Dysmenorrhea (Painful Periods) Specialist

Capital Women's Care

OBGYNs located in Rockville, MD & Silver Spring, MD

Dysmenorrhea is a very technical term for a widespread condition: painful periods. While most women experience some cramping during their menstrual cycles, some suffer debilitating pain that has a significant impact on their ability to function normally. At Capital Women’s Care in Rockville and Silver Spring, Maryland, the OB/GYNs work exhaustively with their patients to get to the bottom of their pain and help them find relief. If painful periods are affecting your quality of life, call or book an appointment online.

Dysmenorrhea (Painful Periods) Q & A

What is dysmenorrhea?

Dysmenorrhea is the term for painful periods, and it comes in one of two types:


Dysmenorrhea of this kind is the more common of the two and describes menstrual cramps: pain that recurs with each period and not as a result of any other conditions.

The pain can start a day or two before your period and last up to three days. The pain can be mild to severe, and you usually feel it in your lower abdomen, back, and thighs.


This type of pain is caused by another issue in your reproductive organs and cycles with your period. Secondary dysmenorrhea usually comes on earlier and lasts longer than menstrual cramps. The pain is often accompanied by:

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Fatigue

What causes painful periods?

Pain outside of normal menstrual cramps is usually rooted in one of the following:

  • Endometriosis
  • Pelvic inflammatory disease
  • Uterine fibroids
  • Stenosis, or narrowing, of your cervix
  • Adenomyosis

To figure out what’s behind your painful periods, your gynecologist at Capital Women’s Care performs a thorough examination, reviews your symptoms, and conducts testing to diagnose the cause.

Rest assured the team of experts works tirelessly to get to the bottom of your painful periods so you can find relief.

What are the treatments for painful periods?

If you’re suffering from primary dysmenorrhea, or menstrual cramping, and the pain is moderate to severe, your doctor may recommend one or more of the following:

  • Hormonal contraceptives
  • Over-the-counter medications
  • Exercise
  • Massages

If your painful periods stem from another issue, your doctor works with you to relieve your pain while finding a treatment for the underlying condition. These treatments vary depending on your diagnosis and can include anything from pain management with medication to surgical procedures to remove your uterus.

The doctors at Capital Women’s Care start with the least-invasive approach and only become more aggressive if your problem persists. If painful periods are keeping you from enjoying life, call Capital Women’s Care, or use the online scheduler to book an appointment.