Women using combined oral contraceptives experience less menstrual pain compared with non-users, finds a large longitudinal study.
Previously evidence has been scant for an association, but this study showed combined oral contraceptive use had a significant effect on menstrual pain.
A random sample of 1,749 19-year old women born between 1962 and 1982 competed pain questionnaires where they scored their pain and marked the severity of their pain on a 10cm line.
Five years later, respondents were followed up and scores improved by 9mm with combined oral contraceptive use, and this compared with a 5mm reduction for increasing age and 7mm for childbirth.
Study author Professor Ian Milsom, professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Göteborg University in Sweden, said: ‘This information is important for health providers when informing women of the non-contraceptive benefits of combined oral contraceptives'.
Human Reproduction 2012, published on line 18 January