Pattern of premenstrual symptoms among pre-clinical medical students at the University of Nigeria
Background: Premenstrual syndrome is a recognized entity which causes much distress to women at some stage during the reproductive period of their lives.
Objective: To evaluate the pattern of premenstrual symptoms among pre-clinical female medical students at the University of Nigeria, Enugu Campus.
Methodology: This was a descriptive cross-sectional study. The second-year and third-year pre-clinical female medical students filled the questionnaires. Questions were asked on socio-demographic characteristics, premenstrual symptoms, severity of symptoms and effects on quality of life. The collected data were analyzed using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) version 11.0 software.
Results: A total of 183 students completed their questionnaires with a mean age and standard deviation (SD) of 21.33(2.9) years. Of these, 38.3% had recurrent symptoms in the luteal phase of the three previous menstrual cycles. Pelvic discomfort (65.8%) and breast fullness (59.5%) were the most common physical symptoms, while mood changes (27.9%) were the most common psychological symptom, and 9.8% reported lowered concentration to academic work at school. Treatment with pharmacologic agents was employed by 81.4%, while 12.6% each stayed at home and avoided social activities, respectively.
Conclusion: There were predominance of physical symptoms and mood related changes which interfered which school activities. Health education with emphasis on reproductive health component is necessary to enable students cope with premenstrual symptoms.
Keywords: Life quality, health education, mood changes, pelvic discomfort,