Primary Dysmenorrhea: A Review with Special Reference to Unani Concepts

Hina Rehman, Wajeeha Begum, Humyra Tabasum, Farzana Anjum


Dysmenorrhea is potentially the most common and most underdiagnosed gynecologic condition. It is characterized by crampy lower abdominal pain radiating to back and thigh. Nausea, vomiting, headache and diarrhea are frequent accompanying symptoms. An excess or imbalance of prostaglandins, vasopressin, and chemical substances derived from phospholipids play an important role in generating primary dysmenorrhea symptoms, although exact pathology is still difficult to understand. An estimated 10–30% of all working or studying women lose 1–3 working days per month due to dysmenorrhea. Despite the high prevalence, most of the girls are under-treated because of common societal beliefs regarding a lack of effective treatment and expectations about the burden of menstruation. Although conventional medicines are the initial first line therapy, some women may not always find them effective or acceptable due to intolerance or contraindications. A number of alternative and complementary therapies are available; Unani system of medicine is one of them. The condition is clearly described by various legendary Unani physicians as Darde Rehm centuries earlier. The focus of this review article is on Unani concept and modern aspect of primary dysmenorrhea.

Keywords: Primary dysmenorrhea, Unani system, prostaglandins, Darde Rehm


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