Augusta Healthcare for Women

Menstrual Irregularities

Dysmenorrhea

Dysmenorrhea is the used to describe painful menstrual periods, including severe cramps.

Menstrual cramps in teens are caused by too much of a chemical called prostaglandin. Most teens with dysmenorrhea do not have a serious disease, even though the cramps can be severe. In older women, the pain is sometimes caused by a disease or condition such as uterine fibroids or endometriosis.

For some women, using a heating pad or taking a warm bath helps ease their cramps. Some over-the-counter pain medicines can also help with these symptoms. They include:

  • Ibuprofen (eye-byu-PROH-fuhn) (for instance, Advil, Motrin, Midol Cramp)
  • Ketoprofen (key-toh-PROH-fuhn) (for instance, Orudis KT)
  • Naproxen (nuh-PROK-suhn) (for instance, Aleve)

If these medicines don't relieve your pain or the pain interferes with work or school, you should see a doctor. Treatment depends on what's causing the problem and how severe it is.


Reference: Office of Women's Health

Last updated January 7, 2017