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Can menstrual cramps be measured?
Yes, but measuring the strength of menstrual cramps is not routinely done in clinical practice. Researchers have demonstrated that menstrual cramps can be scientifically documented by measuring the pressure within the uterus and the number and frequency of uterine contractions. During a normal menstrual period, the average woman has contractions of a low pressure (50-80 mm Hg), which last 15-30 seconds at a frequency of 1-4 contractions every 10 minutes. When a woman
with dysmonorrhea has menstrual cramps, her contractions are of a higher pressure (they may exceed 400 mm Hg), last longer than 90 seconds, and often occur less than 15 seconds apart.