers. This happens as the medication works by binding the receptors in the digestive tract which makes it difficult for the movement of stool inside the intestine. Women  who take pain killer medicines to get relief from unbearable pain and cramps can overcome these side effects by drinking lots of water and eating fiber rich food like oranges and carrots.
  • Stomach Ulcers: While both paracetamol and non-steroidal pain killer medicines are easily available over the counter as they widely considered safe, they do cause side effects particularly when taken in overdose. The symptoms that women might experience while having a stomach ulcer are abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, and black or tarry stools. 
  • Diarrhea: Restroom trips during periods are tiring and you do not want to double that up with diarrhea. The use of several painkillers is associated with an increased risk of diarrhea. These drugs have the potential to irritate the lining of the intestines and stomach, which can result in diarrhea. 


As discussed in detail in this article,  taking medicines to overcome period cramps is definitely not the safest way of pain management in the long term. If you have medical conditions like PCOS or endometriosis, then you will need dedicated pcos tablets for periods to manage flow and cramp. 

However, ayurveda has a safer way to manage period cramps and heavy bleeding without using medicine to stop bleeding during periods in India. Ayurvedic herbs like shatavari, ashoka, turmeric, gokhra, and many others are proven to treat period problems like irregular periods of pcos, pain and cramps, and hormonal acne effectively without causing any side effects. If you find sourcing these ingredients is tough, you can take supplements like Solvve that are blended with 8+ powerful herbs sourced ethically from trusted farms and blended together in the right quantities to give you optimal results.

Frequently Asked Questions
Can we take medicine during periods?
Even the mildest painkiller for period pain and cramps is a chemical and can have side effects. Thus, for mild pain, we recommend herbal teas, water, mild exercise, and hot water bags. If the pain is severe enough to prevent you from going to school, college, work, or home, you can take medication prescribed by a doctor.
Can we take fever medicine during periods?
Paracetamol aka the fever medicine is widely considered safe to manage period cramps. However, it is always recommended to consult with your doctor before taking any medicine.
Why we should not take medicine during periods?
Taking medicines during the menstrual cycle to tackle pain, flow, and cramps can cause side effects like nausea, constipation, headache, and diarrhea. Hence, it is best to avoid taking medicines during periods.