The Impact of Dysmenorrhea on Quality of Life Among Spanish Female University Students.Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2019 02 27; 16(5)IJ
(1) Background: Primary dysmenorrhea, which is characterized by menstrual pain in the absence of a pelvic pathology, is one of the main reasons for gynecological consultation. This study aimed to assess the prevalence of dysmenorrhea in a sample of university students, as well as their quality of life, and to examine the most common methods used for alleviating symptoms. (2) Methods: The participants comprised 305 female university students with a mean age of 20.32 ± 3.19 years who completed a self-report survey comprising sociodemographic, gynecological and lifestyle questions. EuroQol-5 dimensions-5 levels (EQ-5D-5L) was used to measure quality of life. (3) Results: In total, 76% of the sample suffered from dysmenorrhea. Among the students who did not suffer from dysmenorrhea, a significantly greater proportion participated in activities such as jogging or Pilates on a regular basis (several times per week). Concerning quality of life, patients with dysmenorrhea showed significant differences on the pain/discomfort scale and on the total score for perceived quality of life. However, this perception showed no correlation with the VAS (visual analogue scale) pain scale. Additionally, 90.5% of students with dysmenorrhea used pharmacological treatment, and 80% self-medicated. (4) Conclusions: Dysmenorrhea represents a major problem among youth today and the impact on the quality of life (QoL) of patients is evident. Physical activity may alleviate symptoms of dysmenorrhea and this and other complementary treatments should be promoted within health services.