Dysmenorrhea refers to the syndrome of painful menstruation. Primary dysmenorrhea occurs in the absence of pelvic pathology, whereas secondary dysmenorrhea results from identifiable organic diseases, most typically endometriosis, uterine fibroids, uterine adenomyosis, or chronic pelvic inflammatory disease. The prevalence of dysmenorrhea is estimated to be between 45 and 95% among reproductive-aged women. Although not life threatening, dysmenorrhea can be debilitating and psychologically taxing for many women and is one of the leading causes of absenteeism from work and school.
American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists – http://www.acog.org/publications/patient_education/bp046.cfm