According to the study ‘DYSMENORRHEA GLOBAL CLINICAL TRIALS REVIEW, H1, 2018’, menstrual issues are widespread among girls and this affects their daily physical and emotional wellbeing.Dysmenorrhea is the medical term for pain with menstruation. There are two types of dysmenorrhea primary and secondary with primary dysmenorrhea being common menstrual cramps that are recurrent in nature and are not caused by other diseases but lead to pain in lower abdomen, back or thighs. Secondary dysmenorrhea is long lasting pain that is caused by a disorder in the woman’s reproductive organs, such as endometriosis, adenomyosis, uterine fibroids or infection.
The medical fraternity is carrying out research studies in various known ailments including dysmenorrhea and studying its effects on the general life activities of women. It has been noted that the effects of dysmenorrhea transcend beyond personal discomfort, to female participation in other sectors. The declining participation of females in the educational sector and professional work environments is largely being attributed to dysmenorrhea. Evidence suggests that dysmenorrhea may also be a risk factor for other chronic pain conditions. Apart from this, dysmenorrhea has also been identified to be in strong association with other medical conditions. Dysmenorrhea has recently been recognized as the main symptom of Herlyn-Werner-Wunderlich Syndrome (HWW), evident by a case study. There is also obstruction mass or endometriosis associated with dysmenorrhea. MRI with capability of tissue differentiation is the gold standard for diagnosis. The primary purpose of surgery in this respect is to release the obstruction and prevent further complications. Studies conducted, on the prevalence of primary dysmenorrhea and its relationship with body mass index (BMI), have revealed surprising findings. Pair wise comparison of dysmenorrhea between different BMI groups showed a statistically significant difference in the frequency of moderate and severe dysmenorrhea between under weight and overweight subjects indicating that under weight females are at a higher risk of having primary dysmenorrhea. Thus, this study indicates a greater prevalence of moderate and severe dysmenorrhea in underweight as compared to overweight females, whilst conducting further research on the pathophysiological mechanisms responsible for this association.
Even on an international level dysmenorrhea is being extensively studied. The dysmenorrhea study conducted by the Department of Pharmacy of the College of Health Sciences of Mekelle University in northern Ethiopia is one of the latest researches that have shed light on dysmenorrhea. This was a cross sectional institution based study that was conducted on Mekelle University health science students. More than two-third of the students were found to be affected by this ailment and it was noted that participants who had long menstrual cycle interval, long menses flows, positive family history and who were alcohol consumers were more likely to have dysmenorrhea. It was also concluded that students feel depressed, have poor personal relationships and indulge in class absenteeism. A study conducted in Jordon produced similar results. Various other studies have approached the issue from different perspectives and have raised conclusions in diverse aspects. A study conducted in Vietnam showed that age at which menarche occurs and religion were associated as well whereas a study conducted in Turkey revealed that dysmenorrhea was significantly higher in coffee consumers and those who had a family history. An experimental study conducted in Iran showed that regular physical activity significantly reduced dysmenorrhea. Studies conducted in India support the findings that affected females frequently miss classes and college. Studies have also been conducted to understand the treatment measures adopted by those affected. The Ethiopian students researched seem to rely on self medication. ibuprofen appears to be popular among South-Indian subjects whereas paracetamol is widely used in Taiwan and Ghana. According to Egyptian study fresh ginger appeared effective in relieving menstrual pain.
Dysmenorrhea is widely being researched both in India and on the international front. An increasing number of studies from around the world are presenting different views on the subject and its treatment with some factors, such as family history, being globally recognized to increase susceptibility. The role dysmenorrhea plays in the decreasing female educational participation is also being widely recognized.
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Ankur Gupta, Head Marketing & Communications