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Doctor finds menstrual cramps are almost as painful as heart attacks

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030219-EWN-4pm-menstrual-pain-vid (KTRK)

Many women may be staying away from work or school for a good reason - severe pain.

A leading doctor of reproductive health says menstrual cramps can feel almost as painful as having a heart attack.

Menstrual cramp pain is the main cause of absenteeism in women younger than 30.

The reasons for why some women are impacted more than others is still unclear. But doctors say smoking, drinking alcohol and being overweight make it more likely for women to experience cramps.

According to WebMD, the pain is caused by prostaglandins - chemicals that are produced by the women's body which can cause many symptoms correlating with menstrual discomfort. Women who have high levels of prostaglandins are more likely to experience a high intensity of contractions of their uterus and more pain.

A study done by the American Academy of Family physicians showed that menstrual pain can also interfere with daily activities for up to 20 percent of women.

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