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Painful menstrual periods, known as dysmenorrhea, are periods in which a woman experiences cramping, lower abdominal pain, intermittent stabbing pains, aching pain, or back pain.
Painful menstruation affects many women, but for a small number, the discomfort makes it difficult to perform normal household, job, or school-related activities for a few days during each menstrual cycle.
Painful menstruation is the leading cause of lost time from school and work among women in their teens and 20's. The pain may begin several days before, or just at the start of your period. It generally lessens as menstrual bleeding tapers off.
Although some pain during menstruation is normal, excessive pain is not.
Most types of menstrual pain are not related to any specific problems with the uterus or other pelvic organs. Instead, increased activity of the hormone prostaglandin, which is produced in the uterus, is thought to be a factor in dysmenorrhea that
is not related to other women’s health problems.
Menstrual pain can usually be treated with at-home care that includes:
If these self-care measures do not work, a gynecologist (GYN) may prescribe medications such as:
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