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November 22, 1958


JAMA. 1958;168(12):1660-1661. doi:10.1001/jama.1958.03000120066012

ALTHOUGH theoretically menstruation should be a painless physiological function, many apparently normal young women have dysmenorrhea. In fact most women have some cramping, but, considering it normal, pay little attention to it. Because of its subjective nature the intensity of this pain is hard to evaluate. Estimates of the incidence of dysmenorrhea vary widely. Smith and Norris1 state that it affects about 35% of all women but in most of these it does not seriously interfere with their activity. It is a great nuisance for employers, and some industrial surgeons believe it is used by some as an excuse to obtain time off. This idea would seem to find some support in the fact that Smith and Norris found that about 16.5% of the women in an industrial survey required time off for this reason whereas in a survey of high school and college girls the incidence was only

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