London, April 9 (IANS) Ladies, here is one more reason to reduce your body weight. Obesity is linked to greater menstrual blood loss, which may result from increased inflammation in the womb lining, delaying its repair, according to a study conducted both on women and mice.
The study, led by researchers from the University of Edinburgh in Scotland, UK, found a weak but statistically significant association between increasing body mass index (BMI) and more heavy periods in women.
In the mouse study, the team found that after shedding their womb lining, the mice on a high-fat diet showed delayed repair of the remaining womb lining in comparison to mice on a normal diet.
Further examination of womb tissue from the mice indicated that inflammatory factors were also higher in mice with greater body weight. The findings are detailed in the Journal of Endocrinology.
"Our findings suggest that women with obesity may experience heavier periods due to increased local inflammation and delayed repair of their womb lining," said Jacqueline Maybin from the varsity's MRC Centre for Reproductive Health.
The findings suggest weight loss and anti-inflammatory medications may be useful interventions for treatment of heavy periods in women with obesity.
"Although it is difficult to make strong recommendations based on this study alone, a common sense approach would be to offer weight loss support to women with a high BMI experiencing heavy periods," Maybin said.
"However, this should not replace investigation and treatment of other underlying causes for heavy bleeding (eg fibroids, bleeding disorders, cancer). This should form part of personalised treatment recommendations to be considered by both patients and doctors," she noted.
For the study, the team measured the BMI and menstrual blood loss of 121 women, with regular menstrual cycles, who were attending gynaecology clinics and not taking any hormone medications.
Mice were fed a normal diet or a high-fat diet prior to simulation of menstruation. Mice on high-fat diet had significantly higher body weight than those on a normal diet.