Menstrual cramps or dysmenorrhoea refers to painful menses.
- Begins usually with onset of menses or on first day of menses and may last for few hours to three days.
- Pain is usually of cramping type, occurs in the pelvis or lower abdomen may radiate to the thigh and back.
- This pain may associate with other symptoms like nausea, vertigo, diarrhea, irritability etc.
Types of Menstrual Cramps
There are two types of dysmenorrhoea depending upon the cause.
- Primary dysmenorrhoea- menstrual cramps without any underlying pathology is known as primary dysmenorrhoea which is quiet normal and affects most females.
- Secondary dysmenorrhoea- if menstrual cramps occurs due to some pathology of uterus or ovaries like fibroids, endomitriosis, PID, ectopic pregnancy is known as secondary dysmenorrhoea.
What causes Menstrual Cramps
Primary dysmenorrhea occurs in the absence of any significant pathological cause for the pain. This type of menstrual pain is most commonly seen in young women during the years following the onset of menstruation.
What causes primary dysmenorrhea?
Prostaglandins are chemicals that a woman’s body produces that cause many of the symptoms associated with menstrual discomfort. The tissue that lines the uterus (endometrium) produces these chemicals, and they are released with the onset of menses when the uterine lining breaks down. Prostaglandins stimulate the uterine muscle to contract. Women who have high levels of prostaglandins experience more intense contractions of their uterus, and these produce more pain. Prostaglandins also may be responsible for vomiting, diarrhea, and headaches that frequently accompany painful periods.
What causes secondary dysmenorrhea?
Secondary dysmenorrhea can be caused by pathological conditions of the reproductive tract, such as the following:
- Ectopic pregnancy
- Ovarian cysts
- Narrow cervix
Diagnosis of Menstrual cramps
- Basically patient’s age her menstrual history and character of pain reveals the cause of dysmenorrhoea.
- Otherwise ultrasonography is a diagnostic tool to confirm the diagnosis.
Conventional treatment for Menstrual cramps
- Medications like NSAIDs such as ibuprofen, paracetamol .
- hormonal birth control pills may help.
- Surgery is suggested in secondary dysmenorrhoea due to fibroids.
Prevention of Menstrual cramps
Measures that may reduce the risk of menstrual cramps include:
- eating fruits and vegetables and limiting intake of fat, alcohol, caffeine, salt, and sweets
- exercising regularly
- reducing stress
- quitting smoking
Homeopathy treatment for menstrual cramps
– Elaine Lewis
Who hasn’t had menstrual cramps! Well, alright, at least half of you, as I’m guessing you’re men. But the other half are going to know what I’m talking about. Hopefully, you have a home remedy kit, do you? Go to www.a2zhomeopathy.com and order their 30C Emergency Kit, it contains 50 remedies in a very small case that you can carry with you. Washington Homeopathics also sells an emergency kit of the same size. In Europe, check out Helios and Ainsworth’s for online orders. Check out Amazon and, of course, many other vendors sell emergency kits as well. That being said, here are your remedies for painful menses:
- Mag phos
- Nux vomica
- Arsenic album
- Veratrum album
- Calcarea carb
- Calcarea phos
- China officinalis
- Ferrum met
- 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.
- The mentals will be the guiding symptoms here.
- The person may be hypersensitive and intolerant to the pain
- 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” position; with Mag-phos, the heat is more important than the hard pressure, though Colocynth likes heat as well.
- Irritable, indignant.
- Anger aggravates.
- 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.
- 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.
How to take your remedy:
Tap one, two or three 30C pellets into the cap of the remedy bottle and pop them into your mouth. Allow them to melt.
If subsequent doses are needed, tap a few pellets into a bottle of water, shake the bottle and take a sip as often as the severity of the condition seems to warrant. Always remember to shake the bottle first. By putting the remedy in water and shaking before each dose, we can prevent the problems that might come from overdosing.
How often to take the remedy depends on how much or how little you’re improving since the first dose. If at any time there is a striking or noticeable improvement, there is no reason to keep taking the remedy unless the improvement stops.
If the improvement is advancing slowly, a general rule is take the remedy 3 or 4 times a day for 3 days, and stop or take less often when you are sure you are getting better.
Since there are no real rules about this, the idea is to take the remedy often enough to ensure a steady improvement, but not so often that you cause an aggravation. In fact, if at any time you think you’re getting worse, stop the remedy. You may have caused an aggravation, but, that should wear off quickly and an improvement should follow. Again, if the improvement slows down or stops, repeat the dose. In general, if there has been no improvement at all after 3 doses or 6 hours, try another remedy.
If you are helped by one of these remedies but find that the symptoms keep coming back every month just the same, you might want to consider seeing a homeopath for constitutional treatment, which means prescribing for the whole person, so that you can be free of painful menses once and for all.