Dysmenorrhea is the medical term for menstrual pain or menstrual cramps that are excessive in pain or duration. Dysmenorrhea usually begins right after ovulation and it usually subsides as menstruation tapers off. Dysmenorrhea may coexist with excessively heavy blood loss, known as menorrhagia.
There are two types of dysmenorrhea, primary and secondary. Primary Dysmenorrhea is known as menstrual pain or cramps that are not attributable to an underlying disease, disorder, or structural abnormality either within or outside the uterus. In average women, this type of menstrual cramps decrease in severity as women become older and after child birth.
Secondary dysmenorrhea is dysmenorrhea which is associated with an existing condition. The most common cause of secondary dysmenorrhea is endometriosis. Many of our patients having difficulty getting pregnant have been diagnosed with endometriosis.
Symptoms – The main symptom of dysmenorrhea is pain concentrated in the lower abdomen, in the umbilical region or the suprapubic region of the abdomen. It is also commonly felt in the right or left abdomen. It may radiate to the thighs and lower back. Symptoms often co-occurring with menstrual pain include nausea and vomiting, diarrhea or constipation, headache, dizziness, disorientation, hypersensitivity to sound, light, smell and touch, fainting, and fatigue. Symptoms of dysmenorrhea often begin immediately following ovulation and can last until the end of menstruation. This is because dysmenorrhea is often associated with changes in hormonal levels in the body that occur with ovulation. The use of certain types of birth control pills can prevent the symptoms of dysmenorrhea, because the birth control pills stop ovulation from occurring.
Treatments – The various conventional treatments for Dysmenorrhea depend on whether it is primary or secondary. For Primary Dysmenorrhea non-steroidal anti inflammatory drugs such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen may be recommended. In some cases oral contraceptives are prescribed, as they decrease the severity of symptoms during a woman’s menstrual period. Using a heating pad on your abdomen or lower back is useful in relieving pain from menstrual cramps. It is recommended that alcohol and drugs are avoided as they have the ability to exacerbate the symptoms. Maintaining a healthy diet and exercising regularly is a good preventative tool for cramping.
To treat Secondary Dysmenorrhea some of the treatments above may be helpful, but in many instances surgery is necessary. Endometriosis and Fibroids are two examples of pelvic diseases in women when surgery is often necessary to remove abnormal tissue. One type of surgery consists of destroying the uterine nerves in order to stop the transmission of pain. Unfortunately this type of surgery is not always successful as the nerves often grow back.
Luckily we have an alternative treatment option that does work, it is known as acupuncture!
Acupuncture Treatment for Dysmenorrhea – Acupuncture is part of Traditional Chinese medicine and is known to relieve women from the symptoms of dysmenorrhea, treating the root cause of the pain and discomfort. Acupuncture is most effective in treating dysmenorrhea when acupuncture is begun a few days prior to the onset of pain. Pain is easiest to treat if it is caught before the onset, but is still treatable post onset. The tiny needles that are inserted during an acupuncture treatment stimulate nerves, muscles, and tissue. These needles stimulate the body to release chemicals that are the body’s natural pain killers. Acupuncture lowers the amount of non-steroidal anti inflammatory drugs that woman usually take for menstrual pain. Some of the menstrual pain is due to stagnant energy and reduced blood flow. Acupuncture releases that stagnant energy and blood, allowing it to flow and circulate unimpeded.
Acupuncture is known to regulate a woman’s menstrual cycle and alleviate many of the symptoms of PMS. Acupuncture is a great preventative option to many of the traditional forms of medicine. It is a non invasive procedure that does not require taking any medications. Patients usually find relief quickly, within a few sessions.
If you are suffering with Dysmenorrhea please call us so we can help. We have helped many of our patients suffering with this type of pain and we are totally confident that we can help you too. Our consultations are free and the number to call is 954-586-2273. Our clinic serves the communities of Margate, Coconut Creek, Parkland, Boca Raton and Coral Springs Florida.