Menstrual Cramps Not Only Cramp Your Style, But Maybe Your Brain, Too

Severely painful menstrual cramps may alter your brain’s grey matter, according to researchers at the Institute of Brain Science at National Yang-Ming University in Taipei, Taiwan. Business Week reports that IBS’ brain scans suggest “repeated bouts of excruciating aches make the brain unusually sensitive to pain — in effect, making the experience of pain worse.” The scans revealed decreased activity in the areas of the brain that probably handle pain processing, pain modulation, and emotional regulation, among other things. In this way, the pain of severe cramps can alter your brain in the same way doctors suggest chronic pain does.On the one hand, I am pleased scientists are studying the serious side effects of painful menstrual cramps, so that in the future women can avoid suffering. But I also vaguely worry this area of study could be twisted around to say: “See? Women really are cuh-razy when they get their periods!” [Business Week]