Queensland Institute of Medical Research (Australia) scientists have identified a new link between strong period pain in adolescence and early adulthood and the risk of endometriosis. The researchers say that having strong period pain often at an early age doubles a woman's risk of developing endometriosis.
Interestingly, the study, appearing in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, also found that girls starting their menstrual cycle after 14 years of age had a significantly decreased risk of endometriosis.
The study, where information about early menstrual characteristics in women with moderate to severe endometriosis was compared to data from women who had not been diagnosed with endometriosis, is one of the largest of its kind.
In a related study last year, the research team found that being overweight at 10 years of age also doubles the risk of developing endometriosis in later life.
"Our research aims to better understand the signs and symptoms before the disease develops and to help identify women at higher risk. Early intervention will result in better health outcomes for women with this condition," said researcher Christina Nagle.
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Source: Queensland Institute of Medical Research