Menstruation begins between the age of 11–13 years and stops at around 45 years of age. Menstrual disorders that commonly occur are dysfunctional uterine bleeding (DUB), pre–menstrual syndrome, post–menopausal bleeding, dysmenorrhea and leucorrhoea. Menstrual bleeding is often disturbing, debilitating and occasionally even critical.
Patterns of Abnormal Uterine Bleeding
Menorrhagia: Excessive bleeding, but the menstrual cycle may be of normal length.
Polymenorrhea: Episodes of bleeding occurring in less than 21 days.
Oligomenorrhea: Scanty menstruation.
Metrorrhagia: Irregular uterine bleeding at any time between menstrual periods.
Approximately, 40 per cent of menstruating women suffer from premenstrual syndrome which tends to occur 3–7 days prior to the menstrual period. The symptoms are headaches, nausea, irritability, fatigue, bloating in the abdomen, edema in the feet and hands, craving for sweets, depression and tenderness in breast. These symptoms generally disappear on the onset of menstruation.
Treatment for Pre–Menstrual Syndrome
- Sympathetic understanding, reassurance with the help of behavior therapist or psychologist.
- A well–balanced diet with a restriction on salt, as water retention is quite common before the onset of menstruation.
- Use of tender coconut water, barley water, dhania water or buttermilk has a diuretic effect.
- Adequate rest and relaxation is essential. Practicing yoganidra or shavasan for 10 minutes regularly is beneficial.
- Headaches can be relieved by dry head massage followed by hot foot immersion for 20 minutes.
- Facial steam for 5–10 minutes regularly helps in providing relief from headaches.
- Warm water bath provides relaxation and relieves fatigue and irritation.
- Drinking a glass of warm milk with honey helps in getting good sleep.
Treatment for Excess Menstruation (Menorrhagia, Polymenorrhea)
- Wet girdle pack at night daily for one hour.
- Ice–cold mud packs applied on the lower abdomen at repeated intervals help check bleeding.
- Absolute bed rest with leg elevated in an ideal posture during Menorrhagia.
- Cold foot and arm baths taken frequently constrict the blood vessels supplying pelvic organs thereby reducing the bleeding.
- Preventive measures like a well–balanced diet, adequate rest, relaxation and regular physical exercises such as walking, yoga, and pranayama should be a part of the treatment.
- All other forms of treatment which improve general health mentioned in the previous pages hold good here also.
- If the bleeding continues even after symptomatic treatment, medical intervention is very essential. A gynecologist should be consulted immediately.
Pain that occurs during menstruation is common in about 60% of menstruating women. Sometimes, it is severe enough to interfere with normal daily activity.
It occurs in the absence of any kind of pelvic disease. It usually starts 2–3 years after the onset of menstruation, and worsens between the ages of 17–24 years, and then subsides on its own.
Secondary Dysmenorrhea is generally due to a definite cause such as pelvic inflammation, fibroid in the uterus, endometriosis, tumors of the ovary or even presence of an intrauterine device. In all such cases of Dysmenorrhea where definite cause is known, medical intervention to correct the underlying defect will provide relief from pain.
- Cold Hip bath daily for 10–15 minutes cures all menstrual disorders.
- Proper, regulated well–balanced diet.
- Regular physical exercises, except during the periods.
- Absolute bed rest with slight elevation of both legs while lying down and a warm water bath during painful episodes of menstruation.
- Hot fomentation to lower abdomen if bleeding is not excessive to relieve crampy abdominal pain.
- Hot and cold hip baths or compresses to help dilate the cervix to facilitate a smooth flow of menstrual blood to relieve pain, only if bleeding is not excessive.
- Constipation, if present, should be relieved by means of an enema.
Leucorrhoea is not a disease but the manifestation of ovulation or a local or systemic disease leading to a discharge of whitish substance, which can occur at any age and affects almost all women sometime or the other.
The discharge often gives off a strong, offensive odor and could be a source of embarrassment to the woman suffering from it. The discharge is usually without discomfort, but may result in an itching sensation in and around the genitalia.
- Maintenance of good hygiene of the external genitalia with regular washing with warm water or with neem water is very essential.
- Use of sanitary napkins and tampons reduce soiling of the genitalia, odor and itching.
- Warm water hip baths for 15–20 minutes with either neem water or Epsom salt also provide relief from itching.
- Vaginal douche with neem water prevents infection of the internal organs reversing Leucorrhoea.
- All other measures mentioned in the previous chapters to improve general health could also be implemented in the treatment of Leucorrhoea.
- A wet girdle pack at night for an hour tones up the uterus.