Prevalence of dysmenorrhic pain among students; its impact and management
Background: Dysmenorrhoea is a common gynecological problem affecting 60-70% of the adolescent menstruating females. It has been widely neglected but it known to affect the quality of life and is the major cause of absenteeism among adolescent females. This study was conducted to assess the prevalence and impact of dysmenorrhea and the management strategies used by the students.
Methodology: This cross-sectional study was conducted from March to December 2015 at University of Karachi. A total of 350 female university students were randomly selected and dysmenorrhea was assessed using a self-administrated questionnaire. Data regarding demographic characteristics like age, physical measurements, dietary habits, family history, menstrual history, pattern of pain, pain intensity, stress and use of pharmacological agents used for coping was collected and statistically analyzed using SPSS Version 20.
Results: A total of 350 female students were enrolled in the study, of which 300 reported having dysmenorrhea with high prevalence in follicular phase i.e. 36%. The pain characteristics were also recorded and cramping pain was reported by 20.6% of students followed by stabbing (18.6%) and abdominal distention (9.3%). Among the major associated systemic complaints with dysmenorrhea were headache (54.7%), nausea (50%), LBP (50%) and bloating (43.3%). Majority of females preferred medication for pain relief, ibuprofen was the drug of choice (14%) followed by paracetamol (12%). Among non-pharmacological approaches, relaxing therapy was ideal according to 18.6% of students.
Conclusion: Dysmenorrhea is a prevalent cause of distress among the female students, although the condition is prevalent it is considered as a general complaint and mostly neglected. This menstrual complication is coupled with various symptoms that affect daily activities and quality of life.
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