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DYSMENORRHOEA
(Disease having similar symptoms in Ayurved- Kashtartava)

What is Dysmenorrhoea?
What causes primary Dysmenorrhoea?
What is the cause of according to ayurveda?
What is the treatment according to ayurveda?
What is Dysmenorrhoea?

Painful menstruation or menstrual cramps is termed as dysmenorrhoea and it is a symptom rather
than a disease. Almost all women experience some degree of pelvic discomfort during and at the
onset of menstrual flow. Very few are fortunate enough not to suffer or have major inconvenience.
It’s a subjective symptom, which sometimes forces sufferers to confine to bed while others are able
to bare this without disturbing their daily routine. Most of young girls were found either absent
periodically from school / college or forced to rest during work because of menstrual pain. Thus
when it disturbs your routine, it makes you anxious / worried about this period which worsens the
condition.

Dysmenorrhoea may be primary or secondary. It is termed ‘primary’ when any pathological condition
in the pelvic organs is absent. When it is the result of some pelvic lesion such as chronic pelvic
inflammatory disease, intramural fibroids of uterus and endometriosis etc, considered as ‘Secondary’.
In these conditions pain may be totally absent during the menstrual intervals but appear in full force
with the onset of the flow. We’ll discuss primary Dysmenorrhoea here. Secondary dysmenorrhoea
requires thorough gynecological evaluation of underline cause.

What causes primary Dysmenorrhoea?

The precise cause of primary dysmenorrhoea is not known. Even the age at which primary
dysmenorrhoea occurs itself is difficult to state as the condition which begins merely a discomfort
tends to grow progressively worse

Normal uterine contractions become stronger just before and during menstruation and in primary
dysmen they are found markedly exaggerated. In other view the pain of dysmen results from a
relative ischaemia of the myometrium a mechanism by which anginal pain or intermittent claudication
arises. Some general factors are responsible for the same but these are predisposing factors rather
than of actual excitation. Hypoplasia (incomplete development) of the uterus is probably an
important contributory cause of painful menstruation. Abnormal flexion (acute ante flexion or retro
flexion) of the uterus with or without hypoplasia is often associated with, obstruction of the cervical
canal, allergic states and psychic factors viz. fear, anxiety etc or asthenic and anemic condition, is
an important cause of primary dysmen. It is common in the thin, nulliparous, highly sensitive women
and whose threshold for pain is low.

Symptoms -
The character of pain is usually distinctive. It is intermittent, sharp, colicky and usually limited to
the lower abdomen, very often pain radiates to the back and thighs. Nausea, Vomiting, fainting and
bradyacardia often accompany the attack, indicating hyper excitability of the vagus nerve. The pain
usually begins either with the appearance of the flow or a few hours before reaching it’s maximum
intensity within twenty-four hours. In some women, the pain is altogether premenstrual and
subsides with the appearance of the flow.

What is the cause of according to Ayurveda?

Among twenty-four types of the genital disorders of women, one ‘Udavarta yoni’ describes this
symptoms vitiated ‘vata dosha’ is responsible for all this disorders. Here also, suppression of natural
urges takes vata in upward direction in the genital tract due to which the woman discharges the
menstrual blood with difficulty and pain. After discharge of the menstrual blood, She feels relief
instantly. Menses is termed as ‘Aartava’ in ayurveda ‘Kashta’ means difficulty. Thus in general
dysmennorhea is known as ‘Kashtartava’.

What is the treatment according to Ayurveda?

All bodily functions are guarded by mainly vata dosha including rhythmic menstrual cycle. When
vitiated vata causes painful menstruation, vata pacifying measures such as unction, hot
fomentation, vaginal douching medicated enema’s etc are prescribed. This treatment doesn’t
subside pain temporarily but properly followed treatment decreases this discomfort. According to
ancient scholars the genital track of women does not get affected without vata, hence one should
pacify it first.

• A well balanced diet, sufficient physical and mental rest, little exercise, a change of any
environment that lessons neurosis, hematinincs in anemic conditions, lessens your pain.
•Warmth is a great pain reliever. As this symptom originates from vata, hot fomentation relieves
spasmodic pain. A warm bath or heating pad on your belly or below your back can relax muscular
spasm. Tube fomentation (Nadi Sweda) with decoction of Dashamoola and local unction with
mahanarayan taila or Dashamoola taila, corrects vata direction, thus subsiding pain.
•In winter season this condition may worsen, so wear the warm clothes that keep your pelvic
muscles warm and relaxed.
•Exercise reduces muscle tension and acts as a mood elevator too. It reduces menstrual cramps by
improving circulation in the pelvic organs, as one theory suggests it’s a relative ischaemia of
myometrium (muscles of the uterus); exercise by improving circulation may reduce cramps.
•Some Yogasanas provide exceptional pain relief for menstrual cramps by activating abdominal
muscles and improving blood circulation of them viz. Bhadrasana, Bhujangasana and Shalabhasana
are very useful, but perform under proper guidance.
•Roasted and powdered Cumin seeds and Ajova seeds with little saindhava, before meals with
lukewarm water, lessons pain.
•Processed oil of Trivrutta is advised for local unction followed by sudation in udavarta yoni. Use it
for vaginal douching.
•Medicated enema (unctuous and non unctuous) checks this condition after proper course, but it
should be done under medical supervision only.
•Relieve your constipation. Simply by doing this specially if your bowels are not constipated in those
days, you’ll find less discomfort.
•Ginger tea can help in relieving menstrual cramps. Camomile tea does the same.
•Take medication at the very onset of pain or discomfort repeat till pain subsides. Don’t wait for
times of severe pain or menstrual flow. Take adequate rest if pain gets aggravate by movement.
•Decoction of Nagara and Eranda with Hingu and Sauvarchala relieves pain.
•Take plenty of carrots in your meal previous to those days, as this is uterine stimulant, it reduces
pain and corrects scanty menses also.
Some generally used preparations are Dashmool kwatha, Hingwashtak choorna, Gandharva Haritaki
choorna etc, which are to be taken under medical supervision only.