Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

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Secondary Dysmenorrhea Overview

What is secondary dysmenorrhea?
A woman with secondary dysmenorrhea has lower abdominal pain that occurs during the menstrual period. There are two types of dysmenorrhea. Primary dysmenorrhea is caused by an abnormal menstrual cycle. Secondary dysmenorrhea is caused by another illness, rather than the menstrual cycle. Common causes of secondary dysmenorrhea include endometriosis, uterine fibroids, and sexually transmitted disease. About 10 percent of women have pain during the menstrual period that interrupts normal daily activities.

What are the symptoms of secondary dysmenorrhea?
The most common symptom of secondary dysmenorrhea is lower abdominal pain that occurs during menstrual periods. Additional symptoms of secondary dysmenorrhea include low back pain, diarrhea, fatigue, headache, nausea, or vomiting.

How does the doctor treat secondary dysmenorrhea?
The treatment for secondary dysmenorrhea depends on the underlying cause. Treatment for secondary dysmenorrhea may include vitamin B supplements, oral contraceptives, and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications for pain.

Continue to Secondary Dysmenorrhea Incidence

Last Updated: Jan 4, 2011 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Secondary Dysmenorrhea References
  1. Davis AR, Westhoff C, O'Connell K, Gallagher N. Oral contraceptives for dysmenorrhea in adolescent girls: a randomized trial. Obstet Gynecol. 2005 Jul;106(1):97-104. [15994623]
  2. French L. Dysmenorrhea. Am Fam Physician. 2005 Jan 15;71(2):285-91. [15686299]
  3. Harel Z. A contemporary approach to dysmenorrhea in adolescents. Paediatr Drugs. 2002;4(12):797-805. [12431132]
  4. Nasir L, Bope ET. Management of pelvic pain from dysmenorrhea or endometriosis. J Am Board Fam Pract. 2004 Nov-Dec;17 Suppl:S43-7. [15575029]
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