How is dysmenorrhea different from premenstrual syndrome (PMS)?

Dysmenorrhea and premenstrual syndrome (PMS) both refer to conditions that can affect menstruating women. These conditions, however, occur at different points in the menstrual cycle. PMS is caused by fluctuations in hormone levels five to ten days before the start of menstruation. These hormone fluctuations, in combination with other factors, can cause a variety of symptoms, including irritability, fatigue, mood swings, crying, bloating, and food cravings. Dysmenorrhea refers to the intense pain and cramping many women experience before, during, and after menstruation. PMS is a combination of emotional and physical factors women experience prior to menstruation, while dysmenorrhea is the physical pain and cramping caused by the act of menstruating.

Continue Learning about Dysmenorrhea (Painful Periods)

How does dysmenorrhea affect the body?
Dr. Jeanne Morrison, PhDDr. Jeanne Morrison, PhD
Dysmenorrhea refers to intense pain and cramping during the menstrual cycle. Menstruation occurs whe...
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Is dysmenorrhea serious?
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Dysmenorrhea refers to intense pain and cramping during menstruation. While dysmenorrhea can cause p...
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Why do I have such severe abdominal pain during my period?
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Abdominal pain during your period could mean more than normal cramping -- it could be a sign of endo...
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What increases my risk for dysmenorrhea?
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Primary dysmenorrhea is painful periods with no underlying gynecological cause. Primary dysmenorrhea...
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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.