Step 4: Read and complete the decision guide to learn more about your symptoms.
Painful Menstrual Cramps
Many women experience crampy pain around the time of menstrual periods. Painful menstrual cramps, also called "dysmenorrhea," usually involves the area around the lower abdomen or pelvis, but can be felt in other areas such as the lower back, hips or upper thighs.
Menstrual cramps can be mild to moderately severe, usually lasting one to three days. About ten percent of women with painful periods have such severe pain that they cannot work, exercise or play for several hours to several days each month. Fortunately, most women find relief or control of their symptoms with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen or naproxen.
For many women, painful menstrual cramps have been a part of their lives for years.
This Decision Guide is designed to help women who have more recent onset of painful menstrual cramps or whose cramps have become worse in the last several months. The guide consists of a series of questions. You answers will lead to information pertinent to your menstrual cramps and tips on how to manage your cramps.
Please note that this guide should be used for informational purposes and is not intended to replace the evaluation and advice of your health care provider.
- Abdomen and Pelvis
- Acid Reflux Treatment
- Bleeding After Menopause
- Bleeding Between Menstrual Periods
- Blood in the Urine in Women
- Colon Cancer Screening
- Constipation in Adults
- Difficulty Passing Urine
- Frequent Urination in Women
- Heavy Menstrual Periods
- Intestinal Gas Guide
- Loss of Control of Urine in Women
- Lumps or Pain Within the Scrotum
- Missed or Irregular Menstrual Periods
- Nausea and Vomiting
- Never Started Menstrual Periods
- Painful Menstrual Cramps
- Rectal Bleeding
- Rectal Pain or Itching
- Recurring Abdominal Pain
- Understanding New and Severe Abdominal Pain
- Vaginal Discharge, Itching or Irritation
- Vaginal Dryness
- Vaginal Pain or Discomfort
- Vaginal Sores and Lumps
- When Menstrual Periods Stop
- Start over