Prevalence of primary dysmenorrhea and its effect on the quality of life amongst female medical students at King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. A cross-sectional study.Saudi Med J. 2020 Mar; 41(3):283-289.SM
To quantify the prevalence of primary dysmenorrhea, study its associated factors, and to assess its effect on the quality of life of female medical students.
A cross-sectional study was conducted among 376 female medical students at King Saud University student campus and King Khalid University Hospital (KKUH), Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, between September 2017 and May 2018. The study was conducted using a consecutive, non-random sampling technique.
The prevalence of primary dysmenorrhea among female medical students was 80.1%; most of the participants (n=134) reported moderate pain (49.8%). Primary dysmenorrhea was significantly associated with caffeine consumption (p less than 0.05) and did not show an association with factors, body mass index, diet, lack of physical activity, and smoking. Among the SF-36 domains, the 4 domains physical health (p less than 0.001) and emotional health (p=0.01) including health changes (p=0.033) and pain (p less than 0.001) were statistically significantly affected by dysmenorrhea. Primary dysmenorrhea also had a significant impact on the students' academic performance where a higher proportion of students suffering from primary dysmenorrhea showed negative effects on their attendance, concentration, study time, and participation in class.
Most female medical students suffer from primary dysmenorrhea, which adversely affects their quality of life and academic performance. Caffeine consumption demonstrated a significant association with primary dysmenorrhea. Periodical awareness programs to minimize the consequences of primary dysmenorrhea should be introduced.