Last Reviewed : 12/25/2020

Dysmenorrhea, also known as dysmenorrhoea, painful periods, or menstrual cramps, is pain during menstruation. It usually begins around the time that menstruation begins. Symptoms typically last less than three days. The pain is usually in the pelvis or lower abdomen. Other symptoms may include back pain, diarrhea, or nausea.

In young women painful periods often occur without an underlying problem. In older women it is more often due to an underlying issues such as uterine fibroids, adenomyosis, or endometriosis. It is more common among those with heavy periods, irregular periods, whose periods started before twelve years of age, or who have a low body weight. A pelvic exam in those who are sexually active and ultrasound may be useful to help in diagnosis. Conditions that should be ruled out include ectopic pregnancy,pelvic inflammatory disease, interstitial cystitis, and chronic pelvic pain.

Dysmenorrhea occurs less often in those who exercise regularly and those who have children early in life. Treatment may include the use of a heating pad. Medications that may help include NSAIDs such as ibuprofen, hormonal birth control, and the IUD with progestogen. Taking vitamin B or magnesium may help. Evidence for yoga, acupuncture, and massage is insufficient. Surgery may be useful if certain underlying problems are present.

Dysmenorrhea is estimated to occur in 20% to 90% of women of reproductive age. It is the most common menstrual disorder. Typically it starts within a year of the first menstrual period. When there is no underlying cause often the pain improves with age or following having a child.


We researched this topic for you and found the following best online resources. They are categorized into basic, advanced, and research level based on the extent of information you need. You will be taken to the respective websites by pressing on the links below.


Basic information:

http://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases_conditions/hic_dysmenorrhea cleveland clinic dysmenorrhea

http://www.webmd.com/women/menstrual-cramps web md dysmenorrhea

https://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/gynecology-and-obstetrics/menstrual-abnormalities/dysmenorrheamerck manuals (professional version) dysmenorrhea

http://chealth.canoe.com/condition/getcondition/dysmenorrhea canoe dysmenorrhea

http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/menstrual-cramps/basics/definition/con-20025447 mayo clinic dysmenorrhea

http://www.healthline.com/symptom/painful-menstruation health line what causes painful menstruation?

http://www.mckinley.illinois.edu/handouts/menstrual_cramps.htmlillinois dysmenorrhea

https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/003150.htm medline plus painful menstrual periods

http://familydoctor.org/familydoctor/en/diseases-conditions/dysmenorrhea/treatment.html family doctor dysmenorrhea | treatment

http://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/healthlibrary/conditions/gynecological_health/dysmenorrhea_85,p00557/ john hopkins medical library dysmenorrhea

https://consumer.healthday.com/encyclopedia/women-s-health-40/misc-women-s-problem-news-707/menstrual-cramps-dysmenorrhea-647324.html health day menstrual cramps (dysmenorrhea)

http://www.healthcentral.com/encyclopedia/hc/dysmenorrhea-3168945/ health central dysmenorrhea

http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/periods-painful/pages/introduction.aspx nhs uk period pain

http://www.medbroadcast.com/condition/getcondition/dysmenorrhea medbroadcast dysmenorrhea

http://umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/condition/menstrual-pain university of maryland medical center menstrual pain

http://www.nytimes.com/health/guides/disease/dysmenorrhea-in-the-adolescent/overview.html new york times dysmenorrhea in the adolescent

https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/conditionsandtreatments/menstruation-pain-dysmenorrhoea better health menstruation - pain (dysmenorrhoea)


Advanced information:

http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/253812-overview medscape dysmenorrhea

http://www.aafp.org/afp/1999/0801/p489.html primary dysmenorrhea by andrew s. Coco, m.d., lancaster general hospital, lancaster, pennsylvania am fam physician. 1999 aug 1;60(2):489-496.

http://patient.info/doctor/dysmenorrhoea patient dysmenorrhea

http://sogc.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/169e-cpg-december2005.pdf primary dysmenorrhea consensus guideline

http://www.uptodate.com/contents/painful-menstrual-periods-dysmenorrhea-beyond-the-basics upo date patient information: painful menstrual periods (dysmenorrhea) (beyond the basics)

http://www.medicinenet.com/menstrual_cramps/article.htm medicine net menstrual cramps (dysmenorrhea)

http://www.fpnotebook.com/gyn/sx/dysmnrh.htm family practise note book dysmenorrhea

http://utilis.net/morning%20topics/gynecology/dysmenorrhea.pdf primary dysmenorrhea advances in pathogenesis and management by m. Yusoff dawood, md

http://www.practicalpainmanagement.com/pain/other/tens-treatment-primary-dysmenorrhea practical pain management tens in the treatment of primary dysmenorrhea



http://www.mdpi.com/1424-8247/3/7/2082/htm pharmaceuticals 2010, 3(7), 2082-2089; doi:10.3390/ph3072082 review role of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs in gynecology by anna livshits et al.,

Bharati ac, sahu an. Ethnobotany, phytochemistry and pharmacology of biophytum sensitivum dc. Phcog rev [serial online] 2012 [cited 2016 aug 10];6:68-73. Available from: http://www.phcogrev.com/text.asp?2012/6/11/68/95893

http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2016/6295737/ chen x. Chen, bruce barrett, and kristine l. Kwekkeboom, “efficacy of oral ginger (zingiber officinale) for dysmenorrhea: a systematic review and meta-analysis,” evidence-based complementary and alternative medicine, vol. 2016, article id 6295737, 10 pages, 2016. Doi:10.1155/2016/6295737

http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2013/169692/ hui-ru jiang, shuang ni, jin-long li, et al., “systematic review of randomized clinical trials of acupressure therapy for primary dysmenorrhea,” evidence-based complementary and alternative medicine, vol. 2013, article id 169692, 9 pages, 2013. Doi:10.1155/2013/169692

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/s1836955314000046 some physiotherapy treatments may relieve menstrual pain in women with primary dysmenorrhea: a systematic review by priya kannan et al., journal of physiotherapy volume 60, issue 1, march 2014, pages 13–21 doi:10.1016/j.jphys.2013.12.003

http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2014/296860/ kyoung-sun park, kang-in park, deok-sang hwang, jin-moo lee, jun-bock jang, and chang-hoon lee, “a review of in vitro and in vivo studies on the efficacy of herbal medicines for primary dysmenorrhea,”evidence-based complementary and alternative medicine, vol. 2014, article id 296860, 11 pages, 2014. Doi:10.1155/2014/296860

http://bmccomplementalternmed.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/1472-6882-12-92 effect of zingiber officinale r. Rhizomes (ginger) on pain relief in primary dysmenorrhea: a placebo randomized trial by parvin rahnama et al., bmc complementary and alternative medicinethe official journal of the international society for complementary medicine research (iscmr)201212:92 doi: 10.1186/1472-6882-12-92

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/s1836955314000046 some physiotherapy treatments may relieve menstrual pain in women with primary dysmenorrhea: a systematic review by priya kannan et al., journal of physiotherapy volume 60, issue 1, march 2014, pages 13–21 doi:10.1016/j.jphys.2013.12.003

http://epirev.oxfordjournals.org/content/36/1/104.full the prevalence and risk factors of dysmenorrhea by hong ju et al., epidemiol rev (2014) 36 (1): 104-113.doi: 10.1093/epirev/mxt009

http://njcmindia.org/uploads/2-2_265-268.pdf prevalence of dysmenorrhea among adolescent girls (14-19 yrs) of kadapa district and its impact on quality of life: a cross sectional study by suresh k. Kumbhar et al., national journal of community medicine vol 2 issue 2 july-sept 2011

http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=s1806-00132014000400290 rev. Dor vol.15 no.4 são paulo oct./dec. 2014 http://dx.doi.org/10.5935/1806-0013.20140063 review articles physiotherapy in primary dysmenorrhea: literature review by laís rodrigues gerzson et al.,


Related topics:

https://www.organicfacts.net/home-remedies/home-remedies-for-dysmenorrhea.html organic facts home remedies for dysmenorrhea

http://treatment.hpathy.com/homeo-medicine/homeopathy-dysmenorrhea-painful-menstruation-menstrual-cramps/ hpathy homeopathy for dysmenorrhea, painful menstruation, menstrual cramps

https://www.acufinder.com/acupuncture+information/detail/acupuncture+for+dysmenorrhea acufinder acupuncture for dysmenorrhea
by: andrew lagomarsino lac

http://www.homeopathycenter.org/homeopathy-today/womens-health-homeopathy-dysmenorrhea-menstrual-crampshomeopathy center women's health & homeopathy - dysmenorrhea: menstrual cramps

http://www.acupuncture.org.uk/a-to-z-of-conditions/a-to-z-of-conditions/dysmenorrhoea.html british accupuncture council dysmenorrhoea

http://www.anniesremedy.com/chart_remedy_dysmenorrhea.php annies remedy dysmenorrhea - herbs for painful periods


Related videos:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0gerzhifpf0 menstrual cramps (dysmenorrhea)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y7vaofnuji0 menstrual cramps - dysmenorrhea.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=khtbxatynfs dysmenorrhea

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iihgaa0yhvy dysmenorrhea - painful menses

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wtksjdppt8i the help video guide to dysmenorrhea by dr.malpani

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s5j3e11p31g how to get rid of menstrual pain therapy acupressure, which acupressure points to stimulate


Presentations/quiz/newspaper articles:

http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/features/how-to-alleviate-period-pains-the-natural-way-10332119.html independant how to alleviate period pains the natural way

http://www.mirror.co.uk/lifestyle/health/your-period-trying-tell-you-8610832 mirror is your period trying to tell you something? What you could learn from your cycle explained

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