This condition refers to the pain or discomfort associated with menstruation. About 80 percent of the time, cramps are part of the primary dysmenorrhea syndrome. Although not a serious medical problem, it’s usually meant to describe a woman with menstrual symptoms severe enough to keep her from functioning for a day or two each month.
- Symptoms may begin one to two days before menses, peak on the first day of flow, and subside during that day or over several days.
- Pain is usually of a dull, aching, cramping type, occurs in the pelvis or lower abdomen may radiate to the thigh and back.
- This pain may be associated with other symptoms like nasea, vertigo, diarrhea, irritability.
Dysmenorrhea is defined as painful menstruation of uterine origin and Is commonly divided into two categories based on the pathophysiology. Primary dysmenorrhea is painful menstruation that typically begins during adolescence with ovulatory cycles and is not due to any pelvic disease. it is distinguished from secondary dysmenorrhea, which is uncommon during adolescence and results from pelvic organ pathology. Common causes of secondary dysmenorrhea include endometriosis, uterine fibroids, Adenomyosis, obstructive vaginal or uterine congenital anamolies, and use of intrauterine contraceptive devices.
Homeopathic treatment of dysmenorrhea
Homeopathy is one of the most popular holistic systems of medicine. The selection of remedy is based upon the theory of individualization and symptoms similarity by using holistic approach. This is the only way through which a state of complete health can be regained by removing all the sign and symptoms from which the patient is suffering. The aim of homeopathy is not only to treat dysmenorrhea but to address its underlying cause and individual susceptibility. As far as therapeutic medication is concerned, several remedies are available to treat dysmenorrhea that can be selected on the basis of cause, sensations and modalities of the complaints. For individualized remedy selection and treatment, the patient should consult a qualified homeopathic doctor in person. There are following remedies which are helpful in the treatment of dysmenorrhea:
- Throbbing pains, violent pains, worse on the right side.
- Sudden onset. Bright red, clotted, hot, profuse bleeding.
- Congested/full feeling in uterus.
- Bearing down sensation.
- Irritable with maddening pains.
- Better lying down, propped up;
- Thirst for cold water or no thirst at all, desire for lemons or lemonade, worse motion, worse from being jarred, worse light and noise.
- Membranous dysmenorrhea; menses too early, too profuse and attended with colic and nausea; flow preceded by stitching pains in pectoral region. Dysmenorrhea with sterility.
- Membranous dysmenorrhea, violent contractive spasms for six or twelve hours in abdomen, premature and profuse flow of bright red blood or pressive flow with much exhaustion; hard swelling in ovarian region.
- Menses regular, discharging pale fluid blood with clots; epileptic aura from uterus to stomach; burning heat and stitches in ovaries.
Calcaria carb –
- Swelling and pain in breasts before start of menses; acts well in fat ladies; females with thyroid and pituitary dysfunction.
- Pain increases with establishment of menstrual flow.
- The mentals will be the guiding symptoms here.
- The person may be hypersensitive and intolerant to the painv
- Very irritable, easily angered and inconsolable.
- Intense pains extending down inner thighs.
- The blood may be black with large clots with gushing of bright red blood.
- The person desires cold drinks, is worse lying down, better cold applications.
- This one looks a lot like Mag-phos. (see below).
- There’s a bit more emphasis on the amelioration from hard pressure with this one.
- There may be an exaggerated “bending double” postition; with Mag-phos, the heat is more important than the hard pressure, though Colocynth likes heat as well.
- Irritable, indignant.
- Anger aggravates.
- Terrible dysmenorrhea with hemorrhoids or piles, violent convulsions preceded by severe pain in the region of womb; Irritation of cardiac nerves; suppressed menses return after heart trouble is over.
- Painful swelling of the breasts before the period.
- Flow is in gushes.
- Pains may alternate from side to side.
- PMS-irritable, jealous, depressed, headache, flushes of heat all ameliorated with the onset of the flow.
- Severe cramps, worse from pressure of the clothing, ameliorated with the onset of the flow.
- Flow may be black, scanty, lumpy; the less the flow, the more the pain.
- Better from open air, cold drinks, talking, worse from sleep, heat, hot drinks.
- This is the main one; if you’re not sure what to do, give Mag-phos.
- This is the typical picture of a woman with her period, doubled up with a hot water bottle or heating pad pressed firmly against her stomach.
- The flow is dark.
- She wants to be nurtured; better hot baths, better pressure, worse lying on the right side.
- Thirst for cold drinks.
- Pain lower back with constant urging to stool.
- Patient may be chilly and very irritable, impatient and angry.
- Better rest, lying down, worse pressure–even pressure of clothing.
- Desire for fats and spicy foods.
- The menses are easily suppressed, for instance, by getting the feet wet or by bathing.
- Menses are irregular and the flow is irregular–changeable.
- The mentals will be a tip off here.
- The Pulsatilla person is weepy, changeable, shy, dependent, wants nurturing, love, attention;
- She is thirstless; she craves creamy things–whipped cream, ice cream;
- She is warm, worse in warm rooms, better in open air, walking slowly in cool crisp weather.
- Severe cramps extend from low back to pubis; also, pain extends from uterus to thighs.
- Blood is bright red or bright red mixed with dark clots.
- Shooting pain up the vagina.
- Better lying flat on the back with limbs extended.
- Continuous discharge of watery black blood until the next period.
- Weak uterus, bearing down sensation as if all the organs would fall out, must cross her legs; menses late, scanty, irregular or early and profuse.
- Violent stitches upward in the vagina. Low sex drive.
- Patient may be angry, tired, chilly, irritable and over-worked.
- She may desire sour foods like pickles, but also may desire chocolate.
- She may be much improved by exercise, worse from cold, better warmth.
- Menses too painful; too early, too profuse, and last for long time; pain increases as the flow starts and during menstruation.
- Heavy periods, severe cramps often associated with diarrhea and vomiting.
- Chilliness with cold sweat, especially on the forehead, and weakness/exhaustion, feels faint; may desire ice water.
Causes of dysmenorrhea
- Primary dysmenorrhea – affects 40-70 % of women of childbearing age. Cigarette smoking has been associated with an increased duration of dysmenorrhea with each cycle. Other risk factors for dysmenorrhea include obesity and frequent alcohol consumption. Studies have shown decreased prevalence and improvement of dysmenorrhea symptoms with exercise.
- Secondary dysmenorrhea – has several underlying causes
- Endometriosis – occurs in 3-10% of women of reproductive age. Twenty-five percent to 35% of women with infertility have endometriosis.
- Leiomyomas – develop in women by age of 40; most are asymptomatic. Black women have an increased incidence of uterine fibroids.
- Adenomyosis – is observed most frequently in women in the fifth and sixth decades. Fifteen percent of women with Adenomyosis have associated endometriosis.
- Ovarian cyst
- Intrauterine device
- Pelvic inflammatory disease
- Miscellaneous causes – congenital abnormalities (bicornuate or septate uterus), cervical stenosis, imperforate hymen, uterine polyps, or uterine adhesions may cause secondary dysmenorrhea.
Manifestations of dysmenorrhea
The spasm or cramping of dysmenorrhea may begin few hours prior to onset of flow or begin at onset of flow. Pain usually stops after 48 hours, but may last as long as 72 hours or continue through entire period. Pain is mainly confined to the suprapubic or pelvic region, back, and lower abdomen, but may radiate to the anterior or medial thigh. A large number of patients experience one or more ancillary problems, such as headache, nausea, bloating, dizziness, lightheadedness, irritability, anxiety, vomiting, fatigue, lower back pain, constipation, diarrhea, distended abdomen, and syncope.
Diagnosis of dysmenorrhea
The diagnosis of primary dysmenorrhea is one of exclusion. Due to the high incidence of Chlamydia and human papilloma virus infections and due to the severity of their possible complications, cervical smear and Chlamydia test are indicated in sexually active adolescents who complain of menstrual symptoms. Other laboratory tests are seldom required. If clinical evaluation raises suspicion or secondary causes of dysmenorrhea, such as endometritis or pelvic inflammatory disease, then laparoscopy should be considered.
Secondary dysmenorrhea should also be suspected if symptoms starts after the age of 25 years; if the begin with first few menstrual cycles; and if those initially typical of primary dysmenorrhea worsen in duration and intensity.
In individual cases, e.g. with suspicion of pelvic anamolies, pelvic imaging using transvaginal ultrasound or magnetic resonance imaging may be warranted.