Many women have a stomach ache during their period. Pain sometimes prevents them from working or going to school. An Australian study has just shown that this pain is worse in smokers.

Australian scientists show link between smoking and painful periods

This is the hypothesis supported by Australian researchers, according to the study published in Tobacco Control, on November 17, 2014. Poor oxygenation of the uterus may explain why smokers have more menstrualpain than non-smokers.

Over 9,000 young women, aged 18 to 23 at the start of the study, were followed for thirteen years. 25% of them complained of menstrual pain (dysmenorrhea), including 14% of practically systematic pain each month. 25% were smokers.

The results show that the risk of suffering during menstruation is higher in young women who smoke compared to those who have never smoked. All the more so if their smoking is old.

This risk is 59% higher among those who started smoking before the age of 13. For those who entered smoking between the ages of 14 and 15, the risk was 50% higher.

We find that smokers suffer twice as much from premenstrual syndrom than women who have never smoked. The risk is multiplied by a factor of 2.1. Note that former smokers also present an increased risk: it is multiplied by 1.8 in women who used to smoke more than 25 cigarettes per day.

Tobacco decreases the size of blood vessels. And therefore, the supply of oxygen to the tissues. This could explain the pain in the uterus.

Smoking and painful periods, another hypothesis

Another hypothesis: the hormonal upheavals that occur at the time of puberty would not go well with cigarettes.

You may also be interested in this article.