cramps and pains in the abdomen, back and hips, flatulenceHeadaches and even vomiting and diarrhea: many women have painful periods that sometimes lead to disabling. This pain is also called dysmenorrhea. Chinese scientists suggest that these pains may be related to air pollution. More specifically, nitrogen, carbon monoxide, and particulate matter are able to increase the risk of dysmenorrhea. The work was published on June 17, 2021 in the journal Frontiers in Public Health.
Researchers have investigated the relationship between air quality and painful periods
Are pollutants in the air responsible for pain during menstruation? Researchers at Taiwan University Hospital have studied air pollution and its consequences for women’s health in more depth. To do this, experts examined the health data of a total of 296,078 women between the ages of 16 and 55. Participants were followed for 13 years.
This health information has been compared with that in the air quality database provided by the local Environmental Protection Agency. Based on their findings, the researchers concluded that women who live in the most polluted areas have a 33 times greater risk of developing dysmenorrhea.
Various pollutants played a role in amplifying this risk, but fine particulates were found to be the most dangerous. These findings highlight the need for action not only by government agencies, but also by citizens to reduce air pollution.
FYI, previous studies have shown that smokers, obese women and those who drink during their menstrual cycle have a higher risk of suffering from painful periods. Same for women who had a very small first period and for those who have never given birth. In some cases, this severe pain may also indicate endometriosis or a hormonal imbalance.
Frontiers in public health (juin 2021): “Increased incidence of dysmenorrhea in women exposed to higher concentrations of NO, NO2, NOx, CO, and PM2.5: a nationwide population-based study,” Chung-Y. Hsu et Coll.