Dysmenorrhea | Diagnosis & Treatment

How is dysmenorrhea diagnosed?

When you or your daughter suspects dysmenorrhea, a physician will evaluate her complete medical history and perform a pelvic examination. All menstrual disorders, conditions and medications that could be causing the problem need to be ruled out.

In general, diagnostic measures for dysmenorrhea include:

  • ultrasound
  • magnetic resonance imaging
  • laparoscopy, a minor surgical procedure in which a physician looks inside the pelvic cavity with a small camera
  • hysteroscopy, a visual examination of the cervix and uterus using a tool called a hysteroscope

What is the treatment for dysmenorrhea?

Your daughter's physician will counsel her on helpful stress management strategies. Girls with endometriosis should always help their bodies cope with pain by exercising regularly and following a healthy diet.

Other treatments for managing dysmenorrhea include:

  • prostaglandin inhibitors (i.e., nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications, or NSAIDs, such as aspirin, ibuprofen) to reduce pain
  • acetaminophens
  • oral contraceptives (ovulation inhibitors)
  • progesterone treatment
  • dietary modifications to increase protein and decrease sugar and caffeine intake