The relationship among exercise, stress, and primary dysmenorrhea

William Metheny, Roger P. Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

27 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This study considers primary dysmenorrhea from a biopsychosocial perspective in examining the relationship between physical exercise and menstrual pain. Despite widespread claims of the benefits of exercise for perimenstrual symptoms, the evidence seems weak. Stronger evidence indicates that exercise helps relieve stress and elevates mood and that stress heightens menstrual discomfort. Student nurses (n=176) completed a questionnaire disguised as a general health survey that contained these measures. The hierarchial regression analysis demonstrated that, contrary to the expected, regular exercise increased with the severity of menstrual symptoms, after controlling for medications, disposition, perceived stress, and mood. The findings suggest that exercise presents a tradeoff; it relieves the stress that may intensify dysmenorrhea, yet it may aggravate these same symptoms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)569-586
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of behavioral medicine
Volume12
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 1989

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Dysmenorrhea
Exercise
Health Surveys
Nurses
Regression Analysis
Students

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Psychology(all)
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

Cite this

The relationship among exercise, stress, and primary dysmenorrhea. / Metheny, William; Smith, Roger P.

In: Journal of behavioral medicine, Vol. 12, No. 6, 01.12.1989, p. 569-586.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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