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How is primary dysmenorrhea diagnosed?

Diana Meeks
Diana Meeks on behalf of Sigma Nursing
Family Practitioner

Primary dysmenorrhea is usually diagnosed by physical exam. The doctor will want to know about symptoms and medical history, especially other medical conditions and medications taken. However your doctor may wish to take blood tests, cultures, imaging tests, and/or a laparoscopy to rule out other possible causes of the pain.

A pregnancy test may rule out an ectopic pregnancy; cultures may rule out the possibility of a sexually transmitted disease. Imaging tests such as an ultrasound or MRI may be ordered to look for fibroids, or other abnormalities in the uterus and adjoining reproductive organs.

Primary dysmenorrhea will not be diagnosed if there is an underlying cause discovered. An underlying cause will likely point to secondary dysmenorrhea, which is diagnosed by pelvic exam, cultures, imaging tests, blood tests and laparoscopy.

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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.