Exit

Health Condition

Dysmenorrhea

About This Condition

Dysmenorrhea is painful menstruation. It is classified as either primary or secondary. Primary dysmenorrhea generally occurs within a couple of years of the first menstrual period. The pain tends to decrease with age and very often resolves after childbirth. Secondary dysmenorrhea is menstrual pain caused by another condition, commonly endometriosis. It starts later in life and tends to increase in intensity over time.

As many as half of menstruating women are affected by dysmenorrhea, and of these, about 10% have severe dysmenorrhea, which greatly limits activities for one to three days each month.1

Symptoms

Dysmenorrhea includes symptoms of abdominal bloating, frequent and intense cramps, pain below the waistline, or a dull ache that may radiate to the lower back or legs. There may also be symptoms of headache, nausea, diarrhea or constipation, frequent urination, and, occasionally, vomiting. The symptoms usually occur just before or during the menstrual period.

References

1. Galeao R. La dysmenorrhee, syndrome multiforme. Gynecologie 1974;25:125 [in French].

2. Durlach J. Neuromuscular and phlebothrombotic clinical aspects of primary magnesium deficiency. Z Ernahrungswiss 1975;14:75-83 [in French].

3. Martignoni E, Nappi G, Facchinetti F, Gennazzani AR. Magnesium in gynecological disorders. Gyn Endocrinol 1988;2(Suppl 2):26 [abstract].

4. Benassi L, Barletta FP, Baroncini L, et al. Effectiveness of magnesium pidolate in the prophylactic treatment of primary dysmenorrhea. Clin Exp Obstet Gynecol 1992;19:176-9.

5. Fontana-Klaiber H, Hogg B. Therapeutic effects of magnesium in dysmenorrhea. Schweiz Rundsch Med Prax 1990;79:491-4 [in German].

6. Seifert B, Wagler P, Dartsch S, et al. Magnesium—a new therapeutic alternative in primary dysmenorrhea. Zentralbl Gynakol 1989;111:755-60 [in German].

7. Deutch B. Menstrual pain in Danish women correlated with low n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid intake. Eur J Clin Nutr 1995;49:508-16.

8. Harel Z, Biro FM, Kottenhahn RK, Rosenthal SL. Supplementation with omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids in the management of dysmenorrhea in adolescents. Am J Obstet Gynecol 1996;174:1335-8.

9. Deutch B, Jørgensen EB, Hansen JC. Menstrual discomfort in Danish women reduced by dietary supplements of omega-3 PUFA and B12 (fish oil or seal oil capsules). Nutr Res 2000;20:621-31.

10. Zafari, M., Tofighi, M, Aghamohammady, A., Behmanesh, F., and Rakhshaee, Z. Comparison of the effect of fish oil and ibuprofen on treatment of severe pain in primary dysmenorrhea. Caspian J Intern Med. 2011 Summer;2(3):279-82.

11. Ozgoli G, Goli M, Moattar F. Comparison of effects of ginger, mefenamic acid, and ibuprofen on pain in women with primary dysmenorrhea. J Altern Complement Med 2009;15:129-32.

12. Rahnama P, Montazeri A, Huseini HF, et al. Effect of Zingiber officinale R. rhizomes (ginger) on pain relief in primary dysmenorrhea: a placebo randomized trial. BMC Complement Altern Med 2012;12:92.

13. Sampalis F, Bunea R, Pelland MF, et al. Evaluation of the effects of Neptune Krill Oil on the management of premenstrual syndrome and dysmenorrhea. Altern Med Rev 2003;8:171-9.

14. Kohama T, Suzuki N, Ohno S, Inoue M. Analgesic efficacy of French maritime pine bark extract in dysmenorrhea: an open clinical trial. J Reprod Med 2004;49:828-32.

15. Suzuki N, Uebaba K, Kohama T, et al. French maritime pine bark extract significantly lowers the requirement for analgesic medication in dysmenorrhea: a multicenter, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study. J Reprod Med 2008;53:338-46.

16. Hudgins AP. Am Practice Digest Treat 1952;3:892-3.

17. Hudgins AP. Vitamins P, C and niacin for dysmenorrhea therapy. West J Surg 1954;Dec:610-1.

18. Hudgins AP. Am Practice Digest Treat 1952;3:892-3.

19. Hudgins AP. Vitamins P, C and niacin for dysmenorrhea therapy. West J Surg 1954;Dec:610-1.

20. Ziaei S, Faghihzadeh S, Sohrabvand F, et al. A randomised placebo-controlled trial to determine the effect of vitamin E in treatment of primary dysmenorrhoea. Br J Obstet Gynaecol 2001;108:1181-3.

21. Ziaei S, Zakeri M, Kazemnejad A. A randomised controlled trial of vitamin E in the treatment of primary dysmenorrhoea. BJOG2005;112:466-9.

22. Colombo D and Vescovini R: Controlled clinical trial of anthocyanosides from Vaccinium myrtillus in primary dysmenorrhea. G Ital Obstet Ginecol 1985;7:1033-8.

23. Murray MT. The Healing Power of Herbs. Rocklin, CA: Prima Publishing, 1995, 376.

24. Bradley PR, ed. British Herbal Compendium, vol 1. Bournemouth, Dorset, UK: British Herbal Medicine Association, 1992, 34-6.

25. Blumenthal M, Busse WR, Goldberg A, et al. (eds). The Complete Commission E Monographs: Therapeutic Guide to Herbal Medicines. Boston, MA: Integrative Medicine Communications, 1998, 90.

26. Jones TK, Lawson BM. Profound neonatal congestive heart failure caused by maternal consumption of blue cohosh herbal medication. J Pediatr 1998;132:550-2.

27. Penland J, Johnson P. Dietary calcium and manganese effects on menstrual cycle symptoms. Am J Obstet Gynecol 1993;168:1417-23.

28. Thys-Jacobs S, Starkey P, Bernstein D, et al. Calcium carbonate and the premenstrual syndrome: Effects on premenstrual and menstrual symptoms. Am J Obstet Gynecol 1998;179:444-52.

29. Zhu YP. Chinese Materia Media: Chemistry, Pharmacology, and Applications. Australia: Harwood Academic Publishers, 1998, 445-8.

30. Zhu YP. Chinese Materia Medica: Chemistry, Pharmacology, and Applications. Australia: Harwood Academic Publishers, 1998, 445-8

31. Nicholson JA, Darby TD, Jarobe CH. Viopudial, a hypotensive and smooth muscle antispasmotic from Viburnum opulus. Proc Soc Exp Biol Med 1972;40:457-61.

32. Hoffmann D. The Holistic Herbal. Forres, Scotland: The Findhorn Press, 1986, 88.

33. Kotani N, Oyama T, Hashimoto H, et al. Analgesic effect of a herbal medicine for treatment of primary dysmenorrhea—a double-blind study. Am J Chin Med 1997;25:205-12.

34. Kotani N, Oyama T, Hashimoto H, et al. Analgesic effect of a herbal medicine for treatment of primary dysmenorrhea—a double-blind study. Am J Chin Med 1997;25:205-12.

35. Hudson T. Natural progesterone: Clinical indications in women's health. Townsend Letter for Doctors and Patients 1999;Dec:140-3.

36. Gokhale LB. Curative treatment of primary (spasmodic) dysmenorrhoea. Indian J Med Res 1996;103:227-31.

37. Lasco A, Catalano A, Benvenga S. Improvement of primary dysmenorrhea caused by a single oral dose of vitamin D: results of a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study. Arch Intern Med 2012;172:366-7.

38. Loch E, Böhnert KJ, Peeters M, et al. The treatment of menstrual disorders with Vitex agnus-castus tincture. Der Frauenarzt 1991;32:867-70 [in German].

39. Ben-Menachem M. Treatment of dysmenorrhea: A relaxation therapy program. Int J Gynaecol Obstet 1980;17:340-2.

40. Yuqin Z. A report of 49 cases of dysmenorrhea treated by acupuncture. J Tradit Chin Med 1984;4:101-2.

41. Xiaoma W. Observations of the therapeutic effects of acupuncture and moxibustion in 100 cases of dysmenorrhea. J Tradit Chin Med 1987;7:15-7.

42. Chuang Z. Treatment of 32 cases of dysmenorrhea by puncturing hegu and sanyinjiao acupoints. J Tradit Chin Med 1990;10:33-5.

43. Lin L. Literature research on point injection with Chinese Angelica liquor. J Tradit Chin Med 1998;18:308-12.

44. Helms JM. Acupuncture for the management of primary dysmenorrhea. Obstet Gynecol 1987;69:51-6.

45. Lewers D, Clelland JA, Jackson JR, et al. Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation in the relief of primary dysmenorrhea. Phys Ther 1989;69:17-23.

46. Thomason PR, Fisher BL, Carpenter PA, Fike GL. Effectiveness of spinal manipulative therapy in treatment of primary dysmenorrhea: a pilot study. J Manip Physiol Ther 1979;2:140-5.

47. Kokjohn K, Schmid D, Triano J, Brennan P. The effect of spinal manipulation on pain and prostaglandin levels in women with primary dysmenorrhea. J Manip Physiol Ther 1992;15:279-85.

48. Hondras MA, Long CR, Brennan PC. Spinal manipulative therapy versus a low force mimic maneuver for women with primary dysmenorrhea: a randomized, observer-blinded, clinical trial. Pain 1999;81:105-14.

49. Metheny WP, Smith RP. The relationship among exercise, stress, and primary dysmenorrhea. J Behav Med 1989;12:569-86.

50. Bolomb LM, Solidmum AA, Warren MP. Primary dysmenorrhea and physical activity. Med Sci Sports Exerc 1998;30:906-9 [review].

Copyright © 2018 Healthnotes, Inc. All rights reserved. www.healthnotes.com

Learn more about Healthnotes, the company.

The information presented by Healthnotes is for informational purposes only. It is based on scientific studies (human, animal, or in vitro), clinical experience, or traditional usage as cited in each article. The results reported may not necessarily occur in all individuals. Self-treatment is not recommended for life-threatening conditions that require medical treatment under a doctor's care. For many of the conditions discussed, treatment with prescription or over the counter medication is also available. Consult your doctor, practitioner, and/or pharmacist for any health problem and before using any supplements or before making any changes in prescribed medications. Information expires December 2018.