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.