Your healthcare provider will ask about your medical and family history and your overall health. They will also ask you about your normal menstrual cycle, when you started menstruating, and what symptoms you experience.
From there, you will receive a pelvic exam. Your doctor will examine your uterus, cervix, and vagina for any lumps, changes, or abnormalities that may be causing your symptoms.
Your doctor may also order other tests, including:
- Hysteroscopy. Using a viewing instrument inserted through the vagina, your healthcare provider can see the cervix and the inside of the uterus.
- Laparoscopy. This minor procedure uses a laparoscope, a viewing instrument with a light, to see your uterus and pelvis. The laparoscopy is inserted through a small incision in your belly. This procedure is generally performed under general anesthesia in a hospital.
- MRI. This test uses a large magnet, radio waves, and a computer to make 2-D images of an internal organ or structure.
- Ultrasound. This is an ultrasound test using a small tool (transducer) that is pressed against your belly or placed in the vagina. The ultrasound uses high-energy sound waves to produce an image of your uterus and other organs on a screen.
Getting a proper diagnosis for dysmenorrhea can sometimes be challenging. You may be dismissed by healthcare providers who are not familiar with the condition and don’t know what to look for. You may want to consider getting a second opinion if your symptoms do not respond.