Periods are already an absolute pain in the arse – in fact just thinking about that time of the month can make us feel stressed out. 

However, new research indicates that the stress we feel on the day-to-day can contribute to an increase in the level of pain we feel during cramping week. 

According to Women's Health Concern, around 80% of women experience period pain at some stage in their lifetime.

In 5% to 10% of women the pain is severe enough to disrupt their lives – from missing school, work or college due to pain, or being unable to attend social events or partake in sports or hobbies. 

Now, research published in the Journal of Women's Health have found that there could be a link between the stress we feel in the weeks before our period, and the intensity of pain we feel.

PMS is a major pain, and the research found that women who said they were stressed in the two weeks before the start of their period were much more likely to describe their period as extremely painful. 

In fact, up to four times as many women who were in the 'stressed' category said they had moderate to severe symptoms.

In 40% of women, period pain is accompanied by premenstrual symptoms, such as bloating, tender breasts, a swollen stomach, lack of concentration, mood swings, clumsiness and tiredness.

'Each woman is an individual, and some women may experience severe symptoms that require medications,' said the study's author.

'However, future studies may show that stress reduction techniques can prevent or reduce the severity of premenstrual syndrome, which might provide a cost effective alternative to medications for some women.'