Back to Journals » Journal of Pain Research » Volume 5

Prevalence of menstrual pain in young women: what is dysmenorrhea?

Authors Grandi G, Ferrari, Xholli, Cannoletta M, Palma, Romani C, Volpe, Cagnacci A

Received 6 February 2012

Accepted for publication 14 April 2012

Published 20 June 2012 Volume 2012:5 Pages 169—174


Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 3

Giovanni Grandi, Serena Ferrari, Anjeza Xholli Marianna Cannoletta, Federica Palma, Cecilia Romani, Annibale Volpe, Angelo Cagnacci

Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Pediatrics, Obstetrics and Gynecology Unit, Azienda Ospedaliero Universitaria Policlinico of Modena, Modena, Italy

Objectives: This study aimed to determine the frequency of dysmenorrhea, as identified by different definitions, in a population of young women, and to investigate factors associated with this complaint.
Materials and methods: A final group of 408 young women completed a self-assessment questionnaire. This was a cross-sectional analytical study.
Results: 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.
Conclusion: 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.

Keywords: menstrual pain, dysmenorrhea, treatment, absenteeism

Creative Commons License This work is published and licensed by Dove Medical Press Limited. The full terms of this license are available at and incorporate the Creative Commons Attribution - Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License. By accessing the work you hereby accept the Terms. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed. For permission for commercial use of this work, please see paragraphs 4.2 and 5 of our Terms.

Download Article [PDF]  View Full Text [HTML][Machine readable]


Readers of this article also read:

Emerging and future therapies for hemophilia

Carr ME, Tortella BJ

Journal of Blood Medicine 2015, 6:245-255

Published Date: 3 September 2015

Green synthesis of water-soluble nontoxic polymeric nanocomposites containing silver nanoparticles

Prozorova GF, Pozdnyakov AS, Kuznetsova NP, Korzhova SA, Emel’yanov AI, Ermakova TG, Fadeeva TV, Sosedova LM

International Journal of Nanomedicine 2014, 9:1883-1889

Published Date: 16 April 2014

Methacrylic-based nanogels for the pH-sensitive delivery of 5-Fluorouracil in the colon

Ashwanikumar N, Kumar NA, Nair SA, Kumar GS

International Journal of Nanomedicine 2012, 7:5769-5779

Published Date: 15 November 2012

A novel preparation method for silicone oil nanoemulsions and its application for coating hair with silicone

Hu Z, Liao M, Chen Y, Cai Y, Meng L, Liu Y, Lv N, Liu Z, Yuan W

International Journal of Nanomedicine 2012, 7:5719-5724

Published Date: 12 November 2012

Cross-linked acrylic hydrogel for the controlled delivery of hydrophobic drugs in cancer therapy

Deepa G, Thulasidasan AK, Anto RJ, Pillai JJ, Kumar GS

International Journal of Nanomedicine 2012, 7:4077-4088

Published Date: 27 July 2012