Questions and Answers - Menstrual pain and discomfort (Dysmenorrhoea)

Menstrual pain and discomfort (Dysmenorrhoea)


I have been experiencing pain over the past year with cramps occuring a week before menstruation which radiates to my back. A friend recommended that I try Acupuncture and I was wondering if it could help?

The pain that you are experiencing is a common feature during the onset of a menstrual cycle. This pain usually occurs in the lower abdomen and may occur in the low back as you have experienced.


The term given to the occurence of painful menstrual cramps of the uterus is Dysmenorrhoea. It is one of the most common gynaecological conditions that women face.

A little pain and discomfort is considered to be normal and is referred to as primary dysmenorrhoea. If the pain and discomfort increases over time then further tests may be required to rule out any other causes of the pain. Secondary dysmenorrhoea is caused by an underlying process occuring. In teenagers, an inflammatory condition called endometriosis is a common cause. Other causes of secondary dysmenorrhoea are polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), infection, miscarriage or eptopic pregnancy.

The usual Western Medical therapy involves non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or the oral contraceptive pill. Both these methods reduce muscle activity in the uterus. These drugs have several side effects. These treatments are aimed at the symptomatic relief of the condition.

Acupuncture is indicated as a useful method for treating dysmenorrhoea. The acupuncture will work well for the pain which depending on the person will usually subside after a few treatments.

Your Acupuncturist will ask several questions to identify the underlying cause of your discomfort. Lifestyle factors such as stress, diet and emotional factors may be contributing to the problem.

There are many different treatment methods for menstrual pain and discomfort including Acupuncture needling, electronic stimulation of Acupuncture points and herbal therapy. Your Acupuncturist will determine which method is best suited for your condition.

Related research archive articles:

1.)  Acupuncture for primary dysmenorrhoea.

2.)  Immediate Analgesia Effect of Single Point Acupuncture in Primary Dysmenorrhea: A Randomized Controlled Trial.

3.)  The Alteration of Pain Sensitivity at Disease-Specific Acupuncture Points in Premenstrual Syndrome.

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