Influence of dietary intake of dairy products on dysmenorrhea

J Obstet Gynaecol Res. 2010 Apr;36(2):377-83. doi: 10.1111/j.1447-0756.2009.01159.x.


Aim: To determine the frequency of dysmenorrhea and its associated symptoms amongst a number of adolescent female students and to investigate the possible association between daily dairy product intake and dysmenorrhea.

Methods: A self-assessment questionnaire was completed by 127 female university students aged between 19 and 24 years. Participants gave information that included demographics, the nature, type, and severity of pain associated with menstruation if any, management used to relieve dysmenorrhea, associated symptoms, and a general assessment of dietary intake of dairy products.

Results: The prevalence of primary dysmenorrhea in the population studied was 87.4% with the majority of the participants' pain symptoms beginning a few days before and continuing through the first two days of menstruation. Forty-six percent of students were found to have severe dysmenorrhea. Abdominal bloating was the most frequently expressed symptom associated with dysmenorrhea amongst the population studied. Dysmenorrhea and associated symptoms were found in significantly fewer female students who consumed three or four servings of dairy products per day as compared to participants who consumed no dairy products.

Conclusion: Primary dysmenorrhea is common in young women. This study helps us to better understand the relationship between low dietary intake of dairy products and the risk of dysmenorrhea.

MeSH terms

  • Attitude to Health
  • Dairy Products*
  • Diet Surveys
  • Diet*
  • Dysmenorrhea / epidemiology*
  • Feeding Behavior
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Prevalence
  • Risk Factors
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Young Adult