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Scientists from QIMR's Gynaecological Cancer Laboratory have identified a link between strong period pain experienced in adolescence and early adulthood and the risk of endometriosis. They have found that when young woman has strong period pain at an early age, the chances of developing endometriosis double. Additionally, study finds that young women that start having menstrual cycle before the age of 14 years also have increased risk of having endometriosis.

The findings are based on the study of 500 Australian women which makes the research one of the largest in the field. The study was conducted by comparing and analyzing data about early menstrual characteristics in women with moderate to severe endometriosis to information from women who had not been diagnosed with endometriosis. While most researches are focused on the characteristics of recent menstrual cycles of women with endometriosis, this study is one of the first that researches the factors that may contribute to the development of endometriosis long before symptoms and diagnosis can occur. The study found that strong menstrual pain is in connection with development of endometriosis later and life, and that women that start having menstrual cycle after the age of 14 years also have decreased risk of developing endometriosis.

There was also a related study conducted last year and that one found out that women who were overweight at the age of 10 years doubled the risk of developing endometriosis later in life. These findings are all a step forward in discovering what causes the disease that affects almost 10% of women worldwide and is one of the major causes of infertility and problems conceiving a child. Although there is no known cause of the disease its symptoms can be managed through pain medication, hormone treatment and/or surgery. Perhaps the findings of the studies mentioned above will open the doors to new interventions that will result in better outcomes for women with endometriosis.

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