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December 13, 1930


Author Affiliations

Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology, State University of Iowa College of Medicine IOWA CITY

JAMA. 1930;95(24):1796-1803. doi:10.1001/jama.1930.02720240006003

Discoveries and real contributions in modern medicine have not been numerous; yet a few, by their brilliance, have lent a happier color to many unsettled problems that physicians must face. Among the latter, dysmenorrhea must be included. Contributions covering the histology of menstruation,1 and the elaborate studies on ovulation2 and the female sex hormone,3 have helped considerably in clearing away the haze surrounding this physiologic process. Yet in some respects dysmenorrhea remains as much of a riddle today as it was fifty years ago. The truth of this statement is well illustrated by a comparison of earlier conditions with our own. Thus, in 1877, Jacobi4 noted that 46 per cent of women complained of menstrual pain; and in 1927,

fifty years later, in a study of 785 young college women and nurses, we found 47 per cent similarly afflicted. Of this number, however, only 17 per

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