Pelvic Pain and Premenstrual Syndrome

The most common syndrome of pelvic pain in women is associated with PMS (premenstrual syndrome), including premenstrual cramping, Other pelvic pain syndromes include endometriosis and uterine fibroids. Most pelvic pain issues can benefit from hormonal balancing therapies.

PMS – is a hormonal disorder with a wide range of physical and emotional symptoms that affects about 50% of menstruating women. Symptoms may begin up to a week prior to menses and last into the first few days of the cycle. There is often pelvic/abdominal cramping and bloating, craving for sweets or chocolate, fatigue, breast tenderness and/or mood swings. Evaluation of all hormonal systems including thyroid, adrenal and blood sugar is important.

Standard medical treatments:

SSRIs (serotonin regulating antidepressants)

NSAIDs (anti-inflammatory drugs)

Birth control medicines


Treating any underlying medical condition

Pain medicine


Supportive and alternative therapies:

Nutritional –

Avoid caffeine, sugar, salt, fats, alcohol, chocolate

Vitamin B

Mineral supplement (kelp)

Omega-3 fatty acids, evening primrose oil

5-HTP – 5-hydroxytryptophan, an amino acid derivative, pre-serotonin

Herbal –

Cramp bark – relieves cramps

Dioscorea – supports hormone balance

Dong Quai – female hormone tonic

Vitex – supports pituitary hormonal stimulation

Progesterone therapy

Estrogen therapy

Stress management

Massage therapy


Relaxation therapy


Pelvic Pain and Cannabis

Patients with dysmennorhea (painful menses) and other pelvic pain disorders use cannabis regularly to alleviate pain and uterine cramping.  Interstitial Cystitis, an inflammatory bladder disorder, often not resolved using standard medical treatments, is treated effectively with cannabis as well.  IC patients report that marijuana controls their pain and bladder symptoms without the difficult side effects of pain medication. In 2007, IC researcher s at the Univ. of Pittsburgh School of Medicine released an animal study which showed that a synthetic analog of THC was found to suppress urinary frequency via cannabinoid receptors. Cannabinoid receptors are now known to be involved in pain regulation. Researchers from the University of California’s Center for Medicinal Cannabis Research (CMCR)  recently released a report for the State of California legislature which found “reasonable evidence that cannabis is a promising treatment for some specific, pain-related medical conditions.”  Marijuana’s capacity to act as an anti-inflammatory agent, a muscle-relaxant, and a pain reliever all at the same time make it ideal for pelvic pain conditions, as well as its ability to elevate mood in cases of PMS.