Prevalence of menstrual pain in young women: what is dysmenorrhea? Full Text
Journal of Pain Research, 06/25/2012
Grandi G et al. – Menstrual pain is a very common problem, but the need for medication and the inability to function normally occurs less frequently. Nevertheless, at least one in four women experiences distressing menstrual pain characterized by a need for medication and absenteeism from study or social activities.Methods
- A final group of 408 young women completed a self–assessment questionnaire.
- This was a cross–sectional analytical study.
- Menstrual pain was reported by 84.1% of women, with 43.1% reporting that pain occurred during every period, and 41% reporting that pain occurred during some periods.
- Women with menstrual pain had an earlier menarche (P = 0.0002) and a longer menstrual flow (P = 0.006), and this group was characterized as having a higher prevalence of smokers (P = 0.031) and a lower prevalence of hormonal contraception users (P = 0.015).
- Pain intensity was correlated (r = 0.302, P < 0.0001) positively with menstrual flow length (CR = 0.336), history of abortions (CR = 3.640), and gynecological pathologies (CR = 0.948), and negatively with age at menarche (CR = –0.225), use of hormonal contraception (CR = –0.787), and history of gynecological surgery (CR = –2.115).
- Considering the parameters of menstrual pain, a need for medication, and inability to function normally (absenteeism from study or social activities) alone or together, the prevalence of dysmenorrhea is 84.1% when considering only menstrual pain, 55.2% when considering the association between menstrual pain and need for medication, 31.9% when considering the association between menstrual pain and absenteeism, and 25.3% when considering the association between menstrual pain, need for medication, and absenteeism (P < 0.0001).
- The probability of having more severe dysmenorrhea is directly related to pain intensity as measured by a visual analog scale, but does not coincide with it.