Manscript Submission


Primary dysmenorrhea is common in adolescence; dysmenorrhea secondary to a cyst or inflammation or other organic pathologic process is rare. During adolescence many girls find it difficult to assume, either physiologically or psychologically, the new demands which the process of maturing into an adult female has put upon them. It is therefore necessary to understand the endocrine and reproductive systems of this age group a nd also their worries and conflicts. It is important to know that dysmenorrhea does not occur in the absence of ovulation and that cramps can be evidence of underlying tension and worry. For most girls who have this complaint, a thorough but thoughtful examination, reassurance, a careful explanation of the association between ovulation and menstruation and a little attention to them, will suffice. Others who have the sort of worries and conflicts which plague this age group should be given an opportunity to express their feelings and relieve their tension. In an occasional adolescent, incapacitating menstrual cramps may be the somatic focus of a disorder which will require psychiatric care. When both the physiologic and the psychologic characteristics of adolescents are kept in mind, the physician can at least do much to insure these patients a more satisfactory adjustment to womanhood and perhaps also to relieve their discomfort