Age at menarche and menstrual pattern in secondary schoolgirls in Sagamu
Menarche is the first menstruation in the life of a woman. Menstrual pattern involves the length of bleeding, the length of the cycle and other associated events such as pain ( ). Dysmenorrhoea has been identified as a reason for school absenteeismin girls. To determine the mean age at menarche and pattern of menstruation in the sub-urban district of Southwestern Nigeria and to demonstrate the influence of pre-menarcheal education on the attitude of the respondents. Students in senior secondary classes were randomly selected from seven Secondary Schools in the
town. The tool was a self administered simple questionnaire and analysis was done using SPSS 11.0 statistical package. The mean age at menarche was 13.8 (±1.3) and the range were 10 to 18 years. The mean length of the cyclewas 26.9 (±3.7) and the range was from 14 days to 32 days. The duration of flow ranged from 1 day to 13 days with a mean of 4.6 (± 1.2) days. Fifty three point four percent of the respondents had varying severity of dysmenorrhoea. There is a better perception of dysmenorrhoea in girls who had pre-menarcheal education (p=0.000). Mean menarcheal age of 13.8 (±1.3) days compared favourably with findings in recent studies
and also agree with declining trends over the past decades. Pre-menarcheal education will improve perception of dysmenorrhoea and thus reduce school absenteeismresulting fromit.
Keywords: Menarche,Menstrual Pattern, Schoolgirls, Sagamu