It is estimated that 140 million work hours are lost every year because of a single complaint, painful menstruation. 10% of high school girls too absent themselves from school because of it.

As we saw in the last article there are many types of painful menstruation and each type should be treated according to its signs and symptoms.

There is no specific treatment that completely alleviates the misery connected with dysmenorrhoea. Each woman with severe cramps usually finds her own special remedy.

Here are some self help remedies which might provide some relief.

For pain with scanty bleeding. Hale's Materia Medica of the New Remedies (1880 edition) says "The physician who shall find a remedy for painful menstruation will have the blessings of thousands of suffering women." After 109 years the statement still hold good. There is no one specific medicine in any science. Therefore, it is very important to reach out to each individual according to her symptoms.

Menses is too late, scanty, lasting a few hours, offensive odour, ovarian region feels heavy and congested, spasmodic pain radiating to front of thighs. Viburnum Opulus has proved to be most effective remedy. Cramp bark is the common name of this remedy and it really controls cramps.

BEFORE MENSES : The trouble starts before menses. There is severe bearing down, with pulling sensation in the thighs. There is severe down the back with occasional sharp shooting pains from back to front which results in nervousness and restlessness.

DURING MENSES : Severe nausea, scanty menstrual flow, thin and light coloured, a feeling of light headedness, a tendency to faint while trying to sit up. The flow suddenly stops for several hours. The pain is maximum during this period and reduces after the menses returns in clots.
Viburnum Opulus 200, 5 pills every 2 hourly during pain.

KALI CARB : For delayed menses in young girls. There is a bloated feeling a few days before menses, with a tendency to become very nervous, easily frightened to death and peevish. There is constant fear which is always felt in the lower abdomen. She feels cold all the time specially during menstrual period. There is constant backache with pains from hip to knee. With menses comes a violent cutting pain and distension of abdomen. She must sit bent over pressing the abdomen with both hands. The characteristic symptom is the bloated abdomen with lots of flatulence and fear at the pit of abdomen.
Kali Carb 200, 5 pills every 2 hourly during pain.

PULSATILLA : Pain with very scanty irregular menses. Menses is generally delayed. Characteristically this woman will be timid and gentle, suffering from suppressed menses because of a disturbed hormonal balance. During the absence of menses she suffer from a thick vaginal discharge. If the menses is delayed by more than 5-6 days she develops backache, downward pressure and a tired feeling. Pain increases on the first day of menses, it is dark and thick. She has a low pain bearing capacity. Emotionally, she is very mild, wanting sympathy, wants someone to rub her back and give affection.

Profuse dark clotted offensive menses with severe backache. Pain starts on the first day of menses. Pain in lower abdomen starts from one side and goes transversely to the other side then it shoots up to the chest, down to the thighs. The patient feels as if the pain is flying from one part to the other. Pain increases with increase in flow. It is worse when she passes clots. In normal conditions also she suffers from backache specially the upper spine is very sensitive with frequent stiffness of neck.
Pubatille 200, 5 pills every 2 hourly till pain subsides.

WARM UP : Warmth will increase your blood flow and relax your muscles especially important in you cramped and congested pelvic area, says Dr. Budoff. Drink lots of hot herbal tea or hot lemonade. Also put a heating pad or hot water bottle on your abdomen for few minutes at a time. Heat relaxes muscles and also helps open the cervix, which facilitates the blood flow and subsequently alleviates the cramps.

TAKE A BRISK WALK : Walk or engage in some form of moderate exercise at all times. There are special abdominal exercises which should be done a week prior to menstruation. These exercises strengthen the abdominal muscles and keep the body in better physical shape. It is well known that dancers and athletic women have fewer menstrual complaints.

If there is clear medical reason for dysmenorrhoea such as pelvic infection or fibroid tumors, the condition should be treated by a Gynaecologist.

Readers are advised that the medical advice offered in this column pertains to generalised treatment of condition. Kindly consult your doctor before self-medication.