Many women have experienced dull and throbbing pain in their lower abdomen, usually before and during their menstrual period. In fact, there were times before that I myself experienced this intolerable pain caused by menstrual cramps or dysmenorrhea.
What is dysmenorrhea? Emedicine defines dysmenorrhea as difficult menstrual flow or painful menstruation. The term dysmenorrhea is derived from the Greek words dys, meaning difficult/painful/abnormal, meno, meaning month, and rrhea, meaning flow.
For me, the abdominal pain is accompanied by lower back pain and headache. However, it can be worse for others. I know someone who would feel nauseous because of the awful pain. It sometimes results to vomiting or fainting. Others experience bloating, fatigue, dizziness and constipation.
There are generally 2 types of dysmenorrhea — primary and secondary dysmenorrhea. The former is not exactly related to any reproductive illness, while the latter is connected to a critical disease or abnormality in the reproductive system. Treatment for secondary dysmenorrhea will mianly focus on what’s causing the problem. But for the primary type of dysmenorrhea, it is advisable to try natural remedies first before resorting to over-the-counter or prescription medications.
Menstrual cramps or dysmenorrhea occurs due to increase in prostaglandin 2 or PG2, before the onset of the menstrual period. Also during this time, the calcium level in the body dips. The herbs listed above can reduce the level of PG2 in the body, preventing painful cramps.