Dysmenorrhea is a menstrual condition characterized by severe and frequent menstrual cramps and pain associated with menstruation. Dysmenorrhea may be classified as primary or secondary.

  • Primary dysmenorrhea is classified as recurrent, crampy, lower abdominal pain that occurs during menstruation in the absence of other medical problems. The pain usually occurs from days one to two before onset of menses to days two to three of menstruation. It is the most common gynecologic complaint in adolescent females.
  • Secondary dysmenorrhea is painful menstruation caused by a gynecologic abnormality. This is more common in adults in their fourth and fifth decades of life.