Dysmenorrhea (or dysmenorrhoea) is a gynecological medical condition of pain during menstruation that interferes with daily activities, as defined by ACOG and others. Still, dysmenorrhea is often defined simply as menstrual pain, or at least menstrual pain that is excessive. This article uses the dysmenorrhea definition of menstrual pain that interferes with daily activities, and uses the term menstrual pain as any pain during menstruation whether it is normal or abnormal. Menstrual pain is often used synonymously with menstrual cramps, but the latter may also refer to menstrual uterine contractions, which are generally of higher strength, duration and frequency than in the rest of the menstrual cycle. Dysmenorrhea can feature different kinds of pain, including sharp, throbbing, dull, nauseating, burning, or shooting pain. Dysmenorrhea may precede menstruation by several days or may accompany it, and it usually subsides as menstruation tapers off.
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