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Case Histories - Menorrhagia (1)
A 35-year-old woman had been suffering from painful periods from the age of 14 which were now getting worse. The pain was central in the lower abdomen and occurred mostly on the first day: severe and cramping, it was relieved by the application of a hot-water bottle. When she had the pain, she liked to curl up and she felt cold and turned pale. The menstrual cycle was 30 days long, the period lasted 5 days and the blood was dark with small clots.
Her complexion was pale, her tongue was slightly Pale with a white coating and her pulse was very slightly Tight on the left and Weak on both rear positions.
This is a clear example of painful periods from Empty Cold. The Cold is evident from the severe, cramping nature of the pain, its alleviation with heat, the cold feeling and pale complexion during the period, the small-dark clots, and the Tight pulse. That the Cold is of a deficient nature is evident from the desire to curl up, from the Weak pulse on both Rear positions and from the fact that the pulse is only very slightly Tight on the left. Apart from the Empty Cold, there is a deficiency of Kidney-Yang as shown by the Weak pulse on both Kidney positions.
As for the cause of this problem, as a schoolgirl in Yorkshire (a county in the North of England with a cold and damp climate) she played lots of sports and did cross-country running. This had obviously led to the invasion of external cold in the Uterus; the genital system in young girls is particularly vulnerable and prone to invasion of external cold.
This patient was treated only with herbs as she lived quite a long way away. I selected Warm the Menses a variation of Wen Jing Tang-Warming the Menses Decoction.
The results in this case exceeded every expectation as, after only one-month treatment her following period was totally pain-free and, at the time of writing (4 months later), her periods are still so.