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Are Combined Oral Contraceptives Appropriate Therapy for Primary Dysmenorrhea?

Authors

  • Jean Hammet Goodwin B.S.N.

    Corresponding author
    1. Jean Hammet Goodwin received her B.S.N. from St. Olaf College in 1974, and is currently working on her master's degree in nurse-midwifery at the University of Illinois at the Medical Center.
      Address correspondence to: Ms. Jean Goodwin, c/o University of Illinois School of Nursing, 845 S. Damen, Chicago, Illinois 60612.
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Address correspondence to: Ms. Jean Goodwin, c/o University of Illinois School of Nursing, 845 S. Damen, Chicago, Illinois 60612.

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.

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