Dysmenorrhea is the medical term for the painful cramps that may occur immediately before or during the menstrual period. There are two types of dysmenorrhea: primary dysmenorrhea and secondary dysmenorrhea. Primary dysmenorrhea is another name for common menstrual cramps. Cramps usually begin one to two years after a woman starts getting her periods. Secondary dysmenorrhea is pain caused by a disorder in the woman’s reproductive organs. These cramps usually begin earlier in the menstrual cycle and last longer than common menstrual cramps.
The symptoms of menstrual cramps include:
- Aching pain in the abdomen (pain can be severe at times.)
- Feeling of pressure in the abdomen
- Pain in the hips, lower back, and inner thighs
When cramps are severe, symptoms may include:
- Upset stomach, sometimes with vomiting
- Loose stools
What are the causes?
Sometimes there may not be an identifiable cause of painful menstrual periods. Certain women are at a higher risk for having painful menstrual periods. Risk factors include:
- Being under age 20
- Having a family history of painful periods
- Having heavy bleeding with periods
- Having irregular periods
- Never having had a baby with or without hormonal imbalances
- Having experienced early puberty, which is puberty before the age of 11
In some cases, such as with secondary dysmenorrhea, painful menstrual periods can be the result of an underlying medical condition, such as:
- Endometriosis (a painful medical condition in which cells from the lining of the uterus grow in other parts of the body)
- Fibroids in the uterus (noncancerous tumors)
- Pelvic inflammatory disease, an infection of the uterus, fallopian tubes, or ovaries sometimes caused by sexually transmitted infections
- Sexually transmitted infections (STIs)
- Adenomyosis, a rare condition in which the uterine lining grows into the muscular wall of the uterus
- Cervical stenosis, a rare condition in which the cervix is so small it slows menstrual flow
Measures to manage the pain during menstruation
- Applying a heating pad to lower abdomen (below the belly button).
- Doing light circular massage with the fingertips around the lower abdomen.
- Drinking warm beverages, eating light but frequent meals, especially diet rich in complex carbohydrates such as whole grains, fruits, and vegetables, but low in salt, sugar, alcohol, and caffeine.
- Taking warm showers or baths.
- Keeping the legs elevated while lying down, or lying on side with the knees bent.
- Practicing relaxation techniques such as meditation or yoga.
- Taking some essential vitamins and minerals such as vitamin B6, calcium, and magnesium supplements, especially if the pain is from premenstrual syndrome.
- Walking or exercising regularly, including pelvic rocking exercises.
Homoeopathy has wide range of medicines for dysmenorrhoea. Homoeopathic physician treats these cases after case taking which includes miasm, constitution, modalities, etc. Some of the frequently used medicines are Apis mellifica, Aurum iodatum, Belladonna, Colocynthis, Conium Maculatum, Iodium, Lycopodium, Pulsatilla, Sepia. The mother tinctures widely used in associated symptoms specially related to menses are Aletris farinose, Apis mellifica in drop dose, Cimicifuga racemosa, Abroma radix, Ficus religiosa, Fraxinus americana and Janosia ashoka. Based on individuality and the totality can decide the well indicated homoeopathic remedy. Along with the selected medicines, homoeopaths prescribe Magnesium Phosphoricum Pentarkan or Agnus castus pentarkan. Please consult your local physician for the correct medicine and dosage.
Please consult your homoeopath
Disclaimer: The information provided herein on request should not be taken as a replacement of medical advice or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition.