Dysmenorrhea is a medical term for the pains and cramps experienced in severe form by a woman, during the menstrual cycle. This pain is experienced every month for few days when we get the menstrual cycle. Menstrual cramps are dull or throbbing pains in the lower abdomen. We experience menstrual cramps just before and during the menstrual periods. For some women, the discomfort is merely annoying. For others, it can be severe enough to interfere with everyday activities for a few days every month. The dysmenorrhea is classified as primary dysmenorrhea or secondary dysmenorrhea. Primary dysmenorrhea involves no physical abnormality and usually begins six months to a year after we begin menstruating. Secondary dysmenorrhea involves an underlying physical cause, such as endometriosis or uterine fibroids. If we have primary dysmenorrhea, there are some measures we can take to ease the discomfort. We can also be rest assured that cramps tend to decrease in intensity as we get older and often disappear after pregnancy. For secondary dysmenorrhea, managing the cramps involves treating the underlying cause. Most women experience menstrual cramps at some time in their lives. Whether it's primary or secondary, dysmenorrhea can be severe enough to disrupt our day-to-day routine. If we have primary dysmenorrhea, it most likely develops within a year after we start menstruating.
We may continue to have cramps through our 20s or until we have a baby. Then, for unknown reasons, they're likely to become less intense. With secondary dysmenorrhea, cramps may start or return later in life, but can begin anytime after we begin menstruating. The signs and symptoms of dysmenorrhea may include dull or throbbing pain in lower abdomen and pain that radiates to lower back and thighs. Other signs and symptoms that can occur along with menstrual cramps are nausea, vomiting, loose stools, sweating and dizziness. During menstrual periods, the uterus contracts to help expel its lining. Prostaglandins, hormone-like substances involved in pain and inflammation, trigger the uterine muscle contractions. No one knows for sure, but many experts believe that prostaglandins are the direct cause of primary dysmenorrhea. Increased leukotriene level, a substance involved in inflammation also may be a contributing factor.
The factors that are responsible for secondary dysmenorrhea are as follows:
- Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID).
- Use of an intrauterine contraceptive device (IUCD).
- Uterine fibroids and uterine polyps.
Certain factors like age younger than 20, early onset of puberty (age 11 or younger) , heavy bleeding during periods, depression or anxiety, attempts to lose weight (in women age 14 to 20) , never having delivered a baby and smoking are known to be responsible for someone to suffer from dysmenorrhea. We can try a number of self-care strategies to reduce the discomfort of primary dysmenorrhea. Once the pain begins, soaking in a hot bath or using a heating pad on the abdomen may ease our pain. We can also make some lifestyle changes to improve the overall health and possibly decrease the severity of cramps. Exercising regularly will help in increasing release of endorphins, which are body's natural painkillers. In addition we should get adequate rest. Our body may be less vulnerable to pain when we're well rested. Some women may find relief through massage, yoga or meditation, all stress-relieving activities that may help to lessen pain and aren't likely to harm us.
Role of Homeopathy in Dysmenorrhea:
Homeopathic medicines are harmless, mild and free from side effects. Homeopathic medicine for menstrual pain can give pain control without any side effects. Constitutional homeopathic treatment helps to overcome the recurrent problems of dysmenorrhea. Homeopathic medicines also give relief in associated discomfort at general levels like fatigue, weakness, sleep disturbance and emotional disturbance.