Yes, the Pill CAN ease the agony of period pain: Scientists confirm what millions of women already know
Cramps: In some cases women who previously had symptoms so severe they had to take time off work were able to go about their routines as normal while on the Pill albeit with the help of painkillers
Millions of women have long known that taking the Pill can ease their period pains. Now science has caught up.
Researchers have found that the Pill significantly relieved symptoms in a third of young women.
Up to half of women suffer from menstrual cramps, known as dysmenorrhoea, and for some the pain is so severe it causes vomiting and fainting.
They normally last for a couple of days and tend to be worse during teenage years, gradually easing off with age.
This study involving 1,300 volunteers aged 19 to 24 found that the Pill reduced pain by at least one point on a ten-point scale.
In some cases women who previously had symptoms so severe they had to take time off work were able to go about their routines as normal – albeit with the help of painkillers.
Period pain is caused by hormones called prostaglandins, produced by the lining of the womb to make it contract.
But Dr Ingela Lindh and her colleagues at Gothenburg University, Sweden, believe that the contraceptive pill prevents the production of these hormones and thereby reduces these cramps.
The study, published in the journal Human Reproduction, looked at three separate groups of women who were surveyed at the age of 19 and then again when they were 24.
They all provided details on their pain, whether they used contraceptive pills and other basic details such as age, height and weight.
Dr Lindh, who is also a registered nurse and midwife, said: ‘/01/18/article-2088105-0F82C4B200000578-791_468x320.jpg” width=”468″ height=”320″ alt=”Contraceptives could help ease excruciating cramps that affect some women during their periods” class=”blkBorder” />
Contraceptives could help ease excruciating cramps that affect some women during their periods
Some studies estimate that three quarters of teenagers and half of adult women suffer period pains. This ranges from a dull ache in the stomach or back that passes after a few hours to excruciating cramps that last for several days causing vomiting and fainting.
Some of the popular remedies include pressing a hot water bottle to the abdomen, gentle exercise such as swimming, jogging or walking as well as yoga.
Dr Lindh said: ‘It’s really good for women to know that there are some benefits of the Pill.’
She added: ‘Information about the effects of its use on painful periods should be included in contraceptive counselling, as it has been shown that women who experience a beneficial effect of [the Pill] other than contraception, such as a reduction in dysmenorrhoea, are more likely to continue with the Pill.’