Dysmenorrhea is a syndrome that encompasses a cluster of unpleasant symptoms experienced during the onset of a woman's menstrual cycle. The defining symptom is lower abdominal and pelvic cramping. Many other symptoms can occur as well (see list below). Symptoms begin during the hours surrounding the start of menstrual flow and continue for 24 to 48 hours. Roughly 75% of adolescent women experience some degree of dysmenorrhea, making it the most common gynecologic complaint in this age-group.

The diagnosis can be further categorized into primary dysmenorrhea and secondary ...

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