Author(s): Sharma P, Malhotra C, Taneja DK, Saha R
OBJECTIVE: To study the types and frequency of problems related to menstruation in adolescent girls and the effect of these problems on daily routine. METHODS: Girls in the age group 13-19 years who had had menarche for at least one year at the time of study. 198 adolescent girls have been studied. Data was collected by personal interviews on a pre-tested, semi-structured questionnaire. The questions covered menstrual problems, regularity of menses in last three cycles of menstruation and the effect of these problems on the daily routine. Analysis was done using SPSS version 12. Percentages were calculated for drawing inferences. RESULTS: More than a third (35.9%) of the study subjects were in the age group 13-15 years followed by 17-19 years, 15-17 years respectively. Mean age of study participants was calculated to be 16.2 years. Dysmenorrhea (67.2%) was the commonest problem and (63.1%) had one or the other symptoms of Pre-menstrual syndrome (PMS). Other related problems were present in 55.1% of study subjects. Daily routine of 60% girls was affected due to prolonged bed rest, missed social activities/commitments, disturbed sleep and decreased appetite. 17.24% had to miss a class and 25% had to abstain from work. Mothers and friends were the most common source of information on the issue. CONCLUSION: Screen adolescent girls for menstruation related problems and provide them with counseling services and relevant information on possible treatment options. Besides, there is a need to emphasize on designing menstrual health programmes for adolescents.