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Dysmenorrhea And Traditional Chinese Medicine In China


Dysmenorrhea (painful menstruation) means that women have periodic pain during or prior to or after menstrual period in the lower abdomen or even faint in severe cases. It has been customary to classify cases of dysmenorrhea into two main groups: primary or functional dysmenorrhea referring to the one which is not caused by organic diseases, and secondary dysmenorrhea referring to the one caused by organic diseases in reproductive system.


Main Points of Diagnosis


1. The pain in the lower abdomen appears with menstrual cycle.


2. The pain can spread over the whole abdomen, lumbosacral region or there is dragging pain in the vulva and anus. It varies in degrees and can be relieved when the menstrual blood flows smoothly.


3. Gynecological examination: Those without organic diseases in the pelvic cavity are primary dysmenorrhea; those with organic diseases in the pelvic cavity are secondary dysmenorrhea.


Differentiation and Treatment of Common Syndromes


1. Blood Stasis due to Stagnation of Qi

Main Symptoms and Signs: Distending pain and tenderness in the lower abdomen one or two days prior to or during menstruation accompanied with fullness sensation in the chest, hypochondrium and breast, deep-purple blood with clots, relief of pain after discharge of clots, ecchymoses on the tongue edges, string-like pulse.

Therapeutic Principle: Regulating the flow of qi and removing blood stasis to alleviate the pain.


2. Stagnancy of Cold and Dampness

Main Symptoms and Signs: Distending pain in the lower abdomen several days prior to or during menstruation, which can be relieved by warmth, menstrual flow scanty in amount, dark in color and with clots, pale tongue with white and greasy fur, deep and tense pulse.

Therapeutic Principle: Warming the channels and expelling dampness to arrest pain.


3. Deficiency of Both Qi and Blood

Main Symptoms and Signs: Vague pain in the lower abdomen during or 1-2 days after menstruation which can be relieved by pressing, scanty menstruation with reddish and thin blood, accompanied with lack of vitality and asthenia, pale tongue with white and thin fur, thready and weak pulse.

Therapeutic Principle: Invigorating qi and enriching the blood to alleviate pain.