Dysmenorrhoea has been a monthly cause of worry for women since the pain that women feel can be so irritating that they can no longer give their best at work. Not only do women feel pain on their lower back, sometimes they suffer from nausea and they can’t even sleep soundly at night. In many cases, pain is relieved when women take pain killers, however, they don’t want to be dependent on them. At times, applying warm compress over women’s pelvic area works too.
Dysmenorrhoea or menstrual cramps is a medical condition which is brought about by the release of prostaglandins that make the uterus contract. These contractions cause the cramping that a woman feels anytime during her menstrual period. It can be a sharp, dull, or throbbing pain usually at the lower back and may even radiate to the legs sometimes.
A negative impact on a woman’s daily activities can be caused by dysmenorrhoea even if it is not considered a life-threatening medical condition. Smoking, obesity, pelvic inflammatory disease, and ovarian cysts are several risk factors which can contribute to the manifestation of this condition.
Since it is not a life-threatening situation, most women find relief by taking in pain medications or by applying heat on the pelvic area. NSAIDs are commonly used since it inhibits prostaglandin release. But when NSAIDs can no longer relieve the pain, it is recommended that a check-up with a gynaecologist be done since it is possible that there might be underlying conditions, other than menstrual cramps, causing the discomfort. For some women, the use of oral contraceptives has been proven effective since these drugs may decrease menstrual flow.
A study done in March 2007 has shown that acupuncture has a positive effect in controlling the intensity and extent of pain caused by menstrual cramps. Results have confirmed that acupuncture can have a long term effect of up to 6 months. Acupuncture, which is believed to have originated in China, uses needles being inserted into different body points to relieve pain.
Others may have uncertainties regarding the use of needles, but modern acupuncturists use sterile, disposable needles to ensure the well-being of their clients. Since the needles being used are smaller than hypodermic injection needles, pain is not felt. A certain twinge when the needle is inserted is experienced instead.
Although acupuncture has been proven to have a positive effect in alleviating the pain, it can be expensive and will require a trained acupuncturist to do the procedure for it to be safe. On the other hand, oral pain medications are cheaper and easier to avail.
Since women react differently to various methods of treatment, it is best to have a check up with a gynaecologist first where proper diagnosis can be done in order to choose which type of treatment suits one best. And for some women who have tried acupuncture but still doesn’t experience relieve from menstrual cramps, another underlying factor might be the one causing the pain.
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