Abdominal cramping at the start of a period is called dysmenorrhoea – pronounced dis-men-or-ee-ah. It is usually caused by a substance called prostaglandin which causes the womb to contract and become more sensitive – causing pain and discomfort for 2 or 3 days usually.Period pain may be relieved by exercise or heat applied to the painful area- your mum has probably offered you a hot water bottle. Additionally, there are medications designed to specifically treat menstrual symptoms. The most important thing to remember if you have enough pain that you need to take medication is to start the medication early and keep using it regularly. A combination of paracetamol and ibuprofen or naproxen usually works quite well. If the dysmenorrhoea persists and is troublesome despite early and regular pain relief see your GP for a check up and advice-. If the pain suddenly becomes more severe or you develop a fever see your doctor.