Prevalence of pain symptoms suggestive of endometriosis among adolescents in Kenya
Objective: To determine the prevalence of pain symptoms suggestive of Endometriosis among adolescent Kenyans and their impact on quality of life.
Study Design: Analytical cross- sectional study
Setting: Dual centered study at Githunguri Girls High School (Rural) and Moi Girls High School Nairobi (Urban).
Subjects: Three hundred and thirteen adolescents were interviewed with even distribution between rural (50.8%) and urban (49.2%) schools.
Outcome Measure: The primary outcome measure was the prevalence of pain symptoms suggestive of endometriosis.
Results: Dysmenorrhea was the most prevalent symptom at 72% with severe
dysmenorrhea reported at 29%. Regular absenteeism was reported at 4% in those with dysmenorrhea, 1% was due to acyclic pelvic pain and 1% reported intermenstrual pain limiting their daily activities. In the students’ interviewed, 94% had not heard of endometriosis, of whom 70% were interested to know more about it. The dysmenorrhea and pelvic pain that interfered with ordinary chores was most likely due to endometriosis.
Conclusion: Majority of adolescent girls with chronic pelvic pain, not corresponding to conventional therapy have endometriosis. Endometriosis appearing in adolescence is more likely to progress and if not treated, may progress beyond pain to infertility. Endometriosis in adolescence is a hidden progressive and severe disease that deserves attention, not just compassion.