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DYSMENORRHEA or Difficult Menstruation

Categories: Diseases of Women

This term means difficult and
painful monthly periods. The pain may occur before, during or after the


Causes. It may be caused by a narrow cervical canal, the canal from the

inner womb to the vagina. This is often very narrow and almost closed.

Again it is produced by the womb being turned back and bent on the canal,

thus partially closing it. This causes the blood to be retained in the

and then the womb contracts to expel the blood, pains being the

natural result. Diseases of the womb and ovaries also cause it. Sometimes

the membrane of the womb is cast off in the form of shreds or even a cast

of the inner womb.

Symptoms. The flow may be scanty, moderate or profuse, often clotted. The

pain varies. It may be slight before the flow, or the first day or two, or

it may be severe, agonizing and continuous for one or two days, or during

the whole period and sometimes for some days after there may be pains.

MOTHERS' REMEDIES. 1. Painful Menstruation, a Good Tonic for. "This may

be relieved by sitting over the steam of a strong decoction of tansy,

wormwood, and yarrow, and fomenting the abdomen with the same. Then take

the following in wineglassful doses:--One ounce each of ground pine,

southern wood, tansy, catnip and germander, simmering in two quarts of

water down to three pints and pour boiling hot on one ounce of pennyroyal

herb, strain when cold and take as per dose above."

2. Painful Menstruation, a Home Remedy for. "Let the patient take an

active cathartic; then when put to bed let a half cup of hop tea be given;

and a douche of one quart of hot water into which ten drops of laudanum

have been dropped, be injected." A cathartic is not necessary in all

cases. If the bowels have been moving freely do not take one. The douche

will give great relief providing the woman can take one while

menstruating. Some women can and some cannot.

PHYSICIANS' TREATMENT. If the womb is displaced it should be corrected.

Any disease of the womb or ovaries should be treated. If the canal is too

much closed, gradual and careful dilation between the periods, will often

remove this cause in time. The bowels should be kept regular at all times.

1. For the attack. Never take opium or alcohol for it in any form; it is

so easy to form the habit and a doctor who gives it is simply dodging

effective general and local treatment between the periods. If it is due to

taking cold, or from any local cause, the following treatment is good:

The patient should take a hot sitz bath, being well covered by a blanket,

while in the tub and afterwards, and should immediately get into bed as

soon as the buttocks are dried and remain there well covered. A turpentine

stupe is now to be used, prepared as follows: Place a tin cup containing

the turpentine in a vessel containing hot water. This will keep the

turpentine warm. Dip a piece of flannel into very hot water and wring it

out in a twisted towel, and after it is perfectly dry and no dripping, dip

it into the hot turpentine and wring it out again to free it from too much

of the drug. Apply the cloth while hot and allow it to remain until it

causes discomfort. Then withdraw it or it will blister the skin if left on

too long. Fomentations wrung out of teas like hop, pennyroyal, smart-weed,

etc., applied and kept warm often do much good. At the same time

pennyroyal tea can be drank freely. A five-cent package can be bought at

any drug store. Hot lemonade will help also. The object is to produce

relaxation of the tissues through the local applications and tea drinking.

If there is constipation, the bowels should be moved freely with epsom

salts, half ounce dose, in the morning before breakfast. If there is much

pain a belladonna suppository, one-half grain of the extract, can be

inserted into the rectum.

2. If the patient's nervous system is run down the "Rest Cure" will be of

benefit, and medicines to strengthen the nerves. Exercise, outdoor life,

horseback riding are of great benefit in toning the system.

3. Fluid extract of blue cohosh is a good medicine in this disease,

especially if there is some rheumatism during the interval. One or two

drops every hour will be enough.

4. Tincture of Pulsatilla in doses of three drops every hour is good for

the pain, especially in blonde girls and women.

5. Tincture of Cocculus I have found to be of great benefit. Put five

drops of a good pure tincture into a glass half full of water and give two

teaspoonfuls every ten to fifteen minutes until relieved. This I give in

cases I am called to and have not the time then to find out what the real

cause may be.