According to recent research, concussion is suspected to cause increased menstrual bleeding and other abnormalities as to periods. The study was performed by the University of Pittsburgh and involved 130 young women and girls. Dr. Anthony P. Kontos, lead researcher of the study, was always concerned about how a concussion can influence a woman's menstrual bleeding. In order to clarify this matter, he decided to conduct a clinical study, involving adolescents and young women, with ages ranging between 12 and 21. All the participants experienced sport-related or orthopedic injuries which led to concussions. For a more accurate conclusion, the doctor decided to include women with no head injuries in this trial, to observe any differences.
All the participants were selected a few days after their injury and they were being followed for another 120 days after that. The participants were provided with an online link that led to a survey they were offered to take part in. The survey contained some ratings of certain bleeding patterns, regarding the intensity of bleeding, time frames, or any discontinuities. According to the responses, the 130 participants reported 487 different bleeding patterns and around half of them presented abnormalities. The researchers wanted to make an overall statistic and observe how many women presented at least one menstrual bleeding abnormality. After conclusions were drawn, it appeared that 57 out of the 130 participants presented at least one bleeding abnormality.
When the researchers looked closer into the data, they realized that 16 of the 68 participants with concussions reported 2 or more menstrual abnormalities. However, only 3 of the participants with orthopedic (non-head) injuries presented any menstrual abnormalities. Comparing the percentages, we can realize that almost 25% of the participants with concussion presented menstrual dysfunction and only 5% of the non-head injured had similar problems.
The study could not however establish the personal menstrual bleeding pattern of every participant or the self-reported patterns. Also, the researchers could not consider the exterior factors that could affect the participants' bleeding patterns. Still, considering the decisive conclusions, the researchers agreed that such limitations don’t influence the credibility of the outcome of this recent research.
After this study, we know that even a gentle form of brain trauma can affect ovarian function, leading to certain menstrual abnormalities. With the outcome of this research, the authors make some recommendations. Any woman who has suffered a concussion should monitor her menstrual patterns and observe any irregularities. And if any manifest, this could be a sign of hidden brain damage, which could lead to further complications.
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