Obstet Gynecol Sci.  2019 Sep;62(5):329-334. 10.5468/ogs.2019.62.5.329.

Polycystic ovarian morphology is associated with primary dysmenorrhea in young Korean women

  • 1Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Severance Hospital, CHA University School of Medicine, Seoul, Korea. garfieldzz@yuhs.ac
  • 2Institute of Women's Life Medical Science, CHA University School of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.
  • 3Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Gangnam Severance Hospital, Yonsei University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.
  • 4Fertility Center of CHA Gangnam Medical Center, CHA University School of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.


This study was aimed at identifying a correlation between polycystic ovarian morphology (PCOM) and the severity of primary dysmenorrhea in young Korean women.
A total of 592 patients who visited a tertiary hospital from March 2008 to March 2015 for dysmenorrhea were examined. After excluding those with secondary causes of menstrual pain (for example, myoma, adenomyosis, endometriosis, and pelvic inflammatory disease), 361 women were recruited and retrospectively analyzed. Severe dysmenorrhea was defined as a visual analog scale (VAS) score ≥6.
The mean patient age was 23.0±4.0 years, the average menstrual cycle length was 34.4±23.7 days, and the average pain intensity was VAS 6.7±0.1 at baseline. PCOM was assessed by ultrasound in 54 women (15%). Patients with severe menstrual pain were more likely to have irregular menstrual cycles (P=0.03) and heavy menstrual flow (P=0.01) than those with mild menstrual pain. After adjusting for weight, height, menstrual cycle interval, and menstrual flow in the logistic regression analysis, PCOM (odds ratio [OR], 2.26; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.05-4.97; P=0.04) and heavy menstrual flow (OR, 1.85; 95% CI, 1.05-3.28; P=0.04) were found to be significant independent factors influencing pain.
Our study shows that PCOM may have a correlation with the severity of primary dysmenorrhea. Since PCOM may play a role in the development of menstrual pain, patients with PCOM should be under active surveillance with resources for prompt pain management readily available. It may also be necessary to further investigate the molecular mechanisms of pain development in primary dysmenorrhea.


Dysmenorrhea; Menstruation disturbances; Polycystic ovary syndrome
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