The combined oral contraceptive pill could be used by women as a way to alleviate painful menstrual periods, new research by a Swedish university has claimed.
According to the Gothenburg University team, taking the Pill can produce an independent and great pain-relieving effect, with many doctors already prescribing the contraceptive “off label” to tackle period pain.
The study, published in in the journal Human Reproduction, involved three groups of women who turned 19 in 1981, 1991 and 2001. The groups - of between 400 and 520 each - provided details on their menstruation history and contraceptive use, and were assessed again at the age of 24.
Lead researcher Dr Ingela Lindh said: “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, for instance from severe pain to moderate pain, and which meant that they suffered less pain, improved their working ability and there was a decrease in the need for analgesics. On the VAS scale there was a reduction in pain of nine millimetres.”