Primary dysmenorrhea occurs due to abnormal levels of prostanoids, uterine contractions, and uterine blood flow. However, the reasons for pain in primary dysmenorrhea have not yet been clarified. We examined the blood flow alterations in patients with primary dysmenorrhea and determined the relationship between ischemia-modified albumin (IMA) levels, as an ischemia indicator, and primary dysmenorrhea.
 In the present study, 37 patients who had primary dysmenorrhea and were in their luteal and menstrual phase of their menstrual cycles were included. Thirty individuals who had similar demographic characteristics, who were between 18 and 30 years old and did not have gynecologic disease were included as control individuals. Their uterine artery Doppler indices and serum IMA levels were measured.
 Menstrual phase plasma IMA levels were significantly higher than luteal phase IMA levels, both in the patient and in the control groups ( < 0.001). Although the menstrual phase IMA levels of patients were significantly higher than those of controls, luteal phase IMA levels were not significantly different between the two groups. Menstrual uterine artery pulsatility index (PI) and resistance index (RI) of primary dysmenorrhea patients were significantly different when compared with luteal uterine artery PI and RI levels. There was a positive correlation between menstrual phase IMA and uterine artery PI and RI in the primary dysmenorrhea.
 Ischemia plays an important role in the etiology of the pain, which is frequently observed in patients with primary dysmenorrhea. Ischemia-modified albumin levels are considered as an efficient marker to determine the severity of pain and to indicate ischemia in primary dysmenorrhea.

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