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Managing Primary Dysmenorrhea

      Primary dysmenorrhea, or painful menses without identifiable pathology, is the most common gynecologic complaint among adolescent females. Sixty to seventy percent of young women
      • Klein J.
      • Ltt I.
      Epidemiology of adolescent dysmenorrhea.
      • Andresch B.
      • Milsom I.
      An epidemiologic study of young women with dysmenorrhea.
      report painful periods and 15% of them report an interruption in daily activity due to menstrual pain.
      • Andresch B.
      • Milsom I.
      An epidemiologic study of young women with dysmenorrhea.
      Dysmenorrhea is the leading cause of school absenteeism among this population.
      • Klein J.
      • Ltt I.
      Epidemiology of adolescent dysmenorrhea.
      Painful menses typically presents in the adolescent years, about 6–12 months after menarche, or when regular ovulatory cycles are established. Symptoms may last up to72 hours and may include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, headache, fatigue, dizziness, and syncope, as well as cramping. Although dysmenorrhea is frequent problem among adolescents, many do not seek help from health care providers.
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