In a study of 184 women, those who'd lost access to sources of support because they left friends and family behind when they went off to college reported more menstrual discomfort than women who hadn't experienced recent separations from loved ones. The University of Wisconsin-Madison researchers speculate that loss of social support puts women in negative moods, and that can mean they don't practice healthy habits that can minimize menstrual pain, such as getting regular exercise. Or, the negative moods can simply make them more sensitive to pain.

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