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 Table of Contents  
LETTERS TO EDITOR
Year : 2015  |  Volume : 4  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 121-123

Effects of, and care practices towards dysmenorrhea among female students in South-West Nigeria


1 Department of Adult Health, School of Nursing, Ilishan Remo, Ogun State, Nigeria
2 Department of Community, Maternal and Child Health Nursing, Babcock University, Ilishan Remo, Ogun State, Nigeria

Date of Web Publication10-Apr-2015

Correspondence Address:
Chinomso U Nwozichi
Department of Adult Health, School of Nursing, Babcock University, Ilishan Remo, Ogun State
Nigeria
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/2278-344X.154955

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How to cite this article:
Esike J, Farotimi A A, Ojediran T D, Nwozichi CU. Effects of, and care practices towards dysmenorrhea among female students in South-West Nigeria. Int J Health Allied Sci 2015;4:121-3

How to cite this URL:
Esike J, Farotimi A A, Ojediran T D, Nwozichi CU. Effects of, and care practices towards dysmenorrhea among female students in South-West Nigeria. Int J Health Allied Sci [serial online] 2015 [cited 2022 Jul 6];4:121-3. Available from: https://www.ijhas.in/text.asp?2015/4/2/121/154955

Sir,

Dysmenorrhea is a common problem among female adolescents worldwide. [1] Dysmenorrhea, especially when it is severe, has been associated with a restriction of activity and absence from school or work, yet despite this substantial effect on their quality of life and general wellbeing, few women with dysmenorrhea seek treatment as they believe it would not help. [2] In many parts of the developing countries, a culture of silence surrounds the topic of menstruation and related issues, as a result, many young girls lack appropriate and sufficient information regarding menstruation. Adolescent receive information regarding menstruation from different sources. Majority of the undergraduate females are usually within the adolescent and adulthood period where they face a lot of challenges relating to puberty and mastery of reproductive life issues. Such challenges may diminish their opportunities for successful educational and psychosocial health during this period of growth. A questionnaire based study was conducted among female students of a private university in South West Nigeria. A total of 310 Respondents answered a self-administered structured questionnaire. After obtaining an ethical clearance from the Ethical Review Board of the University, respondents were informed about the purpose of this study and were assured of confidentiality as well as their right to withdraw from the study at any time without any consequence and that the data would be used solely for the purpose of academic research.

Majority of the respondents reported ignoring the pain, self-medication and use of home remedies while only very few participants reported seeking medical attention. However, none of the participants engaged in physical exercise. Findings revealed that the majority (77.2%) of the participants avoided physical activities during their menstrual period. Absenteeism was observed among 46.3%, 59.1% had social withdrawal, 46.7% reported poor concentration and 36.8% reported decrease in academic performance. The ability of an individual to seek reproductive health services or self-manage dysmenorrhea is based on the knowledge of the condition. Findings from this study showed that majority of the participants (40.6%) had adequate knowledge about menstruation and dysmenorrhea. Despite menstruation being highly valued and significant for womanhood, there is a negative attitude toward it. In this present study, majority (63.5%) of the participants had a negative attitude toward dysmenorrhea. Dysmenorrhea had previously been described in negative terms among adolescents and is significantly associated with negative menstrual experience. [3]

Dysmenorrhea is often considered as normal by many healthcare personnel patients and parents. This is assumed to have led to the hesitation on the part of the affected individuals to seek medical help. Wong in his study reported that in spite of high prevalence and enormous impact of dysmenorrhea on the lives of participants, 76.1% believed that dysmenorrhea is a normal part of female menstrual cycle and only 14.8% sought medical treatment. [4] This can also be attributed to the traditional folk beliefs passed from generation which still affects healthcare of millions of women of menstrual age where menstruation is viewed by many as a burden women must bear and so menstrual distress, no matter how excruciating or incapacitating, is considered as an inescapable plight. In spite of the prevalence and severity of dysmenorrhea, most women do not seek medical attention for this condition. For instance, the proportion of respondents that sought medical attention does not reflect the prevalence of dysmenorrheal. This may be due to cultural influence in which menstruation is shrouded in secrecy and is thought to be personal. This suggests that culture may influence the experience and interpretation of symptoms such as pain and the way in which they are treated. Compared with the findings of the previous study conducted in Nigeria, which reported that only 10% of adolescents endured dysmenorrhea, [5] almost half (46.3%) in this present study endured dysmenorrhea. Dysmenorrhea is a cause of recurrent short-term school and works absenteeism in women of reproductive age. No evidence from the literature has shown that menstrual pain could be relieved by performing physical exercise. Coincidentally, none of the participants in the present study reported engaging in physical exercise in order to manage their menstrual pain. Rather, restriction in physical activities was reported by majority.

Education should also be extended to parents, school peer leaders and hostel administrators in order to address the reproductive health needs of the female students. Appropriate counseling and management should be instituted among female students to help them cope with the challenges of dysmenorrhea. Information, education and support combined with clinical management of menstrual problems should be core elements of reproductive health programs.


  Acknowledgments Top


We express our thanks to the respondents as well as the Administrators for their support.

 
  References Top

1.
Harel Z. A contemporary approach to dysmenorrhea in adolescents. Paediatr Drugs 2002;4:797-805.  Back to cited text no. 1
    
2.
Wong LP. Attitudes towards dysmenorrhoea, impact and treatment seeking among adolescent girls: a rural school-based survey. Aust J Rural Health 2011;19:218-23.  Back to cited text no. 2
    
3.
McPherson ME, Korfine L. Menstruation across time: Menarche, menstrual attitudes, experiences, and behaviors. Womens Health Issues 2004;14:193-200.  Back to cited text no. 3
    
4.
Wong LP. Attitudes towards dysmenorrhoea, impact and treatment seeking among adolescent girls: A rural school-based survey. Aust J Rural Health 2011;19:218-23.  Back to cited text no. 4
    
5.
Busari AO. Menstrual knowledge and health care behaviour among adolescent girls in rural Nigeria. Int J Applied Sci Technol 2012;2:149-54.  Back to cited text no. 5
    




 

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