Dysmenorrhea causes severe and frequent cramps and pain during your period. It may be either primary or secondary.
Women with primary dysmenorrhea have abnormal contractions of the uterus due to a chemical imbalance in the body. For example, the chemical prostaglandin control the contractions of the uterus.
Secondary dysmenorrhea is caused by other medical conditions, most often endometriosis. This is a condition in which endometrial tissue implants outside the uterus. Endometriosis often causes internal bleeding, infection, and pelvic pain.
Other causes of secondary dysmenorrhea include the following:
The following are the most common symptoms of dysmenorrhea. However, each person may experience symptoms differently. Symptoms may include:
The symptoms of dysmenorrhea may look like other conditions or medical problems. Always consult your health care provider for a diagnosis.
While any woman can develop dysmenorrhea, the following women may be at an increased risk for the condition:
Consult your health care provider for more information.
To diagnose dysmenorrhea, your health care provider will evaluate your medical history and do a complete physical and pelvic exam. Other tests may include:
Specific treatment for dysmenorrhea will be determined by your health care provider based on:
Treatment to manage dysmenorrhea symptoms may include:
Tips to help you get the most from a visit to your health care provider: