In short, this suggests that menstrual cramps not only suck, they make other pains that happen to be around worse.
Brain morphological changes associated with cyclic menstrual pain: "Volume 150, Issue 3, Pages 462-468 (September 2010)
Cheng-Hao Tuab, David M. Niddambc, Hsiang-Tai Chaod, Li-Fen Chenbce, Yong-Sheng Chenf, Yu-Te Wubeg, Tzu-Chen Yehbe, Jiing-Feng Lirngh, Jen-Chuen HsiehabceCorresponding Author Informationemail addressemail address
Primary dysmenorrhea (PDM) is the most prevalent gynecological disorder for women in the reproductive age. PDM patients suffer from lower abdominal pain that starts with the onset of the menstrual flow. Prolonged nociceptive input to the central nervous system can induce functional and structural alterations throughout the nervous system. In PDM, a chronic viscero-nociceptive drive of cyclic nature, indications of central sensitization and altered brain metabolism suggest a substantial central reorganization. Previously, we hypothesized that disinhibition of orbitofrontal networks could be responsible for increased pain and negative affect in PDM. Here, we further tested this hypothesis....Abnormal decreases were found in regions involved in pain transmission, higher level sensory processing, and affect regulation while increases were found in regions involved in pain modulation and in regulation of endocrine function. Moreover, GM changes in regions involved in top-down pain modulation and in generation of negative affect were related to the severity of the experienced PDM pain. Our results demonstrate that abnormal GM volume changes are present in PDM patients even in the absence of pain. These changes may underpin a combination of impaired pain inhibition, increased pain facilitation and increased affect. Our findings highlight that longer lasting central changes may occur not only in sustained chronic pain conditions but also in cyclic occurring pain conditions."