To evaluate rates of presumptive anovulation in eumenorrheic adolescents and young adults with moderate to severe primary dysmenorrhea and those without primary dysmenorrhea.
Participants completed luteinizing hormone surge ovulation predictor test kits. Anovulatory cycles were defined by never receiving a positive result before the next menstrual period; participants were grouped as anovulatory if they experienced at least 1 anovulatory cycle during study participation. Participants rated daily level of menstrual pain on a 0-10 numeric rating scale.
A university-based clinical research laboratory.
Thirty-nine adolescents and young adults (ages 16-24) with primary dysmenorrhea and 52 age-matched control girls.
Interventions and Main Outcome Measures
Rates of presumptive anovulation.
One hundred sixty-eight cycles were monitored, 29.8% (N = 50) of which were anovulatory (37.1% [39/105] vs 17.5% [11/63] of cycles in control and dysmenorrhea groups, respectively). During study participation, control girls were significantly more likely to have had at least 1 anovulatory cycle than were girls with primary dysmenorrhea (44.2% [23/52] vs 17.9% [7/39] of participants, respectively; P < .01). Cycle length and number of bleeding days between ovulatory and anovulatory cycles were similar. The primary dysmenorrhea group's maximum menstrual pain ratings did not differ between ovulatory and anovulatory cycles (4.77 and 4.36, respectively; P > .05).
Our data support previous findings of increased rates of ovulation in primary dysmenorrhea. However, menstruation after anovulatory cycles can be as painful as menstruation after ovulatory cycles. These data support the idea that regular menses do not necessarily indicate that a normal ovulatory cycle has occurred. Previous implications that ovulation is necessary for the development of substantial menstrual pain are incomplete.Le texte complet de cet article est disponible en PDF.
Key Words : Dysmenorrhea, Anovulation, Adolescent, Young adult
| The authors indicate no conflicts of interest.