Dysmenorrhea (or dysmenorrhoea)is a medical condition characterized by severe uterinepain during menstruation.While most women experience minor pain during menstruation, dysmenorrhea isdiagnosed when the pain is so severe as to limit normal activities, or require medication.
Dysmenorrhea can feature different kinds of pain, including sharp,throbbing, dull, nauseating, burning, or shooting pain. Dysmenorrhea mayprecede menstruation by several days or may accompany it, and it usuallysubsides as menstruation tapers off. Dysmenorrhea may coexist with excessivelyheavy bloodloss, known as menorrhagia.
Secondary dysmenorrhea is diagnosed when symptoms are attributable to anunderlying disease,disorder,or structural abnormality either within or outside the uterus. Primarydysmenorrhea is diagnosed when none of these is detected.
The main symptom of dysmenorrhea is pain concentrated inthe lower abdomen,in the umbilical region or the supra pubic region of the abdomen. It is alsocommonly felt in the right or left abdomen. It may radiate to the thighs and lower back.Other symptoms may include nausea and vomiting, diarrhea or constipation, headache,dizziness,disorientation,hypersensitivity to sound, light, smell and touch, fainting,and fatigue. Symptoms of dysmenorrhea often beginimmediately following ovulation and can last until the end of menstruation.This is because dysmenorrhea is often associated with changes in hormonallevels in the body that occur with ovulation. The use of certain types of birthcontrol pills can prevent the symptoms of dysmenorrhea, because the birthcontrol pills stop ovulation from occurring.
Secondary dysmenorrhea is dysmenorrhea which isassociated with an existing condition. The most common cause of secondarydysmenorrhea is endometriosis. Other causes include leiomyoma,adenomyosis,ovarian cysts,and pelvic congestions. The presence of a copper IUD can also causedysmenorrhea. In patients with adenomyosis, the levonorgestrelintrauterine system (Mirena) was observed toprovide relief.