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Integrating Lifestyle Focused Approaches into the Management of Primary Dysmenorrhea: Impact on Quality of Life

Authors Tsonis O, Gkrozou F, Barmpalia Z, Makopoulou A, Siafaka V

Received 25 November 2020

Accepted for publication 4 February 2021

Published 17 March 2021 Volume 2021:13 Pages 327—336


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Professor Elie Al-Chaer

Orestis Tsonis,1 Fani Gkrozou,2 Zoi Barmpalia,1 Annamaria Makopoulou,3 Vassiliki Siafaka4

1Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, University Hospital of Ioannina, Ioannina, Greece; 2Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, University Hospitals of Birmingham, Birmingham, UK; 3School of Psychology, College of Human Sciences, Bangor University, Bangor, Wales, UK; 4Department of Speech and Language Therapy, School of Health Sciences, University of Ioannina, Ioannina, Greece

Correspondence: Orestis Tsonis
Senior Registrar in Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, University Hospital of Ioannina, Stavrou Niarchou Avenue, Ioannina, 45500, Greece
Tel +306986620604
Email [email protected]

Objective: This narrative review aims to identify alternative ways to improve the symptoms of primary dysmenorrhea (PD).
Background: PD refers to endometrial painful cramps during the premenstrual period. This condition affects a lot of women worldwide and is accompanied with absenteeism and high economic costs, thus, risk-free, and effective therapeutic approaches are needed. Pharmacological agents such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and oral contraceptive pills (OCPs), which are widely prescribed for these women, demonstrate adequate efficacy in alleviating pain and discomfort. The long natural course of the disease dictates remedies that focus on lifestyle changes and on improvement of Quality-of-Life (QoL) for women suffering with PD.
Materials and Methods: Five major search engines, namely MEDLINE, PubMed, EMBASE, and Cochrane Library were searched for articles published prior to October 2020 focused in PD. A total of 74 paper were included.
Discussion: Physical activity, for instance yoga, aromatherapy massage, and other forms of relaxation, vitamins and dietary changes, acupressure and acupuncture,a and some psychological interventions are just few of the proposed health behavior targeted approaches in cases of PD. This review focuses on lifestyle changes and alternative methods that could potentially result in minimizing symptoms of PD and in improving overall QoL for these patients, by providing current scientific evidence on their efficacy.
Conclusion: Complementary and alternative medicine practices (CAM) are widely accepted by women. International literature provides controversial scientific evidence, thus further studies need to be conducted in order to prove or disregard their efficacy in cases of PD.

Keywords: primary dysmenorrhea, quality-of-life, therapy, complementary and alternative medicine, pain relief

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