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Menstrual problems in first, second and third year medical students- a concern!

Author: 
Kshama Kedar and Isha Jain
Subject Area: 
Health Sciences
Abstract: 

Introduction: Menstrual disorders are extremely common in puberty & reproductive age group. Menstrual disorders happen to be a common presentation by late adolescence, disorder such as primary dysmenorrhea, or painful menstruation in the absence of pelvic pathology, is a common and often debilitating, gynaecological condition that affects about 45 to 95% of menstruating girl 1. Medical students are a high risk group for developing menstrual irregularities due to lifestyle with less sleep, irregular food and exercise habits. Thus making them prone to3, varying degree of discomfort with Incidence of spasmodic dysmenorrhea of sufficient magnitude with incapacitation, which is about 5-15% 4. Pain is of such a magnitude that it interferes with normal physical activity of the individual and disrupts emotional balance; it is one of the major reasons for absence from school, college and incapacitates a woman from employment, especially from a field like medicine requiring persistent efforts and activity at physical and psychological level. These can be a major matter of concern for the female experiencing them as the lag and stress along with the pressure of career in the present day competitive world where gender equality has seen great uprising, keeping up with opposite gender not experiencing similar conditions can be tough. Through this study we will be trying to explore the problem faced by female medical students during menses and its correlation to biological variables. Objectives: a) To study the prevalence of dysmenorrhea, premenstrual syndrome, and to find students affected with abnormal amount of bleeding, abnormal duration of bleeding and abnormal length of cycle b) To find out effect of the above problems on students -college absenteeism, class absenteeism and social withdrawal c) To find out association of menstrual problem like dysmenorrhea with biological variables such as BMI, age and stress. Material & Methods: This is a cross sectional descriptive study carried out from April to July 2016 conducted in Indira Gandhi government medical college, Nagpur. Medical students who were unmarried and gave consent were included while those who did not give consent and married were excluded from the study. Total 204 students took part in the study out of which 86 students were from 1st year, 27 from 2nd year and 91 from 3rd year. Each of the 204 medical students was given a questionnaire to complete after giving consent. The general data about each student included age education, height, weight, haemoglobin, dietary habits, and bowel habits. Results: In this study 204 participants completed the questionnaire, of these 42.15 % from 1st year, 13.2% in 2nd year, and 44.6% in 3rd year. Out of the total 204 students 55.8% had dysmenorrhea and 46.6% experienced premenstrual syndrome. College absenteeism due to dysmenorrhea 12.3%, Class absenteeism 6.9% & Social withdrawal 73%. No association of dysmenorrhea with BMI and stress was found whereas there is increase in prevalence of dysmenorrhea with age for the age group 18 to 24 years (P value = 0.015, significant). Conclusion: Prevalence of dysmenorrhea among all menstrual problems is high in medical students & the leading cause of college/class absenteeism and social withdrawal. Health education on menstrual problems by health care providers can help prevent the absenteeism & of loss of invaluable college time.

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