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ABSTRACT

Primary dysmenorrhea is a widespread problem in women's health care and has a societal impact in loss of work and school days, and a personal impact on women experiencing monthly pain. Oral contraceptives have frequently been used to prevent dysmenorrhea in recent years. This article reviews current theories regarding the etiology of dysmenorrhea and evaluates use of the combined pill solely for dysmenorrhea in light of the recent approval of antiprostaglandin agents for therapeutic use in relieving menstrual pain.