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Home >> Health Information >> First Aid >> Menstrual Cramps or Dysmenorrhea

Menstrual Cramps or Dysmenorrhea

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Menstrual Cramps or DysmenorrheaDysmenorrhea is the term for painful cramps that may occur immediately before or during the menstrual period. They are sharp pains in a woman's lower abdomen that occur when her menstrual period begins and may continue for 2-3 days. Symptoms can range in severity from a mild annoyance to severe pain that interferes with normal activities.

Symptoms

  • Dull, throbbing or cramping pain in your lower abdomen
  • Lower back pain
  • Leg pain, radiating down the legs
  • Irritability
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Headaches
  • Weakness
  • Fainting spells (in extreme cases)

Actions

  • Consult your doctor for medications to relieve menstrual pain
  • A heating pad to the pelvic area
  • Massage to the back and lower abdomen
  • Exercise, especially prior to the start of a period
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