Questionnaire helps to clearly identify menstrual symptoms. Researchers are developing questionnaires to diagnose menstrual cramps
Almost every woman knows the symptoms of premenstrual complaints, which occur regularly as part of the monthly bleeding. Around four out of five women (80 percent) suffer from corresponding physical and psychological complaints during menstruation.
While most women are not restricted by the menstrual complaints in everyday and professional life, about four to 20 percent of them are so severely affected that they actually need therapy. Both the physical complaints such as pain and psychological problems such as mood swings or irritability can be avoided with the help of such therapy, explained the private lecturer Gunther Meinlschmidt and the psychologist Dorothée Bentz from the Faculty of Psychology at the University of Basel in the current issue of Specialist magazine "The Nerve Doctor".
Limitations due to premenstrual complaints The scientists at the University of Basel report that in up to 20 percent of all women of childbearing age, the physical and psychological symptoms of premenstrual complaints are so pronounced that those affected are severely restricted in their private and professional lives. The symptoms were often not recognized by doctors and other therapists and therefore remained untreated, despite existing effective therapeutic options, the experts explained. For this reason, the researchers at the University of Basel, in collaboration with Canadian colleagues from McMaster University in Hamilton, have developed a questionnaire that is designed to quickly identify whether or not women should be treated because of their menstrual problems.
Previous diagnostic procedures for menstrual symptoms were too complex. The previous diagnostic methods would have provided for a daily assessment of the symptoms over two menstrual cycles, which, however, meant a considerable effort for both those affected and for doctors and was therefore often omitted, according to the Swiss researchers. The questionnaire now submitted, however, the diagnosis and the subsequent treatment is significantly simplified. The new “Screening Instrument for Premenstrual Symptoms” (SIPS) enables clinical practitioners to quickly and easily determine in a matter of minutes whether women suffer from premenstrual symptoms that require treatment, the scientists emphasized.
Significance of the questionnaire on menstrual cramps confirmed When developing the questionnaire for screening premenstrual cramps, the researchers concentrated on the translation of a short questionnaire, which is often used in English-speaking countries to diagnose menstrual cramps. The researchers then checked its usefulness by having women with and without menstrual cramps fill out the questionnaire and then comparing the results with the daily internet-based assessments of women. The informative value of the questionnaire was clearly confirmed, so that, in the opinion of the researchers, it should urgently be integrated into clinical practice in the future.
Treatment of menstrual cramps in naturopathy Numerous methods are offered in naturopathy to treat menstrual cramps, which are intended to alleviate period pain on the one hand and to avoid psychological problems on the other. The hormonal and nervous imbalance that causes the most unpleasant menstrual cramps is treated in naturopathy with a variety of homeopathic remedies (for example, lachesis, sepia and pulsatilla), whereby the symptoms can often be alleviated noticeably or in some cases even completely cured. However, the regular examination by the specialist is generally recommended and should be adhered to in particular for complaints that also occur outside of menstruation, as well as intermenstrual bleeding and very heavy menstrual complaints. (fp)
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