DYSMENORRHEA - WatsonsHealth


Dysmenorrhea also known as menstrual cramps often caused by contractions of the uterus. It is also referred to difficulty in monthly menstrual flow. Although it’s normal for most women to have mild cramping within the first two days of their period, around 10% of women often experience severe pain.

Two types of dysmenorrhea:

Primary dysmenorrhea is the most common type. It feels like menstrual cramps that are recurrent and are not because of diseases. It is usually associated with pain when menstrual bleeding starts, and is felt in the lower tummy, back, or thighs. It can be accompanied by other symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, and body malaise.

Secondary dysmenorrhea is pain that is usually due to disorders in the female reproductive organs. These diseases include endometriosis, fibroids, or even pelvic infections. The pain usually starts in the early part of the menstrual cycle and may last longer. The pain is not associated with other symptoms.



Dysmenorrhea gives rise to pain that is felt in the lower abdomen during menstruation. It may also be felt in the legs, back or hips.  There may be other symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, headache or diarrhea.


Your doctor may ask for your symptoms and the status of your menstrual cycles. A pelvic exam may be done, when the doctor inserts a speculum to examine your vagina, cervix, and uterus. A sample of vaginal fluid may be obtained and any masses may be noted.

Your doctor may request for an ultrasound to check your reproductive organs.



  • For best relief, you should take ibuprofen as soon as bleeding or cramping starts. You may take aspirin or another pain reliever such as acetaminophen.
  • Place a heating pad or hot water bottle on your lower back or abdomen.
  • Rest when needed.
  • Avoid foods that contain caffeine.
  • Avoid smoking and drinking alcohol.
  • Massage your lower back and abdomen.

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