Primary dysmenorrhea is the most common gynecological condition among women of reproductive age. Although dysmenorrhea has been reported to affect the ability of women to carry out daily activities, the impact of primary dysmenorrheic pain specifically on quality of life (QoL), has yet to be elucidated. We investigated whether QoL varies between women with and without severe primary dysmenorrhea, and whether QoL is impaired only during menstruation or also during pain-free phases of the menstrual cycle. Twelve women with severe primary dysmenorrhea and nine control women completed the quality of life enjoyment and satisfaction questionnaire (Q-LES-Q-SF) during menstruation and during the late follicular phase. Women with dysmenorrhea had a significant reduction in Q-LES-Q-SF scores (mean ± SD: 54 ± 18%, percentage of the total maximum possible score) when they were experiencing severe menstrual pain compared with their own pain-free follicular phase (80 ± 14%, p < 0.0001) and compared with controls during menstruation (81 ± 10%, p < 0.0001). They also rated their overall life satisfaction and contentment as poorer during menstruation. Severe menstrual pain associated with primary dysmenorrhea, therefore, impacts health-related of QoL.
Keywords: Quality of life; dysmenorrhea; menstrual phase; menstruation; pain; women.
© 2013 Nordic Federation of Societies of Obstetrics and Gynecology.