It can be defined as pain which is in relation to menses that is troublesome so as to disable a woman from performing her routine chores.
Dysmenorrhea can be classified into primary dysmenorrhea where no underlying pathology can be demonstrated and secondary dysmenorrhea which has a definitive underlying causative pathology.
On the basis of the character, dysmenorrhea can also be classified into spasmodic and membranous type.
As the names suggest, the spasmodic type of dysmenorrhea involves severe pain which waxes and wanes in intensity with the contraction and relaxation of the uterus while the membranous variety has actual shedding of chunks of meaty portions of the innermost wall of the uterus called the endometrium. Very often dysmenorrhea is accompanied by a whole lot of symptoms such as giddiness, nausea, vomiting, muscle cramps, fever, etc.
Excessive production of prostaglandins is one of the major causes for most signs and symptoms of dysmenorrhea. Primary dysmenorrhea is almost wholly due to this and may be due to a tight cervix, the mouth of the uterus. Such cases improve totally after a normal child birth due to stretching of the uterine musculature. Secondary dysmenorrhea, however, needs proper investigating into in order to know the causative pathology. The underlying pathology needs to be treated to control painful menses. Pain-killers can only offer temporary relief. The common causes of secondary dysmenorrhea are pelvic infections, congestive or inflammatory conditions within the pelvis like endometriosis, uterine tumors such as polyps or fibroids, and the presence of a foreign body such as an intrauterine contraceptive device [IUCD].
Homeopathy has a promising role to play in cases of dysmenorrhea. The medicines are known to reduce the severity of the pain as well as to treat the cause, whenever possible. Every patient with dysmenorrhea may present with a different set of individual symptoms, which are carefully noted while deciding the homeopathic line of treatment. Homeopathic treatment is strongly suggested.