Prevalence of dysmenorrhea among Saudi women of reproductive age | BMC Women’s Health

Table 1 presents the demographic characteristics of 1199 women recruited into the study according to the inclusion criteria. The average age of the women observed was 27.49 years, with an average age of menarche of 12.76 years. Regarding medical history and psychological illnesses; 870 (72.6%) patients had no medical history, while 32 (2.7%) suffered from irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), 35 (2.9%) suffered from depression and 81 (6.8 %) suffered from more than one medical or psychological illness (Table 2).

Table 1 Patient demographics (n=1199)
Table 2 Medical history and psychological disorders of patients

Table 3 presents a descriptive analysis of the menstrual cycle, regularity and type of dysmenorrhea. According to her, 296 (24.7%) women had irregular menstrual cycles, and 103 (8.6%) had less than 21 days of menstrual cycle, and 76 (6.3%) had irregular bleeding. The majority of them, 979 (81.7%), had menstrual flow duration between 3 and 7 days. About 92 (7.7%) women had pathological dysmenorrhea.

Table 3 Descriptive analysis of menstrual cycle, regularity and type of dysmenorrhea

Table 4 presents the analysis of pain classification, therapy and symptoms associated with dysmenorrhea. About 170 (14.2%) patients had severe pain. The majority of women, 1086 (88.4%), experienced pain in the lower abdomen, and the majority, 808 (67.4%), had pain for more than 3 days. For pain relief, only 55 (4.6%) patients used only NSAIDs and 747 (62.3%) patients used more than one analgesic or other alternative therapies used to relieve menstrual cramps. Considering the possible symptoms associated with dysmenorrhea, abdominal bloating was the most common single symptom seen in 35 (2.9%) women with dysmenorrhea, while the majority of them, 926 (77.2%) , had more than one possible symptom associated with dysmenorrhea. (Table 4).

Table 4 Descriptive analysis of the classification of pain, therapy and symptoms associated with dysmenorrhea

Table 5 presents the distribution of limitation of dysmenorrhea, school performance, exercise and diet during menstruation. The different stress level was found during menstruation, where the majority, 614 (51.2%) of the women, usually had stress. Regarding limitation during menstruation, 161 (13.4%) women with dysmenorrhea reported having a physical limitation and 543 (45.3%) reported having more than one limitation. Similarly, 122 (10.2%) reported dysmenorrhea affecting their concentration aspect of academic performance, and 462 (38.5%) patients had more than one factor affecting their academic performance. Approximately more than 512 (42.7%) women reported changes in their sleep routine. Additionally, 268 (22.4%) performed more than one exercise during an exercise and 260 (21.7%) reported exercising to reduce menstrual pain. In relation to food, 745 (62.1%) had all types of food during the period.

Table 5 Distribution of limitation of dysmenorrhea, school performance, exercise and diet during menstruation

Table 6 shows no statistically significant association between age, marital status, diabetes mellitus, IBS, schizophrenia, and OCD with primary and secondary dysmenorrhea. However, most of the 775 (70%) women under the age of 30 and the majority of unmarried women, 729 (65.9%) had primary dysmenorrhea. About 55 (59.8%) women who had irregular menstrual cycles had significantly secondary dysmenorrhea (PPP= 0.002). Additionally, approximately 801 (72.4%) women with primary dysmenorrhea and 52 (56.5%) with secondary dysmenorrhea significantly used 3–5 pads per day (P= 0.004).

Table 6 Impact and association between dysmenorrhea and clinical and demographic characteristics of patients

Table 7 shows a statistically significant association between pain intensity and primary and secondary dysmenorrhea (P= 0.006). Where majority of 539 (48.7%) women with primary dysmenorrhea had mild pain and 32 (34.8%) with secondary dysmenorrhea had moderate pain. Furthermore, no significant association was demonstrated between the type of dysmenorrhea and the location of the pain, the duration and duration of the pain, and the use of NSAIDs or paracetamols. While the majority of women with both types did not significantly use alternative therapies (warm compresses) to relieve menstrual cramps (P= 0.013). There was no statistically significant association between dysmenorrhea and associated symptoms, limitation, and affected school performance (Table 8).

Table 7 Impact and association between dysmenorrhea and pain intensity and its management
Table 8 Impact and association between dysmenorrhea and associated symptoms, limitation and affected school performance

There was a statistically significant association between the type of dysmenorrhea and dietary habits, exercise, and quality of life, as shown in Table 9. There was a statistically significant association between exercise during menstruation and dysmenorrhea primary and secondary (P= 0.001). It is shown that 1105 (99.8%) patients with primary and 90 (97.8%) secondary dysmenorrhea did not use a bicycle, respectively.

Table 9 Impact and association between dysmenorrhea and dietary habits, exercise and quality of life

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