Dysmenorrhea in students: Characteristics and predictors
Introduction: Dysmenorrhea is a very common reproductive issue present in young females that severely impacts their life.
Objectives: To determine the prevalence of primary dysmenorrhea amongst undergraduate students of Pakistan, the association of dysmenorrhea with various factors, and the impact on academic performance.
Methodology: An observational study was carried out at different Pakistani universities. The data was collected using a self-designed, pre-tested questionnaire. which was distributed online. The data was analyzed using IBM Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) version (Armonk, NY) 26.0. Descriptive statistics were applied for qualitative variables. Mean and standard deviation were calculated for quantitative variables. Chi-square was applied to determine if the differences in cycle length were significantly related to dysmenorrhea. T-tests were applied to determine if there were significant differences in age and body mass index in participants with dysmenorrhea.
Result: There were 226 students who had participated in the study. There were 193 (85.40%) participants who reported experiencing dysmenorrhea out of which 97 students (50.26%) took a drug or a combination of drugs to alleviate the pain. There was a high prevalence of stress symptoms associated with dysmenorrhea with fatigue after sleep (p<0.05). Physical activity did not have any effect on dysmenorrhea. Physical activity, the average grade of pain, and the presence of pain in each cycle were significant predictors of dysmenorrhea (p<0.05).
Conclusion Physical activity and characteristics of pain, such as cyclical nature and intensity, are predictors of dysmenorrhea.
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