Menstrual Cramps (cont.)

Medical Author:
Medical Editor:

What is the treatment of secondary dysmenorrhea?

The treatment of secondary dysmenorrhea depends on its cause. There are a number of underlying conditions which can contribute to the pain including:

  • Endometriosis (cells from the uterine lining tare located in other areas of the body)
  • Uterine fibroids (non-cancerous uterine growths that respond to estrogen levels)
  • Adenomyosis (a benign condition in which the cells of the inner uterine lining invade its muscular wall, the myometrium)
  • Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID)
  • Adhesions (abnormal fibrous attachments between organs)
  • Use of a copper intrauterine device (IUD) for contraception.

All of these conditions should be first diagnosed by a physician who will then recommend the optimal treatment.

If a woman begins to experience changes in her menstrual cramps, such as in their severity, timing, or location, she should consult her physician, especially if the changes are of sudden onset.

What is the long-term outlook (prognosis) for menstrual cramps?

In general, a woman's menstrual cramps do not worsen during her lifetime. In fact, the menstrual cramps of primary dysmenorrhea usually diminish with age and after pregnancy.

When there is secondary dysmenorrhea with an underlying condition contributing to the pain, the prognosis depends on the successful treatment of that underlying condition.

As women have learned more about their bodies and how to maintain them in optimal health, menstrual cramps have become less of a debilitating illness, and more often, merely a minor monthly inconvenience.

Medically reviewed by Steven Nelson, MD; Board Certified Obstetrics and Gynecology

REFERENCE: MedscapeReference. Menstruation Disorders.


Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 3/31/2014

Patient Comments

Viewers share their comments

Menstrual Cramps - Effective Treatments Question: What kinds of treatments have been effective for your menstrual cramps?
Menstrual Cramps - Experiences Question: How often do you experience menstrual cramps?
Menstrual Cramps - Other Causes Question: Do foods, stress, daily activities or other factors worsen menstrual cramps? How do you manage and treat these other causes or triggers?
Menstrual Cramps - Symptoms Question: Please describe the symptoms of your menstrual cramps.
Menstrual Cramps - Adolescent Girls Question: If you are under age 18, describe your experience with menstrual cramps.

STAY INFORMED

Get the Latest health and medical information delivered direct to your inbox!