Dysmenorrhea is a medical term for painful menses or menstrual cramps associated with back pain. When the females have unusual menstrual cycles, they feel the pain. The menstrual cycle is a natural amendment that happens within the female reproductive system that makes gestation doable. Those who suffered from dysmenorrhea usually their pains start 1 or 2 weeks prior to menses that are considered as PMS (Premenstrual syndrome). According to ayurveda among the Yoni vyapad’s – ‘Udavartini yoni vyapad’ is considered as Dysmenorrhea and it is a vata dosha vitiated condition.
(Reference – Charak samhita / Chikitsa sthana / Yonivyapad chikitsa adhyaye / Chapter no. 30 / Shlokan no. 25)
Due to the suppression of natural urges, Vata gets vitiate. This vitiated Vata starts moving upwards and obstructs the flow of bleeding and creates pressure over the uterus and pelvic region, which results in painful menses.
Normal Menstrual Cycle
A normal menstrual cycle can be defined on the bases of –
- Interval – Time interval in between each cycle 28 days to 35 days.
- Duration – The menstrual phase lasts for 3 to 5 days.
- Bleeding – Bleeding during this phase should be normal, without spots.
Significance Of Menstrual Cycle
The cycle is required for the ovulation or production of oocytes that prepares the female body for conception. The onset of the cycle occurs due to the rise and fall of the hormones in our body if conception has not taken place at the end of the secretory phase.
Causes Of Dysmenorrhea
- Menarche – As discussed earlier, pain is quite normal.
- Associated with ailments – Fibroid, endometriosis, pelvic inflammatory diseases.
- History of sexually transmitted diseases.
- Hormonal imbalances
- Genetics – Family history of dysmenorrhea
- Any muscular dystrophies – because pain depends on muscular forceful contraction.
- Stress and strains.
- Suppression of natural urges.
Diet and lifestyle
(Reference – Charak samhita / Chikitsa sthana / Yonivyapad chikitsa adhyaye / Chapter no. 30 / Shloka no. 8)
Mithyacharen – If a lady is indulging in an unwholesome diet or leading an improper lifestyle, that will vitiate the female reproductive system.
Symptoms Of Dysmenorrhea
- Pain – pain in the pelvic region, lower back, the medial side of the thigh.
- Tenderness – especially over the lower abdomen
- Sometimes associated with nausea, vomiting and loose stools.
- Irritability and mood changes.
Types Of Dysmenorrhea
- Primary dysmenorrhea
- Secondary dysmenorrhea
Primary – These are common cramps that usually begin after menarche. It may last for 2 to 3 years but it reduces or stops with age.
Secondary – This type of dysmenorrhea occurs in later age mostly associated with the problems developed in female reproductive organs. In these conditions, the menstrual cycle may remain regular. For example – fibroid, sexually transmitted diseases, etc.
In all the Yonivyapta Vata is the main factor. Hence one needs to manage Vata. Take herbs which are madhura (sweet), amla (sour) and lavan (salt) rasa in taste. Because these rasas help to subside the Vata dosha in our body.
- Take an equal amount of ajmoda (carom seeds), pudina (mint), ela (cardamom) and saunf (fennel), boil it and drink this lukewarm decoction. Dosage – 50ml, twice daily after meals.
- Drink lukewarm decoction prepared by boiling equal amount of jeeraka (cumin) and ajmoda (carom seeds), twice daily aftermeals.
- Decoction made from shunti (dry ginger) and purana guda (old jaggery) is proven to be beneficial in painful menses.
- Kesar (saffron) – Boil 1 gram of saffron in a glass of milk if consumed 2-3 times in a day it will reduce the pain during menses.
- Gudhal (Hibiscus) – Taking 5 to10 grams of gudhal flower powder with kanji for 2 times a day removes the problems of the menstrual cycle.
- Kali mirchi (Black pepper) – 1 gram of black pepper, 3 grams of retha powder along with water, it helps to manage menstrual cramps.
- Tarpin oil – Initial sit for 5 min in hot water, then pat your skin and massage your waist with tarpin oil for around 4-5 min, is helpful in reducing pain.
- Methi (Fennel seeds) if taken with lukewarm water, it reduces the pain that happens due to troubles during menstrual periods.
- Shunthi (Dry ginger) – 1 gram of ginger powder taken every day reduces the chance of pain if taken in the first 3 days of the period.
- Hingu (Asafoetida) – Add pinch of hing in a glass of buttermilk is helpful to ease menstrual cramps.
- Tilla (Sesame seeds) – Tilla along with guda (jaggery) if consumed together it helps in ease menstrual cramps. Even you can eat soaked sesame seeds, prefer to take 2 – 3 days prior to periods.
- Papaya – It is an anti–inflammatory agent thus eases uterine wall contractions hence beneficial. Even traditionally it was used to bring relief to the females who had trouble with their menstrual periods.
- Adrak (Ginger) – You can boil ginger in a glass of water and drink 2 to 3 times a day.
- Tulsi (Basil) – Consume the juice of tulsi leaves or tulsi tea, it is also an effective remedy to manage the pain during menses.
- Aloe vera – Juice of aloe vera helps to ease the menstrual flow.
- Ajwain (Carom seeds) – Take 1 teaspoon of ajwain, boil in a glass and add a pinch of rock salt in it. Helps to relieve pain due to its antispasmodic action on uterine muscle, drink twice daily.
- Place a heating pad or hot water bottle over the pelvic region.
- Massage your lower back and abdomen with tilla taila (sesame) or sarshap oil (mustard oil).
- Take rest and avoid exertion and physical exercises.
- Avoid foods and drinks that contain caffeine.
- Avoid smoking and drinking alcohol.
- Use hot water for drinking.
- Increase water intake.
- Avoid non–veg, cold things and junk foods.
- Indulge in some creative works that will divert your mind but avoid exertion.