The combined oral contraceptive pill (COC) can help reduce the pain associated with periods, a new study has found.
Researchers at the Institute of Clinical Sciences at Sahlgrenska Academy, part of Gothenburg University, found that severe period pain and dysmenorrhoea was less likely to affect those who used the contraception.
Dr Ingela Lindh, who led the team, explained that as women become older and use COC for longer pain is reduced, but the effects of age and COC are mutually exclusive, with the pill having a greater impact.
"We found that combined oral contraceptive use reduced dysmenorrhoea by 0.3 units, which means that every third woman went one step down on the VMS scale," she added.
The VMS scale is used by patients to grade pain as none, mild, moderate or severe.
According to the Family Planning Association, the pill may not be an effective form of contraception for those who are over the age of 35 and have smoked in the past.
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