Primary dysmenorrhea is a normal cramping of the lower abdomen
caused by hormone-induced uterine contractions before the period.
Secondary dysmenorrhea may be caused by abnormal conditions such as
endometriosis or pelvic inflammatory disease. Unless one of these
potentially serious conditions is present, the treatment for
painful periods is pain relief. If a hormone imbalance is detected,
birth control pills may restore the proper hormone levels.
Review Date: 09/02/2009
Reviewed By: Susan Storck, MD, FACOG, Chief, Eastside Department of Obstetrics
and Gynecology, Group Health Cooperative of Puget Sound, Redmond,
Washington; Clinical Teaching Faculty, Department of Obstetrics and
Gynecology, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also
reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.
A.D.A.M., Inc. is accredited by URAC, also known as the American Accreditation HealthCare Commission (www.urac.org)