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Homeopathic Remedies for Dysmenorrhea (Painful Menstruation)

Also indexed as: Menstruation (Painful)

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Discomfort during menstrual periods can range from slightly annoying to agonizing. For many women, cramps, low back pain, aching legs, a heavy feeling in the abdomen and pelvis, digestive upsets, diarrhea, headaches, weakness, depression, and emotional stress can ruin several days each month. Homeopathic remedies can help soothe these miseries, and often help reduce a woman’s tendency toward menstrual problems. If discomfort is not easily relieved, seek the guidance of an experienced homeopath. If pain or other symptoms seem to be serious, a physician’s assessment is important.

For dosage information, please read the information at the end of this section. See also “Using Homeopathy With Professional Guidance” in What Is Homeopathy?

Belladonna: Symptoms that are very intense and come and go suddenly, accompanied by a feeling of heat, often indicate a need for this remedy. The menstrual flow is typically bright red, profuse, and may have begun too early. Pain and cramping are worse from jarring and from touch, yet applying steady pressure often brings relief. Walking or bending over can make things worse, and sitting may be the most tolerable position. A woman who needs this remedy may feel restless and flushed, with pulsing or pounding sensations, and eyes that are sensitive to light.

Bovista: Women needing this remedy tend to have problems with puffiness and edema during times of menstrual stress, and can feel very awkward and clumsy. Pain may be felt in the pelvic region, often with soreness near the pubic bone. Menstrual flow increases at night (and may even be absent during the day). Diarrhea occurring at the time of the menstrual period is a strong indication for this remedy.

Caulophyllum: Women with a history of weak uterine tone and irregular periods may find some relief in this remedy. Intense discomfort during periods, with drawing pains in the thighs and legs as well as the pelvic area, are strong indications. The woman may experience a heavy flow of blood or other discharge. Stiffness or arthritis, especially in the finger-joints, may be seen in a person who needs this remedy.

Chamomilla: This remedy is indicated when the person’s mood and nerves are so sensitive that pains seem almost unbearable. Anger and irritability may be extreme (or pain and cramping may come on after the woman has been angry). The menstrual flow can be heavy, and the blood may look dark or clotted. Pain often extends from the pelvic area into the thighs, and may be worse at night. Heating pads or exposure to wind can aggravate the symptoms. Vigorous walking or moving around in other ways may help relieve the pain.

Cimicifuga (also called Actaea Racemosa): Cramping and pain that get worse as the flow increases, back and neck pain with muscle tension, and sharp pains like shocks that shoot upward, down the thighs, or across the pelvis, are all indications for this remedy. The woman is likely to be nervous, enthusiastic, and talkative by nature, yet feel pessimistic and fearful when unwell.

Cocculus: This remedy is indicated when a woman has cramping or pressing pain in the pelvic or abdominal region, along with weakness or dizziness. She may be inclined toward headaches or nausea, and parts of her body can feel numb or hollow. Feeling worse from standing up or from any kind of exertion and feeling better from lying down and sleeping are typical. (Cocculus is often indicated when a person has not been sleeping well and then feels weak or ill.)

Colocynthis: Sharp, cutting, tearing pains that make the person double over bring this remedy to mind. Cramping may be felt throughout the pelvic area or be focused near the ovaries. The woman feels restless from the pain, but lying down and keeping hard pressure and warmth on the area improve things. This remedy is often indicated if problems are worsened by emotional upsets, especially after feeling anger or suppressing it.

Lachesis: Women who have intense discomfort and tension before the menstrual period begins and feel much better when the flow is established may benefit from this remedy. Symptoms include a bearing-down sensation in the pelvis, flushes of heat, headache, and an inability to tolerate the touch of clothing around the waist or neck. A person who needs this remedy may feel “like a pressure cooker”: intense and passionate, needing an outlet both physically and emotionally.

Lilium tigrinum: Indications for this remedy include great premenstrual irritability (making other people “walk on eggs”) and cramping pain with a bearing-down feeling during periods. The woman may feel as if her uterus is pushing out, and may need to sit a lot or cross her legs. She is likely to feel worse from strong emotions or excitement and be better from fresh air.

Magnesia phosphorica: Painful cramps and pain in the pelvic region that are relieved by pressure and warmth often respond to this remedy. Periods may start too early, often with a dark or stringy discharge, and pain is usually worse on the right side of the body. The woman is sensitive and inclined toward “nerve pain”—feeling worse from being cold and also worse at night.

Nux vomica: This remedy may be indicated when a woman has irregular menstrual periods with constricting pains that can extend to the rectum or the area above the tailbone. The woman tends to be impatient, irritable, and easily offended. Chilliness and constipation are also common. Mental strain, anger, physical exertion, stimulants, strong foods, and alcohol are likely to make things worse. Warmth and rest often help.

Pulsatilla: Delayed or suppressed menstrual flow accompanied by nausea or faintness suggests the use of this remedy. Getting too warm or being in a stuffy room make things worse. Cramping pain with a bearing-down feeling, either with scanty flow or thick, dark, clotted discharge, can also occur—symptoms that are changeable often point to Pulsatilla. The woman’s moods are changeable as well, and a desire for attention and sympathy, along with a sensitive (even tearful) emotional state are typical. This remedy is indicated during many conditions involving hormonal changes and is often helpful to girls who have recently started having periods.

Sepia: Indications for this remedy include painful, late, or suppressed menstruation, sometimes with a feeling that the pelvic floor is weak or as if the uterus is sagging. The woman may feel irritable, dragged out, and sad—losing interest temporarily in marital and family interactions, wanting to be left alone. Dampness, perspiring, and doing housework may aggravate the symptoms. Warmth and exercise, especially dancing, often brighten the woman’s outlook and restore some energy.

Veratrum album: Menstrual periods with a very heavy flow and cramping, along with feeling of exhaustion, chilliness, and even vomiting and diarrhea, are indications for this remedy. The periods may start too early and go on too long. Discomfort is often worse at night and also in wet, cold weather. Warm drinks, exercise, or moving the bowels may make things worse. Small meals, cold drinks, and wrapping up in warm clothes or covers will tend to bring relief.

Homeopathy Dosage Directions

Select the remedy that most closely matches the symptoms. In conditions where self-treatment is appropriate, unless otherwise directed by a physician, a lower potency (6X, 6C, 12X, 12C, 30X, or 30C) should be used. In addition, instructions for use are usually printed on the label.

Many homeopathic physicians suggest that remedies be used as follows: Take one dose and wait for a response. If improvement is seen, continue to wait and let the remedy work. If improvement lags significantly or has clearly stopped, another dose may be taken. The frequency of dosage varies with the condition and the individual. Sometimes a dose may be required several times an hour; other times a dose may be indicated several times a day; and in some situations, one dose per day (or less) can be sufficient.

If no response is seen within a reasonable amount of time, select a different remedy.

For more information, including references, see What is Homeopathy? and Understanding Homeopathic Potencies.

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