Dysmenorrhea, or painful menses, is one of the most common complaints among reproductive age women. Primary dysmenorrhea refers to crampy, recurrent, menstrual pain in the absence of demonstrable pelvic disease, such as endometriosis, uterine fibroids, pelvic inflammatory disease, or adenomyosis. The latter comprise some of the causes of secondary dysmenorrhea.

Treatment: Primary dysmenorrhea is conventionally treated through the use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications and sometimes hormonal preparations. Increasingly, nutritional supplements such as fish oil, vitamin B1, B6, and vitamin E, are finding common currency in the therapeutic stock-in-trade, as well as heat applications.

Dr. Cooke has had great success in treating women with simple nutritional modification. Acupuncture has also been demonstrated to help many women to eliminate their painful cramps.

Title: Factors predisposing women to chronic pelvic pain: systematic review.
Author: Latthe P; Mignini L; Gray R; Hills R; Khan K
Source: BMJ. 2006 Apr 1;332(7544):749-55. Epub 2006 Feb 16.

Title: Acupuncture in patients with dysmenorrhea: a randomized study on clinical
effectiveness and cost-effectiveness in usual care.
Author: Witt CM; Reinhold T; Brinkhaus B; Roll S; Jena S; Willich SN
Source: Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2008 Feb;198(2):166.e1-8

Title: Acupuncture for the management of primary dysmenorrhea.
Author: Helms JM
Source: Obstet Gynecol 1987 Jan;69(1):51-6.