Menstrual cramps

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Classification according to ICD-10
N94 Pain and other ailments that occur in the female organs and with the menstrual cycle.
N94.4 Primary dysmenorrhea
N94.5 Secondary dysmenorrhea
ICD-10 online (WHO version 2019)

Menstrual cramps ( lat. Molimina menstrualia ) describe the appearance of various symptoms that can occur before and during menstruation . The most common are premenstrual syndrome (PMS) and menstrual pain ( dysmenorrhea : painful or difficult menstruation). A distinction is made between primary and secondary dysmenorrhea. Menstrual cramps are important information in gynecological diagnostics.


Studies at the University Women's Clinic in Tübingen at the end of the 1950s showed that around 25–35% of the young women examined suffered from menstrual cramps.

Primary dysmenorrhea

Primary menstrual pain usually starts shortly after menarche and usually lasts until menopause in affected women . Menstrual pain is triggered by prostaglandins , the body's own pain messenger substances, which cause the muscles of the uterus to contract when the uterine lining is rejected. This muscle contraction reduces blood flow to the uterus, which causes the pain. Emotional distress and stress can exacerbate symptoms.

In the case of primary dysmenorrhea, menstruation itself is the cause of pain. Young or very slim women in particular suffer from cramp-like abdominal pain, headaches and malaise , especially in the first few years of their menstrual period . The latter can range from bloating and nausea to vomiting and diarrhea . Some women are so badly affected that they are issued a medical certificate of incapacity for work .

In Japan, women have been allowed to take one day of unpaid or paid vacation since 1947, two days in Indonesia since 1948, and up to three days in Taiwan since 2013. In 2017, a draft law was presented in Italy that would oblige companies to give female employees off work for up to three days per month with continued payment of wages if they had a medical certificate.

Secondary dysmenorrhea

The secondary menstrual pain is triggered by organic changes or diseases. Secondary dismenorrhea can occur as a result of the use of mechanical contraceptives (such as an intrauterine device or diaphragm ), but it can also be the result of gynecological diseases such as myomas , cysts , endometriosis, etc.


Various therapeutic agents can be chosen to treat menstrual cramps. In the case of severe menstrual pain, organic diseases should be ruled out by a gynecologist .

Menstrual irregularities

In addition to complaints, there are also so-called regular type disorders :

Term Molimina menstrualia

The Latin term Molimina menstrualia ( molimina dt. 'Complaints') is used inconsistently in the literature. While in the scientific literature it describes the premenstrual syndrome, among other things, in the German medical literature the term describes both the occurrence of bleeding and pain during menstruation as well as monthly increasing complaints with missing menstruation in hymenal atresia .

Individual evidence

  1. Lois Jovanovic, Genell J. Subak-Sharpe: Hormones. The medical manual for women. (Original edition: Hormones. The Woman's Answerbook. Atheneum, New York 1987) From the American by Margaret Auer, Kabel, Hamburg 1989, ISBN 3-8225-0100-X , p. 372.
  2. Serban-Dan Costa : Die Gynäkologie , Springer, 2006, p. 304, ISBN 3-540-25664-4 , here online
  3. ^ PA König, Statistical Contribution to the Dysmenorrhea Problem , 1959 [1]
  4. W. Dick The psychological form of dysmenorrhea and its hypnotic treatment , 1924 [2]
  5. Pierre E. Frevert, Psychosomatic Aspects of Gynecology and Obstetrics , 2009 [3] (PDF; 173 kB).
  6. Florian Bayer: Debate: Menstrual Leave for Women. In: The Standard . December 12, 2014, accessed April 5, 2017 .
  7. Italy's parliament discusses menstrual leave for women. In: The world . March 30, 2017. Retrieved April 5, 2017 .
  8. Italy: Women politicians demand “menstrual leave”. In: . April 3, 2017, Retrieved April 5, 2017 .
  9. Hildegard Hofmann, Christine Geist (ed.): Obstetrics and gynecology: textbook for health professions , Verlag Walter de Gruyter, 1998, p. 200
  10. Ursel Bühring, practical textbook Heilpflanzenkunde: Basics - Application - Therapy , Georg Thieme Verlag, 2ß14, sections,, and others
  11. Lee et al. J Pain Symptom Manage. 2011 Apr 29.
  12. Gharloghi et al. Patient Prefer Adherence. 2012; 6: 137-142.
  13. Jerilynn C. Prior, Chiaki Konishi, Christine L. Hitchcock, Elaine Kingwell, Patti Janssen, Anthony P. Cheung, Nichole Fairbrother and Azita Goshtasebi: Does Molimina Indicate Ovulation? Prospective Data in a Hormonally Documented Single-Cycle in Spontaneously Menstruating Women . Ed .: Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health. tape 15 , no. 5 , 2018, p. 1016 , doi : 10.3390 / ijerph15051016 .
  14. Kiechle, Marion: Gynecology and Obstetrics . Ed .: Kiechle, Marion. tape 2 . Urban & Fischer Verlag GmbH / Elsevier, 2010, ISBN 978-3-437-42407-6 .
  15. Weyerstahl, Stauber: Dual series of gynecology and obstetrics . Ed .: Weyerstahl. 4th edition. Thieme Verlag, 2013, ISBN 978-3-13-125344-6 .