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Combined oral contraceptive pill 'does alleviate menstrual pain'
Women's health research has shown that the combined oral contraceptive (COC) pill appears to have an effect in reducing menstrual pain.
A 30-year study by a team at the Institute of Clinical Sciences at Sahlgrenska Academy at Gothenburg University in Sweden investigating the issue has been published in journal Human Reproduction.
This comes after a Cochrane Colloboration review into research on the pill's effect on dysmenorrhoea found limited evidence for the ability of the drug to alleviate painful periods, but the Scandanavian scientists argued their findings are convincing.
Women in three age groups - consisting of between 400 and 520 people each - had their menstrual patterns and experiences assessed at the age of 19 and then again when they hit 24 years old.
The first group became eligible for the study in 1981, the second in 1991 and the third in 2001.
"We found there was a significant difference in the severity of dysmenorrhoea depending on whether or not the women used combined oral contraceptives," one of the authors of the research Dr Ingela Lindh said.
Despite the lack of consensus on whether or not COCs provide significant relief from dysmenorrhoea, NHS Choices notes the pill is used to treat painful periods.
Posted by David Smith
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