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A to Z: Dysmenorrhea

A to Z: Dysmenorrhea

May also be called: Painful Period; Difficult Period

"Dysmenorrhea" (dis-men-uh-REE-uh) means difficult or painful periods.

More to Know

Prostaglandins (chemicals that make the muscles of the uterus contract) are the cause of the cramps that some girls have during their periods. Cramps are more common in girls with heavy menstrual flow.

Cramps for a day or two during a period are normal, but severe pain can get in the way of school, studying, or sleeping. Some girls also have diarrhea, constipation, nausea, vomiting, headaches, and/or dizziness.

Girls with dysmenorrhea can be diagnosed with:

Keep in Mind

Some girls have no pain during their periods, but others experience painful cramps in the abdomen and lower back. Medications usually can help manage this pain successfully.

All A to Z dictionary entries are regularly reviewed by KidsHealth medical experts.

Related Articles
T    Can Birth Control Help With Cramps?
T    Coping With Common Period Problems
K    Five Things Girls Want to Know About Periods
T    Irregular Periods
P    Menstrual Problems
K    Period Cramps
P    Talking to Your Child About Menstruation
Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.
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