Normal menstruation or the period occurs as a result of cyclic hormonal changes. The female reproductive system consists of the ovaries, the uterus and the fallopian tube which connects the two, and the vaginal outlet.
The ovaries produce eggs (ova) and are the main source of female hormones, which control the development of female body characteristics such as the body shape, breasts, and body hair. During each monthly menstrual cycle, an egg is released from one ovary. The egg travels from the ovary through the Fallopian tube to the uterus. Unless pregnancy occurs, the cycle ends with the shedding of part of the inner lining of uterus, which results in menstruation. The day on which the period begins is counted as the first day of the cycle.
The beginning of periods seen in a young female around the age of 12-14 years is known as menarche. The menstruation stops with the change in the hormones at the age of 45- 50, and this is known as menopause.
Menstrual cramps/ period pains
The monthly menstrual cycle for a lot of women can be painful, in some cases severely painful, to the extent of needing medication and preventing them from doing their routine work. In homeopathy, there is sure and excellent treatment for menstrual cramps.
The condition, called dysmenorrhoea, can begin at menarche- the age at which a girl first attains periods; and continues right through to the menopausal age. While there is mostly no underlying pathology in most cases, secondary dysmenorrhoea is a symptom of a preexisting disease. The most common cause of secondary dysmenorrhoea is endometriosis, ovarian cysts, and a copper IUD.
Types- there are two types of Dysmenorrhoea; congestive and spasmodic. The pains in spasmodic dysmenorrhoea are very severe, and are almost as bad as labor pains. This condition is recurrent with every period, and generally subsides after the woman goes through childbirth. Congestive Dysmenorrhoea tends to be slightly less severe in intensity, but is still debilitating, and continues right through. PMS symptoms may also accompany and aggravate this condition.
The intensity of symptoms varies from person to person and from one period to another.
The pain, mostly cramping pain, comes on in the abdominal region, the low back, and can extend to the thighs and legs. The pain is disabling, preventing the person from doing their regular work at home, or going to work. There may be nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea and headache with severe pain. Fatigue and high irritability are also common.
There may be excessive blood loss during the period, a condition called menorrhagia, which can co-exist with the pain.
Hot fomentation - can reduce the level of pain.
Practice of yogasanas to tone the uterus, and relieve the back or abdominal cramp.
Homeopathic medication is very effective in curing this problem. The chronic treatment, given after taking a detailed medical and gynecological history, cures this condition. Painless periods can be achieved within 3-6 cycles of beginning treatment, while the relief in the intensity of symptoms is seen within a few weeks of starting treatment.
Acute medication is also given to relieve the pain, which are extremely effective, and minus the side effects of increasing the nausea and vomiting. The medication acts to relieve the spasms or cramps immediately, allowing the person to continue with their routine activity.
These are a combination of physical and emotional symptoms, which can vary in intensity between cycles. The symptoms begin post ovulation and last till the onset of the period. The symptoms are attributed to the change in the hormonal levels. These symptoms can become exaggerated with irregular menses, during menopause, and with underlying conditions like PCOD.
The emotional symptoms can be varied and range from excessive anger and irritability, to anxiety and depression, tension, crying, oversensitivity, and exaggerated mood swings.
These symptoms can be severe when complicated with mental or emotional stress, aggravating the condition.
The physical symptoms are - Fatigue and bloating or water retention. Tenderness or pain in breasts. Acne and greasy or very dry skin. Appetite changes with food cravings. Headaches or migraines can aggravate during this period, as can gastric symptoms. Back aches and cramps can also occur.
This is best treated with Homeopathic medication which can cure the symptoms along with the underlying hormonal disturbance, without the need for anti depressants or hormonal therapy.
Irregular menses is a common problem. This can be of two types. One is delayed and scanty menses- the cycles are prolonged with the periods occurring once in 2-6 months, with scanty flow. This is common after menarche, and in women in the twenties.
The cause can be anemia, poly cystic ovarian disease (PCOD), hypo thyroid condition etc. This may also occur due to anxiety or stress related problems.
In PCOD, the ovarian secretion of hormones is disturbed due to the multiple cysts, affecting the cycle. This is a common condition especially in young women, which when untreated for a long time, can lead to difficulty in conceiving.
Treating the underlying condition can correct the problem of irregular menses. Homeopathic medication is given to regularize the cycle, and correct the flow. The underlying condition can also be treated with Homeopathic medication, relieving the condition and hence the symptoms of the irregular menstruation.
This is frequent menses, with heavy flow, which is prolonged. The cycle can occur every 15 days, with heavy flow lasting for 7-15 days. This is common at the onset of menopause and during its course. This can be due to uterine disease, like fibroids of the uterus, bulky uterus etc. Excessive tiredness and backache are common symptoms as a result of the prolonged flow.
It is important to address this issue immediately to prevent anemia and other complications. Homeopathic medicines offer a very good alternate treatment to surgery. The need for hysterectomy or removal of the uterus can be prevented with the medication. Fibroids regress with the treatment and recurrence, and the symptoms from the fibroids can be prevented. The constitutional homeopathic treatment is good for preventing and treating these conditions.
Uterine fibroids are tumors or lumps made of muscle cells and other tissue that grow within the wall of the uterus. Fibroids may grow as a single tumor or in clusters.
A single fibroid can be less than one inch in size or can grow to eight inches across or more. A bunch or cluster of fibroids can also vary in size.
Most fibroids grow within the wall of the uterus. Fibroids are put into three groups based on where they grow, Submucosal fibroids grow just underneath the uterine lining, Intramural fibroids grow in between the muscles of the uterus, Subserosal fibroids.
Following menopause, when estrogen is no longer produced, tumors tend to shrink and even disappear. Obesity and hypertension increase the risk of fibroids. Fibroids grow when taking birth control pills containing estrogen.
The condition is many times asymptomatic. The symptoms may show up when the fibroid is of a significant size.
- painful periods
- prolonged and heavy menstrual bleeding (which may lead to iron deficiency or anemia)
- more frequent or uncomfortable urination caused by pressure on the bladder
- feeling of fullness or pressure in the lower abdomen
- pelvic pain
- infertility or miscarriage in younger women.
Yoga - regular practice of yoga helps in improving the general health of the uterus. Yogasanas aimed at the abdomen and pelvis helps in maintaining the circulation to the uterus and the ovaries thereby creating a balance of the hormones.
Acute management-The first focus would be on reducing the excessive menstrual flow and the symptoms. Certain tinctures help in controlling the blood loss immediately.
Long term management- The constitutional treatment aims at reducing the further growth of the fibroid and prevents the appearance of new ones. In due course of time the existing fibroids decrease in size and disappear.
The surgical removal of the fibroid or the uterus is not necessary, and the condition is treated with Homeopathic medication.
Poly cystic ovarian disease- PCOD
Polycystic ovary disease or syndrome (PCOS) is a disorder in which many benign cysts form on the ovaries. Cysts are fluid-filled sacs that result from ovulation cycles. It is most common in women in their twenties and late teens.
Imbalance of the LH (luteinizing hormone) and FSH (follicle-stimulating hormone) hormones prevents the ovaries from releasing an egg each month. The ovaries produce more of the male hormone testosterone. They continue to produce oestrogen but not progesterone.
- Women with polycystic ovaries start having menstrual periods at a normal age. After a year or two of regular menstruation, the periods become quite irregular and infrequent.
- Irregular menstrual periods, long cycles – periods may occur once in 2- 3 months.
- The flow during the period is scanty or very heavy
- excessive hair on the upper lip, chin, chest and lower abdomen
- Severe acne before period
- Tenderness and or pain in the breasts can indicate simultaneous cysts in the breasts.
- Obesity may be a resultant condition
- Some women may have difficulty conceiving, and some cases may lead to infertility. Many women with PCOD have no trouble conceiving though and the condition can improve post delivery.
Confirmed diagnosis is through an ultrasound scan and blood tests to check hormone levels
Medication is given to regulate the cycles. The medication does not contain hormones or steroids. Within 2-5 months of beginning medication, the cycles start to be regular. The periods are tracked and the treatment is tapered down as they get regular. The other effects, like acne, cysts in the breasts, and hormonal imbalance improve simultaneously.
Inability to conceive even after 1year of unprotected sex is called infertility.
Some of the most basic obstacles to conception are- Inability to asses the fertile period due to irregular cycles, recurrent urinary tract infections and acrid vaginal discharge, which needs to be treated, while on treatment for anxiety or depression.
The causes of infertility are pathology or disease in the genital system in the male or female. PCOD, uterine fibroids, tubal block are common causes. In males azoospermia, and hormonal disturbance can be the lading cause. Underlying medical conditions like anemia, hormonal disorders, or thyroid conditions can also cause infertility.
Conception is the process of the union of the sperm and ovum, which then gets implanted into the uterus.
To asses the fertile period – The few days before, during and after ovulation are a woman's "fertile period" - the time when she can become pregnant. The ovum is released from the ovaries every month at a certain time in the menstrual cycle.
To count the cycle- A cycle is counted from the first day of one period (menstruation) to the first day of the next. An average cycle is 28 days, but anywhere from 23 to 35 days is normal. The day when bleeding starts is counted as the first day of a given cycle. The ovulation in a 28-day cycle would be day 14. Because the lengths of menstrual cycles vary, many women ovulate earlier or later than day 14 of the cycle.
Ideal time to conceive- To successfully conceive, it is best to have intercourse in the fertile period starting at about 2-3 days before ovulation. Usually, the fertile period in a woman, with a 28 days cycle, extends from day 11 to day 18. It is important to keep a track of the periods.
Ensuring a healthy and natural conception
One of the most common reasons for the not conceiving, in the absence of a diagnosable medical condition is when either or both partners are working with hectic schedules, are under stress and also have a lack of sleep and lack of good nutrition. This can bring the desire to intercourse down, resulting in a hormonal and chemical imbalance in the body. It is important that both the partners are relaxed, and not feel tenser with the pressure of wanting to conceive.
Homeopathic treatment for infertility is very effective, showing a very good rate of fertility after treatment. The advantage also is the lack of side effects, so that besides treating the specific condition, the treatment makes one healthier in the process. It is absolutely safe, and has no adverse effects on the resulting pregnancy or the fetus.
The treatment for infertility in homeopathy is focused on dealing with the cause for infertility such as, abnormal vaginal discharges, irregular periods etc. PCOD, fibroids, hormonal disorders, and thyroid conditions can also be treated with Homeopathy. As these problems are set right, the conception can be planned.
Where there is no diagnosable disease, the treatment given is the constitutional treatment, based on the on the body type of the individual, which corrects any abnormalities in the Neuro-endocrine-chemical balance of the body, and setting the abnormal processes right. Homeopathic treatment is used to ensure a healthy conception and pregnancy and is aimed at improving the immunity of the person, and can be given to both spouses.