Dysmenorrhea

What is Dysmenorrhea

Dysmenorrhea means painful cramps during your period (menstrual period). You will have pain in your lower belly (abdomen).

The pain is caused by the tightening (contracting) of the muscles of the womb (uterus). The pain may be mild or very bad. With this condition, you may:

  • Have a headache.
  • Feel sick to your stomach (nauseous).
  • Throw up (vomit).
  • Have lower back pain.

Follow these instructions at home:

Helping pain and cramping

  • Put heat on your lower back or belly when you have pain or cramps. Use the heat source that your doctor tells you to use.
    • Place a towel between your skin and the heat.
    • Leave the heat on for 20–30 minutes.
    • Remove the heat if your skin turns bright red. This is especially important if you cannot feel pain, heat, or cold.
    • Do nothave a heating pad on during sleep.
  • Do aerobic exercises. These include walking, swimming, or biking. These may help with cramps.

Massage your lower back or belly. This may help lessen pain.

General instructions

  • Take over-the-counter and prescription medicines only as told by your doctor.
  • Do notdrive or use heavy machinery while taking prescription pain medicine.
  • Avoid alcohol and caffeine during and right before your period. These can make cramps worse.
  • Do notuse any products that have nicotine or tobacco. These include cigarettes and e-cigarettes. If you need help quitting, ask your doctor.
  • Keep all follow-up visits as told by your doctor. This is important.

Contact a doctor if:

  • You have pain that gets worse.
  • You have pain that does not get better with medicine.
  • You have pain during sex.
  • You feel sick to your stomach or you throw up during your period, and medicine does not help.

Get help right away if:

  • You pass out (faint).

Summary

  • Dysmenorrhea means painful cramps during your period (menstrual period).
  • Put heat on your lower back or belly when you have pain or cramps.
  • Do exercises like walking, swimming, or biking to help with cramps.
  • Contact a doctor if you have pain during sex.
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