A woman usually experiences dysmenorrhea for the first time when she has her first menstrual period. This typically is about the age of 12. Severe cramping is experienced by about 40% of cases while around 50% will experience mild abdominal pains. Other serious conditions such as cancer, endometriosis, scar tissue in the uterus and tumors may develop in around 10% of these young women.
For a lot of women, dysmenorrhea is not really a serious health issue although at times, it can be irritating and may cause great anguish. Some medical scientists believe that the symptoms of dysmenorrhea may be due to fluctuations in the menstrual hormones that can result in the accumulation and stagnation of blood in the pelvic walls, the ovary, and the uterus.
People suffering from dysmenorrhea may sense something painful in their lower stomach that can radiate to their lumbar area. The pain may linger a few days prior to the menstrual cycle and up to the course of the cycle before slowly dissipating at the end of the cycle. Sufferers of dysmenorrhea are more prone to experience vomiting, queasiness, dizziness and headaches. The magnitude of the pain may differ although in certain instances can be so severe that the sufferer may be unable to go to work.
In order to address recurring pain, warming the lower abdomen and taking painkilling drugs are good ideas; in severe cases, hormonal contraceptives can provide relief. These medications need to be taken all over again when their effects run out. Furthermore, they come with side effects that do harm to the body.
In the realm of naturopathic and alternative medicine, one of the best treatments for the relief of dysmenorrhea is acupuncture due to its ability in balancing and correcting hormones. Moreover, it relaxes the muscles of the ovary and pelvic walls, treats the congestion of blood and helps boost the flow of blood around the ovary pelvis.
In a typical acupuncture treatment of dysmenorrhea, the acupuncturist inserts very thin acupuncture needles into the body to enervate the nervous system that is situated in a number of areas, including the lower abdomen, leg and arms. Usually, the acupuncturist will schedule the patient an appointment two weeks ahead of her menstrual cycle and acupuncture is then given two times a week to alleviate or prevent the pain from arising. The frequency and the number of needles to be used though is based on the degree of pain the patient experiences. In mild pain, just a few sessions are enough; for women suffering from severe symptoms, laparoscopy or hormone adjusters may be the best option.
Before acupuncture treatment, women should get enough sleep and eat moderately. Expect to feel some tenderness in the parts of the body where needles are being inserted. Electrical currents can also be experienced flowing in the meridians or pathways of energy when the acupuncturist puts in the needles next to a nerve. In order to get best results, the needles need to stay in the patient’s skin for about 20 to 30 minutes. The patient may need to flex her muscles on the site where the needles are inserted to ensure that the needles do not get caught in the muscles. This may not really be dangerous but it can still caused bleeding and pain when the needles start to be removed. After this, the patient is then is allowed to move her body slightly and relax her muscles. The acupuncturist should know during the treatment if the patient experiences any breathing difficulty, chest ache, wooziness, or dizziness.
After the treatment session is over, the patient should avoid taking a bath for a couple of hours at least and drink warm water. Acupuncture treatment for dysmenorrhea should not be performed on pregnant women who are suffering from dysmenorrhea or on women with blood clotting problems, suffering from blood disease or on women with cancer who have not been treated with modern medicine.