Quick Navigation

Dysmenorrhea

Dysmenorrhea is the clinical term for the painful cramps that many women experience around the time of their period.

Our evidence-based analysis on dysmenorrhea features 5 unique references to scientific papers.

Research analysis led by and reviewed by the Examine team.
Last Updated:

Summary of Dysmenorrhea

Dysmenorrhea[1] is the clinical term for the painful cramps that many women experience around the time of their period. There are two main types: primary dysmenorrhea, which is pain in the absence of a clear disease that’s causing it, and secondary dysmenorrhea, which is caused by an identifiable underlying illness. Dysmenorrhea impacts a large majority of women; around two-thirds of young women worldwide[2] experience it.

One of the main chemical culprits for primary dysmenorrhea is a rise in prostaglandins[3] (especially PGF), which can reduce blood flow to the uterus while also strengthening contractions. This combination lowers oxygen availability in the uterus, resulting in cramping and pain. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen can stem this rise in prostaglandins, which is probably why they are effective for treating dysmenorrhea[4] and are recommended[5] as a first-line intervention.

Easily stay on top of the latest nutrition research

Become an Examine Member to get access to the latest research. Get 150+ studies summarized for you across 25 different categories every month.

Members also have access to the Examine Study Database of 400+ supplements and their effects on 600+ health outcomes, as well as in-depth research analyses. Understand the whole body of nutrition and supplement evidence at a glance.

Get instant access — start your free 14-day trial

Already a Member? Click here to log in.


Human Effect Matrix

Unlocked for Examine Members

Easily stay on top of the latest nutrition research

Become an Examine Member to get access to the latest research. Get 150+ studies summarized for you across 25 different categories every month.

Members also have access to the Examine Study Database of 400+ supplements and their effects on 600+ health outcomes, as well as in-depth research analyses. Understand the whole body of nutrition and supplement evidence at a glance.

Get instant access — start your free 14-day trial

Already a Member? Click here to log in.


The Human Effect Matrix looks at human studies to tell you what supplements affect Dysmenorrhea.

Unlock the full Study Database with an Examine Membership. Get a 14-day free trial.
Grade Level of Evidence
Robust research conducted with repeated double-blind clinical trials
Multiple studies where at least two are double-blind and placebo controlled
Single double-blind study or multiple cohort studies
Uncontrolled or observational studies only
Level of Evidence
? The amount of high quality evidence. The more evidence, the more we can trust the results.
Supplement Magnitude of effect
? The direction and size of the supplement's impact on each outcome. Some supplements can have an increasing effect, others have a decreasing effect, and others have no effect.
Consistency of research results
? Scientific research does not always agree. HIGH or VERY HIGH means that most of the scientific research agrees.
Notes
grade-b Minor Very High See all 3 studies
Primarily research has consistently found an improvement and 400-500 IU per day.
grade-c Minor - See study
Ginger was capable of reducing menstrual pain at 1g daily
grade-c Minor - See study
Lavender as aromatherapy is able to reduce pain associated with menstruation

Become an Examine Member to unlock the full Study Database.

You can currently view 3 supplements as a non-member — becoming a Member will give you access to 7 total supplements on dysmenorrhea.

Already a Member? Log in now to access.

grade-d  
grade-d  
grade-d  
grade-d  

Stay on top of the latest research

To unlock the full archives of our Study Database and research analyses, become an Examine Member today.

Start your 14-day free trial

Things to Note

Also Known As

Menstrual cramps

Click here to see all 5 references.