Risk factors for dysmenorrhea among Ghanaian undergraduate students
Background: Menstrual pain is one of the common gynaecological presentations of women of reproductive age to health care physicians. In Ghana, there exist a paucity of research on the risk factors of dysmenorrhea among older females.
Objectives: Very few studies in Ghana have addressed the risk factors for severe dysmenorrhea among University students. This study aims to identify the common risk factors and associated symptoms of menstrual pain which have been previously not caught the attention of researchers in Ghana.
Methodology: The study was a descriptive cross-sectional study involving to two hundred female undergraduate students of the University of Cape Coast (UCC), Ghana. Data collected and analysed using standardized and acceptable statistical tools. Verbal multidimensional scoring system for assessment of dysmenorrhoea severity was used in this study to assess the severity of dysmenorrhoea
Results: More than half (57.3%) of the respondents having pain beginning within the first two days of their menses. The common risk factors that predicted severity of dysmenorrhea (p<0.05) were quantity of menstrual flow and family history of menstrual pain. The common symptoms that accompanied dysmenorrhea were tiredness, loss of appetite, backache, dizziness, diarrhoea and mood changes (p<0.05).
Conclusion: Dysmenorrhea is a serious public health problem which can be incapacitating. We advocate for more attention to reduce the burden of its negative consequences.
Keywords: Dysmenorrhea, Ghana, risk factors, burden.
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