Also known as: menstrual pain, menstrual cramps, recurrent menstrual cramps
What is dysmenorrhea?
Dysmenorrhea is another term for what is commonly called severe and frequent menstrual pain or menstrual cramping. It may be primary, where it usually starts with the onset of menstruation and is frequently lifelong; or secondary, where it follows after the development of a medical condition (like inflammation in the pelvis).
It typically occurs a couple of days before a woman’s menstrual period begins and can be accompanied by other symptoms, as well.
What causes dysmenorrhea?
What are the symptoms of dysmenorrhea?
Along with the pain and cramping in the lower abdomen, low back pain, pain down the legs, fatigue and weakness, headache, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea can also occur.
What are dysmenorrhea care options?
Treatment depends on the degree of the pain, the cause, and tolerance for medications. Some options include:
over-the-counter pain relievers (non steroidal anti- inflammatory medications)
using a heating pad can help to relieve the pain
reducing intake of caffeine and/or alcohol
increasing protein in the diet
Hormone therapy may be useful
Reviewed by: Jack Wolfsdorf, MD, FAAP
This page was last updated on: September 09, 2020 11:14 AM