Study of the association between Primary Dysmenorrhea and Preterm Labor

Document Type : Original Article


1 Associate Professor of Obstetrics & Gynecology, Women's health research Center, Faculty of Medicine, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran.

2 Assistant Professor of Public Health & Epidemiology, Faculty of Medicine, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran.

3 M.D. Student, Faculty of Medicine, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran.


Introduction: Little is known about the mechanism and biochemical pathway of preterm delivery. Since some drugs used to treat preterm labor are also useful for the treatment of primary dysmenorrhea so this study attempted to evaluate the association between primary dysmenorrhea and preterm delivery. If the association is statistically significant, primary dysmenorrhea should be regarded as a risk factor for preterm delivery.
Methods: A case-control study of 160 women with idiopathic preterm delivery as case group and 160 women with term delivery as controls was done in the women who referred to obstetric clinic of Imam Reza hospital in 1387. Both groups were healthy, singleton and without obstetric problems. Demographic information, history of primary dysmenorrhea and history of previous preterm labor were recorded in questionnaire and statistical data were analyzed by t- test, chi square test, Mann-Whitney test and logistic regression test by using SPSS software version 15.
Results: Rate history of primary dysmenorrhea in women with preterm labor was greater and had significant difference with control group. Gravid women with a history of primary dysmenorrhea had 3.5-fold increased risk of preterm delivery in comparison with those without a history of primary dysmenorrhea )p=0.005). So in subgroup analysis, gravid women with a history of severe primary dysmenorrhea had 5.5-fold increased risk of spontaneous preterm delivery (p=0.000) while gravid women with moderate primary dysmenorrhea had 2.6-fold increased risk of spontaneous preterm delivery (p=0.001).
Conclusion: Primary dysmenorrhea is associated with an increased risk of spontaneous preterm delivery. A common pathophysiologic pathway may exist between these two disorders.


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