Apr 15, 2014 05:52 AM EDT
Menstrual Pain Slows Down Accuracy and Intelligence in Women, Study
Besides causing discomfort, nausea, and cramping, period pain is also found to make women less accurate and less intelligent than when they are not in pain, according to a new University of Bath study.
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British researchers discovered that menstrual pain lowers cognitive performance and attention span, resulting in poor performance in computer-based tasks. Women who suffer from such pain also find it difficult to multi-task.
"Pain is an extremely common experience and can have a disruptive effect on all our daily lives. Our research looked at how common everyday pain, experienced by many women each month, affects their ability to perform a range of complex tasks. This shows that the effects of pain go beyond the sensory experience, affecting what we think and feel," Lead author, Dr Ed Keogh from the Department of Psychology, said in a statement.
Period pain or dysmenorrhea is a painful condition that affects more than 40 per cent of women. It is one of the leading causes of absence from school and work among women in their teens and 20s, Telegraph reports.
This is the first study to establish a link between menstrual pain and cognitive performance.
For the study, psychologists asked 52 adults with period pain to undertake tests that measured different aspects of attention. The researchers found that period pain affected overall performance of the participants.
The finding shows that the effects of period pain are often ignored and inadequately understood. Keogh said that more research in this field is required to remove pain as an obstacle to exceed among women.
"We know that the impact of pain can be widespread. The more we understand about how people experience pain, the better mechanisms we can put in place to help people cope," Keogh said, Bath Chronicle reports.
Keogh said that women can make use of existing strategies like watching TV or listening to music to distract themselves from the pain.
The finding is published in the journal Pain.
Thank Your Body has listed ways to cope with menstrual pain:
2. Heating pad
4. Abdominal massage
5. Warm baths
7. Adequate sleep