Majority of Australian teenage girls experience menstrual pain

Menstrual pain can interfere with school attendance and activity participation.

An Australian study has found that the vast majority of teenage girls experience period pain during their cycle.

The Murdoch Children’s Research Institute revealed in June that 80 percent of teenage girls suffer from dysmenorrhea – the clinical term for menstrual cramps and pelvic pain – and that 2o percent of respondents also miss activities as a result.

Launched in March, the LONGSTEPPP project is ongoing and involves participants aged 10-18 who complete an annual survey over a five-year period.

“A lot of work has been done on endometriosis or pelvic pain in women ages 25, 35, 40 years old,” lead researcher and gynecologist Professor Sonia Grover told the ABC. “And yet we know that these women have often said, ‘I was in pain from when I was a teenager.'”

“It seems we need to start when it starts, rather than tackle a problem when it may have turned into something more difficult to treat,” she said, referring to the endometriosis disorder, which can progress to infertility. or cancer.

Menstrual pain can interfere with daily life and, in severe cases, can prevent people who are menstruating from attending school or working.

According to the Pelvic Pain Foundation of Australia, menstrual pain is the most common form of pelvic pain, and “normal” cases are often treated with medications and pain relievers, birth control, and complementary therapies such as supplements and acupuncture.

A 2020 study found that more than a third of young women had missed at least one class in school or tertiary education in a three-month period because of their menstrual symptoms, while 60 percent said they didn’t feel comfortable watching. share with a teacher or tutor about how their period affected their learning.

More global research revealed a year earlier that more than 70 percent of people who menstruate experience painful periods, and, similar to LONGSTEPPP’s findings, also reported that 20 percent were forced to miss classes, using case studies from more than 20 countries. , including Australia .

Photo credit: Annika Gordon/Unsplash

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