War Disrupts Menstruation in Up to One-Third of Women

A 16-day conflict can trigger menstrual anomalies in more than one-third of women

TUESDAY, April 3 (HealthDay News) -- Exposure to a brief period of war disrupts menstrual cycles in 10 to 35 percent of women, researchers report in the April 1 issue of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

Antoine B. Hannoun, M.D., of the American University of Beirut in Lebanon, and colleagues analyzed menstrual history questionnaires of women aged 15 to 45, six months after a 16-day war, comparing results for women who spent two days in the war zone with those who stayed three to 16 days, as well as controls not in the war zone.

Three months after the war ended, the researchers found menstrual anomalies among more than 35 percent of women who were in the war zone for three to 16 days, and among 10.5 percent of those who spent two days in the war zone, versus 2.6 percent among women not in the war zone. Six months after the war's end, 18.6 percent of the first group had lingering menstrual anomalies, while most others had resumed regular cycles.

"We found a short period of war, acting like an acute stressful condition, resulted in menstrual abnormalities in 10 percent to 35 percent of women and is probably related to the duration of exposure to war," the authors conclude.

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