Dysmenorrhoea, or painful menstruation, occurs prior to, during or after menstruation. Dysmenorrhoea is one of the more common gynaecological disorders. It is estimated that 50% of menstruating women experience this condition and 10% of these women will miss several days of work each month.
The pain associated with menstruation occurs in the lower abdomen, sacral region (lower back) and sometimes extends to the legs. In severe cases, there may be nausea and vomiting or even fainting. Associated Western conditions include; mittleschmerz, endometriosis, uterine fibroids and myoma.
In order for a normal, pain free period to occur, the blood must be abundant and move adequately. Proper movement of blood relies on the free flow of energy which is governed by the liver. If the energy stagnates or is obstructed, there will be pain.
Pain can occur differently for women during the period. For some, it may be painful before the onset of the period, for others the period is characterized by stabbing pain which is only relieved by the passing of dark clots. Another symptom is a hesitant period, one which starts and stops suddenly. Treatment will be directed at invigorating the flow of energy and blood where it is blocked to regulate the circulation and stop the pain.
It generally takes a minimum of three menstrual periods to regulate the cycle completely, although some improvement will be apparent after the first month.