Menstrual problems are a major cause of morbidity among the adolescent girls. The prevalence of the menstrual pain varies from 50% to 90%. In spite of the frequency and severity of dysmenorrhoea, most women do not seek medical treatment for this condition as they lack knowledge of and experience with effective treatment.
Previous studies so far, have emphasized mainly on the medicinal management of painful menses which has definite side effects after long term use. Home remedies and behavioural therapy for management of menstrual cramps have not received the desired attention Considering the above situation, a study was done by the authors in Chandigarh, India to estimate the prevalence of primary dysmenorrhoea and to measure the effect of exercise and hot water bottle on the occurrence and severity of primary dysmenorrhoea among the school girls of Chandigarh.The study showed that prevalence of dysmenorrhoea in the study population was 58.52%. Backache (62.5%) & general aches and pains (31.2%) were among the first two common physical distresses; of the psychological effects mood swing (73.4%), irritability (70.3%), fatigue (70.3%) were more frequently reported. But only 11(8.6%) out of 128 suffering girls had consulted a doctor. A trial was devised with two intervention packages- exercise & hot water bottle use. According to the result of randomized controlled trial, there was an increase in the number of girls who were cured of menstrual pain and distress, after practising exercises or using hot water bottle. In the exercise group 28.3% girls became completely cured of pain at the end of 3rd month compared to 37.33% in the hot water bottle group. In each group, more than 85% of the subjects had some form of relief.
Thus, both exercise & hot water bottle have proved to be successful in home based management of primary dysmenorrhoea. Encouraged by these results, a booklet ( in English and hindi) has been published by Dr. Aditi Chaudhuri, Prof(Dr.) Amarjeet Singh and Prof(Dr.) L.K. Dhaliwal of Post Graduate Institute Of Medical Education & Research ( PGIMER), Chandigarh in the form of ‘A Simple Solution To Painful Menses’ (Century Publications, New Delhi . Rs.50/-). The hope is that it will be useful for the adolescent girls with menstrual distress.