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Periods May Make Women Dumber

Update Date: Apr 14, 2014 03:04 PM EDT

Menstrual cramps are making women dumber, according to researchers.

Many women suffer period pain, which can lead to symptoms ranging from mild discomfort to nausea. However, new research reveals that menstrual cramps can also be making women less intelligent.

Investigators at the University of Bath found that menstrual pain cuts cognitive performance. They found that women with period cramps scored lower on computer tasks and had a more difficult time paying attention.

The latest study involved 52 adults with menstrual cramps. Participants were asked to complete attention and cognitive tests. Researchers assessed participants' ability to choose between competing tasks. They found women's attention span and ability to multitask decreased with period pain.

"Pain is an extremely common experience and can have a disruptive effect on all our daily lives," said lead author Dr. Ed Keogh from the Department of Psychology at the University of Bath said in a university release.

"Our research looked at how common everyday pain, experienced by many women each month, affects their ability to perform a range of complex tasks," Keogh added. "This shows that the effects of pain go beyond the sensory experience, affecting what we think and feel," said Keogh, according to Daily Mail.

Researchers also found that menstrual cramps lowered overall performance on cognitive tasks.

"We know that the impact of pain can be widespread," Keogh concluded. "The more we understand about how people experience pain, the better mechanisms we can put in place to help people cope."

The findings are published in the journal Pain.

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