Remedies for Menstrual Difficulties
Nov 12, 2020
Complex interactions between hormones are responsible for the onset of menstruation in puberty. These interactions are also responsible for the rhythms and duration of the menstrual cycles during reproductive years and the end of menstruation at menopause. The hypothalamus gland is the start for hormonal control sending gonadotropin to the pituitary gland. The pituitary gland releases luteinizing hormones and follicle-stimulating hormones to the ovaries. The ovaries produce estrogen and progesterone which ultimately control menstruation.
Many things can influence the hormonal cycles. There are many chemicals in our environment now that mimic hormones in our bodies. They can be found in foods, plastics, insecticides, and a host of other things. Hormones are also influenced by emotions. How we respond to the challenges and successes in our lives directly affects our hormones. In this complex world we live in, it is not surprising that there are many difficulties with menstruation. I view hormones like the instruments in an orchestra. When they are being played without a conductor, it sounds much like noise. But when they are playing together the most beautiful sounds of the symphony are created.
Menstruation is the shedding of the lining of the uterus accompanied by bleeding, commonly called a period. It occurs approximately every 28 days (21-40) except during pregnancy and after menopause. Menstruation marks the reproductive years of a woman’s life starting with menarche, the first period, and ending with menopause. Day one of the menstrual cycle is marked by the onset of bleeding. The period usually lasts from 5-7 days. During this follicular phase, the lining of the uterus is released and any unfertilized eggs are flushed from the body. Blood loss during the period averages 4.5 ounces.
Medical terms for menstrual difficulties as defined:
- Amenorrhea - Absence of periods
- Dysmenorrhea - Painful periods
- Hypomenorrhea - Unusually light periods
- Menometrorrhagia - Prolonged bleeding that occur at irregular intervals.
- Menorrhagia - Unusually long and heavy periods
- Metrorrhagia - Bleeding that occurs at frequent and irregular intervals.
- Oligomenorrhea - Unusually infrequent periods.
- Polymenorrhea - Unusually frequent periods.
- Postmenopausal bleeding - Bleeding after menopause.
- Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) - Physical and psychological symptoms that occur before the start of a period.
- Primary Amenorrhea - No periods ever starting at puberty.
- Secondary Amenorrhea - Periods that have stopped.
In the Complete 2013 Repertory, there are many rubrics that cover menstrual difficulties and the nuances of those symptoms. I have included the major rubrics here. Because of the number of remedies in each rubric, I have elected to not include them here and will address particular remedies and their indications below.
- female; MENSES; delayed in girls, first menses (74)
- female; MENSES; early, too, frequent (406)
- female; MENSES; late, too (275)
- female; MENSES; intermittent (111)
- female; MENSES; irregular (133)
- female; MENSES; painful, dysmenorrhea (442)
- female; MENSES; profuse (437)
- female; MENSES; protracted, prolonged (245)
- female; MENSES; return after having ceased, periods (70)
- female; MENSES; scanty (328)
- female; MENSES; short, too (133)
- female; MENSES; absent, amenorrhea (276)
The remedies covered in every one of these rubrics are Pulsatilla, Sepia, Lachesis, Sulphur, Kali Carbonicum, Lycopodium, and Cocculus. Naturally, these poly-chrest remedies would be indicated. I will go over the remedies that I think are the most useful in menstrual difficulties. These remedies are not a complete list by any means. Study your Repertory for rubrics related to the menses. Study the remedies from different rubrics to learn more about how to treat these conditions. Remember the remedy is for the person and not the dis-ease. So no remedy will be for a menstrual condition only. Use this information within the context of a case. There will always be mental and emotional symptoms of the person that will point to the remedy also. Never neglect these.
- Belladonna – Menses increased. Bright red. Too early and too profuse. Offensive and Hot. Violent pains bearing down as if everything would fall out. Worse lying down. Rush of blood to the head.
- Calcarea Carbonica – Amenorrhea when first menses is delayed. Menses too early, too profuse and too long-lasting. Menses late in flabby girls with a tendency to perspire. Infertility with copious menses. Excitement brings on dysmenorrhea.
- Cimicifuga – Amenorrhea. Pains shoot down to thighs or across from hip to hip. Menses irregular in time and amount. More flow equals more pain. Menses suppressed from emotions or cold. Convulsions at time of menses. Mania. Great debility between menses. Feels under a dark cloud. Fear of impending evil. Doom, gloom and dejection. Mental symptoms better by menses.
- Conium Maculatum – Dysmenorrhea with drawing down the thighs. Menses irregular. Too late and scanty. Pimples appearing with menses and disappearing after. Ailments from suppressed desire and menses. Breasts sore and hard before and during menses.
- Ferrum Metallicum – Weak and delicate women yet have a fiery face. Menses pale, watery. too early and too profuse. Menses stops after a day or two then returns. Excited from the slightest opposition. Always in the right.
- Hammemelis – Vicarious menses. Menses dark, profuse, with soreness in abdomen. Bleeding between periods only in the daytime. Passive uterine hemorrhage. Inter-menstrual pain.
- Helonias – Conscious of the womb. Menses too frequent and too profuse. menses suppressed and kidneys congested. Debility with menopause. hemorrhage from atony of dark foul blood.
- Kali Carbonicum – Amenorrhea. Copious flow with violent backache. Difficult or delayed first menses. Menses early with profuse discharge. Late with scanty and pale discharge. PMS with swollen breasts and water retention. Sitting ameliorates.
- Lachesis – Menopausal troubles. Acts especially well at the beginning and end of menses. Menses too short. The less the flow the more the pain. Dysmenorrhea the first day. Desire for open air. All symptoms relieved by the flow.
- Lilium Tigrinum – Menses early, scanty dark and offensive. Flow only when moving about. Bearing down as if all organ would escape. Sexual desire increased.
- Lycoposium – Menses too late and lasts too long. Too profuse. Discharge of blood when passing a stool.
- Magnesium Carbonicum – Sore throat before menses. Nasal congestion before menses. Menses thick, dark, tarry like. Too late and too scanty. Menses flows only in sleep. Profuse at night. Ceases while walking.
- Medorrhinum – Menses profuse, dark and clotted. Urination frequent during menses. Sterility. Intense menstrual colic. Metrorrhagia. Time passes too slowly. Everything seems unreal. Wild feeling. fear of the dark and someone behind her. High sex drive.
- Murex – Hypochondiasis and depressed state. Anxiety better with flow. Memory weak, cannot express themselves. Great sexual desire. Menses irregular, profuse, frequent and clotted. Greta prostration. Dysmeorrhea with displacement of uterus. Must keep legs tightly crossed.
- Nux Vomica – Menses too early, lasts too long, always irregular. Black blood. Pain in sacrum and constant urging to stool. Frequent urination. Profuse bleeding after miscarriage. Irritable. Takes things with bad temper. Sensitive, can not bear noise, light, odors. Fault finding. Reproaches others. Angry when consoled.
- Phosphorus – Frequent and short bleeding between periods. Menses too early, scanty, not profuse and lasts too long. Leucorrhea instead of menses. Amenorrhea with vicarious bleeding or milk in the breast. Nose bleed instead of menses.
- Platina – Painfully sensitive genitals, with itching, tickling, or crawling. Menses too early, profuse and dark clotted. Bearing down pains. Frequent sensation as if menses would appear. Amenorrhea in emigrants. Haughty. Contempt for others. Changeable moods. Feels she is not a part of her own family.
- Pulsatilla – Amenorrhea. First menses late. Never well since pregnancy. Suppressed menses from wet feet or nervous debility, Dysmenorrhea. Menses too late, scanty after bathing, clotted dark and thick. Menses changeable, intermittent, irregular and vicarious. Postpartum hemorrhages from retained placenta. Mils, moody, weeping easily. Changeable nature. Fixed ideas about food, sex, religion. Craves sympathy. Fear of abandonment.
- Sabina – Uterine hemorrhage from least motion. Tendency to abortion, especially the third month. Dysmenorrhea better for lying flat on back with limbs extended. Menses too early, too profuse, Gushing hot, watery blood. Bright red with mixed clots. Pains extend to the thighs. Pains shooting up to vagina. Pains from sacrum to pubis, below upwards. Bleeding between periods with excitement. Retained placenta. Music is intolerable, produces nervousness. Listless, weakness of memory. Great anxiety, fear, and apprehension.
- Senecio Aurius – Menses retarded or suppressed. Functional amenorrhea in young girls with a backache. Before menses inflammatory condition of the throat, chest, and bladder. After menstruation, these conditions improve. Menses premature, too profuse. Elated and sad alternating. Self-centered. Hard to fix the mind on one subject. The female regulator. Menses delayed or absent.
- Sepia – Menses too late and scanty. Early and profuse with sharp pains. Violent stitches upward in the vagina, from uterus to umbilicus. Prolapse of uterus and vagina. Bearing down sensation as if everything would protrude. Never well since puberty or after hormone birth control. Metrorrhagia at the time of menopause. Loves a thunderstorm. Loss of sex drive. Angry, sensitive, irritable. Aversion to those loved best, and company yet dreads being alone. Women who hate men.
- Sulphur – Menses too late, short, scant, and difficult. Thick black blood, acrid, making parts sore. Menses preceded by headache or suddenly stopped. Much offensive perspiration. Intellectuals. Philosophical reveries with fixed ideas. Selfish. Imagines herself a great person.
- Tarantula Hispanica – Profuse menstruation with frequent erotic spasms. Dysmenorrhea. Nervous conditions. Menses early. Sensitive ovaries. Destructive impulses. Love to dance. Erratic and lacks control.
- Ustilago Maydis – Hemorrhages. Flabby condition of the uterus. Vicarious menstruation. Uterine fibroid, bleeding. Menses half liquid, half clotted, bright red, worse from the slightest provocation.Menorrhagia at menopause. Oozing of dark blood, clotted, forming long black strings. Postpartum hemorrhage. Ovarian pain, burning, swollen. Bearing down pains when child nurses. Sad, depressed. Cannot bear to see anyone. Irritability, worse being asked a question.
- Viburnum Opulus – Conscious of sexual organs. Menses too late, scanty lasting only a few hours. Offensive odor. Cramps extending down front of thighs. Bearing down pains before menses. Aching is sacrum and pubis. Worse coughing and walking.
There are any more remedies and rubrics that are applicable to any case. The rubrics that are most useful are those that have a strange, rare, or peculiar symptom and some unique mental symptoms as well. Remember, the remedy is for the person and not just the dis-ease. When we go over particular conditions, we must never lose sight of this.
Treating menstrual difficulties is a little tricky because it happens only one time per month. It is challenging to approach such a process as acute. A woman’s hormonal cycles are part of a much bigger picture and time-frame. They are usually reflective of a chronic condition. When a pattern is established, the true picture of the dis-ease will become apparent.
I find that most women respond well to a daily dose and lower potencies to start treatment. On occasion, I will give a remedy prior to the start of the menses if it is appropriate. Sometimes menstrual difficulties begin after a woman has been on a chronic remedy for some time. In this case, it is much more like an acute and treating the symptoms prior or during menstruation is necessary. Many times, a different remedy will be indicated to treat at that time. Never stop the support of the chronic remedy when giving an acute remedy simultaneously.
Study the repertory and Materia Medica. Get a feel for the language of the repertory as it reflects symptoms. Studying the repertory will make it easier to find the rubric you are looking for when you are involved in a case. By studying different remedies, you will be a bit more familiar with them when the time comes to consider remedies for the case. Doing these tasks will make you a much better homeopath.
Keep the conversation going! I would love to hear your questions and thoughts below!