Dysmenorrhea or menstrual cramps can be relieved with either hormonal or non-hormonal medications. Non-hormonal treatments that are popular include NSAIDs (Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) such as ponstan or arcoxia which offer quick relief.
In order for them to work perfectly, women should take them on the first day of their menses and only stop once their period ends. In this way, menstrual cramps are prevented throughout the menstrual cycle.
A common mistake is for women to take these medications only after the pain has started in which case there is always a "delayed" catch up phase before the medication can take effect.
Hormonal treatments which are commonly prescribed are usually oral contraceptives. These are either taken as continuous daily pills every 28 days or cyclical 21 day tablets with a 7 day break in between. They are equally effective in treating dysmenorrhea.
If the cause of dysmenorrhea is a result of endometriosis, then a different type of hormonal treatment called visanne can be prescribed which is particularly effective in suppressing endometriosis and its symptoms of dysmenorrhea.
It is however not a contraceptive although it has been reported that women who are taking visanne may have some difficulty in conceiving.