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Is there a treatment for dysmenhorrhea? I have not been diagnosed offically but my period symptoms are really severe. I have been on birth control (Femcon Fe) for three months and the symptoms have become worse. My periods are very regular and usually last about 3 to 4 days but since I've started the pill they have been longer (about 7 days). Is there anything else I can do to stop the severe symptoms?

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replied June 9th, 2008
Menstruation Answer A4240
Current medical status: Dysmenhorrhea (extreme cramps, headache, nausea etc.)
Current medical treatment: Femcon FE

Dysmenorrhea (painful menstruation) can be primary or secondary.
Primary dysmenorrhea is caused by increased production of prostaglandins during the menstruation in certain women. The exact cause for that remains unknown.

Secondary dysmenorrhea is due to other disorders like structural anomaly, infection, endometriosis, tumors, ovarian cysts, etc. Primary dysmenorrhea is diagnosed when all these possibilities are excluded.

Ovulatory periods are usually painful. Birth control pills are given to prevent ovulations and so indirectly calm the pain. Periods that you have now are not real periods because the ovulations are blocked.

Painkillers from the group of NSAID (aspirin, ketoprofen, ibuprofen, diclofenac…) are also given to calm the pain. They decrease the production of prostaglandins.

Severe cases can be treated with hormonal therapy (GnRH agonists) or even surgically.
Secondary dysmenorrhea is treated by treating the primary disorder and with painkillers.

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