The impact of dysmenorrhea on activities of Ghanaian undergraduate students
Background and Aim: Dysmenorrhea is one of the leading causes of gynecological hospital visits globally, with resultant physical, psychological, academic, and social consequences. There exists a paucity of research on dysmenorrhea in Ghana and those available focus on the adolescent population. Our study intends to add to the body of knowledge by describing the negative experiences of dysmenorrhea among undergraduate females.
Methodology: The study was a descriptive, cross‑sectional study involving to 200 female undergraduate students (100 medical and 100 nonmedical students) of the University of Cape Coast, Ghana. Data were analyzed using standardized and acceptable statistical tools. P < 0.05 was considered to be statistically significant.
Results: Dysmenorrhea caused significant disturbance in academic and nonacademic activities of the respondents, thus increasing with increase in severity of the menstrual pain. It resulted in mood disturbances, disruption in social interaction (relationship with colleagues and university staff), limitation in sleep, and hospital admission in 39.9%, 19.1%, 10.1%, and 5.4%, respectively. Furthermore, it resulted in disruption in academic activities of the respondents (42.3%), lack of concentration (41.7%), inability to study (23.2%), and school absenteeism (12.5%).
Conclusion: Dysmenorrhea is a major public health burden among females of reproductive age. We advocate that it should be given much more priority and attention than its receiving presently in Ghana, so as to reduce the negative consequences attached with it.
Keywords: Dysmenorrhea; Ghana; impact; undergraduate
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