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Dysmenorrhea Symptoms & Diagnosis


The pain associated with either primary or secondary dysmenorrhea may be sharp and throbbing or dull and aching, depending on the individual. It is most typically located in the lower abdomen and may radiate to the low back or thighs. Other symptoms may include:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Headache
  • Irritability


Your doctor will ask detailed questions about your symptoms and medical history, and perform a pelvic examination.

Diagnostic tests may include:

  • Pelvic ultrasound —a test that uses sound waves to examine structures in the pelvis
  • Pelvic laparoscopy —a thin, lighted tube inserted through a small incision in the abdomen to view structures in the pelvis

These tests are usually performed to look for causes of secondary dysmenorrhea.

Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Copyright © 2021 EBSCO Publishing All rights reserved.

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