Dysmenorrhea is the most common gynaecological symptom among females and is defined as the discomfort and cramping pain in the lower abdomen and lower back that occurs before or during the menstruation.
Dysmenorrhea can feature different kinds of pain, including sharp pain, throbbing pain, dull pain, nausea, burning or shooting pain.
In Ayurveda, dysmenorrhoea is known as Kashta-Artava (Kashta means ‘pain’, Artava means ‘discharge from the vagina’). Painful menstruation/dysmenorrhea is classified into two categories:
Primary Dysmonorrhea – This is pain association with ovulatory cycles without demonstrable pathology in the reproductive organs. This is common among adolescent girls and disappears as one grows into adulthood. It may start with onset of a period, but rarely persists beyond 48 hours after the onset of menstruation.
Secondary Dysmenorrhea – This is pain associated with the underlying pelvic pathology and may include:
- Pelvic inflammatory disease
- Ovarian cysts
- Fibroids of the uterus
The secondary dysmenorrhea may need management with the supervision of doctor.
Causes of dysmenorrhea
Typically menstrual cramps/pain are caused by contraction in the uterus by a chemical called prostaglandin. During the period, the uterus contracts, trying to clean the whole organ. According to Ayurveda, Vata is the Dosha governing the flow of menstrual blood out of the body. Apana vata is situated in the pelvic floor and its movement is downward and out. Due to various reasons when Apana Vata movement is in opposite direction, it causes severe pain and cramping.
The other causes of Apana Vata disturbance are:
- Lack of physical exercise
- Use of more oily spicy and salty food
- Lack of personal hygiene
- Poor digestion
- Vata imbalances
Symptoms of dysmenorrhea
Other symptoms of menstrual cramps include:
- Dull, constant ache in the lower abdomen
- Throbbing or cramping pain
- Pain that radiates to the lower back and thighs
Most of the gynaecological disorders predominantly result from problems with the Vata Dosha. The management of dysmenorrhea involves the balance of Vata Dosha with the combination of therapies, herbs, and exercise and diet regimens.
An experienced doctor at Sunshine Ayurveda uses the personalised approach to rule out the cause of painful menstruation. After considering a detailed medical history, the treatment protocol is tailored for your needs.
Panchakarma therapies are beneficial for the management of acute and chronic menstrual pain and underlying pathologies. Some of the common Panchakarma procedures include:
- Abhyanga – Warm oil massage with Vata balancing herbs.
Ayurvedic massage facilitates the free movement of Vata in the right direction, relieves the obstruction in the passage, and enhances the proper menstrual flow.
- Vasti (medicated enema) – A series of medicated oil enemas and decoction enemas administered after the Ayurvedic massage and steam therapy.
- Uttar Basti – A procedure of therapeutic herbs are administered inside uterus. This helps to remove the blockages of channels and provides more nutrition to the uterus.
- Virechana (therapeutic purgation)
Some of the common Ayurvedic herbs described in the classical textbook of Ayurveda are listed below:
- Shatavari powder
- Sukumaram Kashayam
Note: This article is published for the purpose of sharing the Ayurvedic knowledge about painful menstruation and its management. Please do not use this information for self-treatment. For your health, it is necessary to Ayurvedic consultation and follows the proper guidelines of an experienced Ayurveda Doctor. The experienced Ayurvedic Doctor at Sunshine Ayurveda is available for consultation and to prescribe a personalized program for your health and wellness.