DYSMENORRHEA, THOSE PAINFUL MENSES!
Pain is a personal thing. You cannot measure it, and you cannot always describe it to others convincingly. Dysmenorrhea is painful menstruation which is difficult to treat not because the disorder will not yield to therapy but because women have about the worst record of noncompliance to medical counsel with this disorder than with any other. The condition is peculiar to women because they are the only species privileged to go through menstruation in our human nature. Menstruation on the other hand is the periodic discharge of menses (blood, fluid, and some tissue debris) from a woman’s uterus. Menstruation of women is generally a monthly experience, occurring about every four weeks. Girls begin menstruating at puberty, and this function normally continues until menopause, each menstrual flow usually lasts from three to five days. Most women are quite aware from lay or medical expert point of view of the many measures to be taken to avoid Dysmenorrhea but the reason for noncompliance will become obvious as the discussion unfolds in this article.
There are many abnormalities of menstrual function that include painful menstruation like dysmenorrhea and these include; excessive blood loss during each menstrual cycle, known as menorrhagia; irregular bleeding, or metrorrhagia; absence of menstruation, called amenorrhea; and dysfunctional uterine bleeding. In addition, many women experience premenstrual syndrome (PMS), a group of physical and emotional symptoms that occur before the onset of each cycle. A few women have transient abdominal discomfort at the time of ovulation because of slight bleeding from the follicle into the peritoneal cavity and mostly oral contraceptives have been known to remedy the condition by suppression of ovulation, or the discomfort can be treated with pain medications such as ibuprofen or naproxen. However, it is important to note here that these painkillers and mostly non-steroidal ant inflammatory drugs may induce an abortion and some women have been known to use some of the drugs as improvised emergence contraceptive.
Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS) is characterized by headaches, irritability, nervousness, fatigue, crying spells, and depression with no apparent cause. Tenderness of the breasts and a tendency to retain fluid (bloat) are common one to seven days before each period. A few women also experience menstrual cramps (dysmenorrhea) during the first day or two of the period. Dysmenorrhea is due to cramps felt before or during menstruation; the pain is sometimes so severe as to interfere with daily activities. Pain is adequately controlled with drugs that block prostaglandin formation. Although premenstrual symptoms and discomfort during menstruation were once thought to be of psychological origin, research now indicates that hormonal and chemical changes are responsible. New medications are effective in treating these problems and this article has been streamlined to emphasis on the need to avoid dysmenorrhea.
Dysmenorrhea may also be due to other causes other than as an accompanying symptom of PMS. In secondary dysmenorrhea, it may result from pelvic disease such as inflammation of the tubes and ovaries, or from endometriosis. In endometriosis, deposits of endometrium, which undergo cyclic response to the ovarian hormones, are found in the ovaries and in other sites outside of their normal location; these deposits form blood-filled cysts, and pain and excessive bleeding result. In painful menstruation secondary to pelvic disease there is, before menstruation, pain associated with a feeling of congestion, and the menstrual bleeding is often excessive. Treatment is directed toward the underlying disorder.
Another important cause of dysmenorrhea is that of wearing improper clothing. Tight bands around the waist, hips, or thighs impede the circulation to the pelvic organs and increase the likelihood of painful menstruation. Also, the clothing of the extremities must be proper. There should not be one inch of chilled skin on the extremities any time during the month, not only during the menstrual period itself. The extremities should be covered with as many layers of clothing as is the trunk. To fail to do so, is to cause the circulation to be imbalanced, and increases the likelihood of pelvic congestion and painful menstruation. To advice women to wear clothes that are not too tight is an advice they cannot easily follow and many are living with this condition due to the same reason.
Some research documentation on this topic on the relation to of dysmenorrhea and exercises, established that sufficient exercises is essential in reducing or eliminating this malady; this fact is second only to improper clothing in the causation of dysmenorrhea. A study showed that 75% of a group of 5,000 junior high school girls were either cured or had definite improvement of menstrual discomfort with simple bending and stretching exercises. The first exercise was stretching, done by touching the fingers to the ankles with the knees held straight. The second exercise was thrusting the leg backward as the arms were swung high over the head. These two exercises performed 4-10 times daily, four times weekly for several weeks resulted in a 75% improvement rate. In our experience, one hour of useful vigorous labor out-of-doors daily has been more effective in curing dysmenorrhea than have calisthenics.
Posture is also important as a cure for painful menstruation, as reported in Archives of Surgery 46:611-613, May, 1943. The contracted ligaments give rise to compression of the nerves which increases the symptoms of painful menstruation.
Dietary measures can be of great benefit, particularly since many of the things that irritate the gastrointestinal tract reflexively irritate the genitourinary tract. All irritants in the gastrointestinal tract such as spices, alcohol, aspirin, other drugs, hot pepper, vinegar, overeating, failure to chew properly, and any other matter known to irritate the gastrointestinal tract should be eliminated. Constipation should be corrected, particularly just prior to the onset of the menstrual period.
Rest and regularity are mandatory for the sufferer from dysmenorrhea. After the age of 20, eight hours of sleep or bed rest daily should be obtained. From childhood a pattern of regular bedtime and rising time without weekend or seasonal variation is the ideal order of life. Such a person rarely has difficulty with relaxing or sleeping. Regularity in all things is essential. At least one bowel movement daily is ideal, two or more bowel movements being preferred. Fruits, vegetables, and whole grains are helpful in maintaining good bowel health. The avoidance of oil is advisable, particularly, since oil tends to cause red blood cell clumping, creating circulatory problems through the rich meshwork of tiny capillaries found in the reproductive organs. Fats also alter the platelet function of the blood, causing clotting of the blood to be improper, a condition which may lead to painful menstruation.
Research on married women with previous severe Dysmenorrhea or PMS has been observed to reduce in intercity and length especially after child bearing but for some it diminishes naturally with hormonal balance. Hormonal issues sometimes go with weight and body response to what is produced hence Dysmenorrhea and PMS have been observed to be much prevalent in obese women or teenagers. To consolidate this fact, research has established that obese female teenagers tend to start their menses earlier than their slender counterparts hence making them prone to hormonal imbalance which is a predisposition to Dysmenorrhea. As a woman grows older, the hormones start to stabilize and Dysmenorrhea may begin to fade out with age, making it a factor in experiencing menstrual pain by age as determinant.
To avoid psychological factors leading to Dysmenorrhea, one should develop a good emotional outlook. A mature, vigorous, and healthy adult should be able to cope with any problems that are presented to her during a 24-hour day. With Divine aid and sympathetic understanding of family and friends, the individual should have the emotional equilibrium to cope with all of life’s trials. Mental stress can affect hormonal balance hence the need for a sober mental state.
When the painful menstruation occurs, a “hot half bath” in a bathtub, or a hot foot bath up to the upper portions of the calf muscles using a deep bucket, tub or trash can or will very often provide complete relief. Warm or hot water as determined by experimentation are both acceptable for the hot water baths. If you have to conserve on water, then a hot water bottle method by rolling on the abdomen will also provide some relief. The essence is to promote increased blood circulation and spread body chemicals that are associated with pain. This in turn alleviates the victim of Dysmenorrhea from experiencing this discomforting episode.
Modern women need not suffer in ignorance as they pass through this period of life. The secrets of Dysmenorrhea have being unveiled. More research is being done, and therapies to ease the transition are being developed. Magazines, newspapers, and books are focusing on the topic, providing explanations for questions that some were once embarrassed to ask. The medical profession, too, is more informed on the problems women may encounter. Consequently, we have always availed ourselves through the contacts below in order to help you adopt healthy lives. Amigos, this article is target to address a malady peculiar to women hence your will be a blessing to our women folks once you share this material but be environmentally friendly buy serving on paper in your method of awareness.
JONES H. MUNANG’ANDU (author)
Motivational speaker, health commentator &
Email; [email protected]
Skype id; jones muna
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