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Background: Membranous dysmenorrhea involves the spontaneous slough of the endometrium in one cylindrical or membranous piece that retains the shape of the uterine cavity. Because this entity is rarely mentioned in the medical literature, the purpose of this report is to describe two such cases.

Case: An 18-year-old nullipara with regular menstrual cycles presented with membranous dysmenorrhea after taking the contraceptive Gynera (Gestodene 0.075 mg, ethinyl estradiol 0.030 mg). Symptoms disappeared when the medication was discontinued. The second patient, a 26-year-old woman, gravida 1, para 1, was on a 10-day monthly regimen of Provera (medroxyprogesterone acetate) 2.5 mg/ day for dysfunctional uterine bleeding. When the Provera dose was increased to 10 mg/day, the symptoms disappeared.

Conclusion: Membranous dysmenorrhea is "a disease of theories" with various recommended medications. When this condition is caused by iatrogenic treatment, the best approach is to discontinue the offending drug or change its dosage.

(C) 1995 The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists