Iwona Teul, Katarzyna Kliś, Krzysztof Jarzębak, Iwona Wronka


Introduction: Menstrual disorders generally affect the daily activities of females, and menstrual pain is a common gynaecological complaint in westernized societies. The aim of the study was to determine the prevalence of, and the factors related to, menstrual pain in young, healthy women.

Material and methods: Data from 600 university students were obtained during the cross sectional survey. Students were asked to complete an anonymous questionnaire. Information on the women’s socioeconomic status, age at menarche, and menstrual cycle characteristics: i.e. the length and regularity of cycles, the duration of menstrual flow, and the occurrence of menstrual pain, headache and back pain during the cycles were asked about. Each person’s height, weight and waist circumference were measured, and the following indices: BMI, WHR, and WHtR were calculated.

Results: 29.8% of the surveyed students reported the occurrence of moderate pain during menstruation, and 21.7% reported the occurrence of severe menstrual pain. Significant differences were observed in the prevalence of menstrual pain with relation to age at menarche and the amount and distribution of adipose tissue. Menstrual pain was more prevalent among women who experienced menarche at a younger age. Among overweight and obese students, as well as among students with abdominal obesity, menstrual pain was more frequent than among those with correct weight and correct waist circumference. Moreover, psychological stress was associated with menstrual pain.

Conclusion: The results of this study show that a significant percentage of young women complain of menstrual pain. Menstrual pain is associated with early age at menarche, obesity and abdominal obesity.


menstrual pain; menstruation disorders; age at menarche; obesity; abdominal obesity; socioeconomic status

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