What is primary dysmenorrhea?

Primary dysmenorrhea refers to menstrual cramps that are not caused by an underlying medical condition. It is the most common type of dysmenorrhea, and it is estimated that up to 90% of women experience menstrual cramps to some degree. The pain is caused by the contraction of the uterus as it expels its lining, which can press against nearby blood vessels, reducing blood flow and oxygen to the area. This can cause cramping and pain in the lower abdomen and back. Symptoms usually start a day or two before the period and can last for several days.

Symptoms of primary dysmenorrhea can be treated with over-the-counter pain relievers such as ibuprofen or naproxen, or with heat therapy. In some cases, birth control pills or other hormonal methods may be prescribed to reduce the severity of cramps. If cramps are severe or persistent, it is important to consult a doctor to rule out any underlying medical conditions.

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