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Vaso-Occlusive Pain Linked to Menstruation in Some Patients, Study Finds

Acute vaso-occlusive pain is associated with the onset of menstruation, and about 25% of the women with sickle cell disease can differentiate these episodes from menstrual-cramp pain, a study found.

Findings in the study, “Acute Vaso-Occlusive Pain is Temporally Associated with the Onset of Menstruation in Women with Sickle Cell Disease,” published in the Journal of Women’s Health, supported “our clinical experience,” its authors concluded.

Vaso-occlusive crisis (VOC) is a hallmark feature of sickle cell disease (SCD), which is characterized by chronic inflammation, and linked to severe pain due to blocked blood vessels. VOCs are the most common cause of emergency room visits and hospitalizations in sickle cell patients. They can severely affect a patient’s quality of life, and sometimes lead to death.