Primary dysmenorrhea is the technical phrase for the cramping pain that accompanies your menstrual period. Primary dysmenorrhea occurs around the same time as your first menstruation and will usually get better as you age. The pain often affects your lower abdominal area and back. It can begin a couple days before your period and continue during your period.
While primary dysmenorrhea occurs in approximately half of all women who menstruate, typically it is only severe enough to interfere with daily life in about 10 percent of those affected. Primary dysmenorrhea is rarely an indicator of an underlying problem. It is most commonly caused by overproduction of a chemical called prostaglandin.