Dysmenorrhea among female students at a teaching hospital in South‑Western Nigeria
Context: Dysmenorrhea is common and can be severe, hampering women’s quality of life.
Aims: This study aimed to assess the prevalence and factors associated with dysmenorrhea in a population of young females and to explore the impact on routine activity and proven relief measures experienced by this group.
Settings and Design: This is a cross‑sectional, observational study among female medical and nursing students at a tertiary health care facility in South‑Western Nigeria.
Subjects and Methods: It was a questionnaire study carried out among 360 female students. Explanatory variables were age, parity, use of combined oral contraception, and first‑degree family history of dysmenorrhea. The main outcome variable was the presence of dysmenorrhea.
Statistical Analysis Used: Data were analyzed by Chi‑square test and logistic regression (P < 0.05).
Results: All respondents had attained menarche at 12.4 ± 1.2 years; 299 (83.1%) reported dysmenorrhea. Primary dysmenorrhea constituted 63.6%; secondary was 19.4%. Younger respondents (teenagers) and married females were significantly less likely to suffer dysmenorrhea, while nonusers of oral contraceptives were more likely to. Period pain precluded usual activity in 48.8% of sufferers; 39.5% had missed classes on account of it; however, only 10% had sought medical care. The most effective treatment used was piroxicam (an antiprostaglandin drug). On multivariate analysis, increasing age (Odds ratio-10.6 [95% Confidence Interval: 3.4-34.0]) was significantly associated with dysmenorrhea.
Conclusions: Dysmenorrhea is a highly prevalent problem among this population. Women should be encouraged to seek medical care to limit the debility that arises from dysmenorrhea. Some women may benefit from investigations and definitive treatment.
Key words: Dysmenorrhea; medical students; Nigeria; nursing students.