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Year : 2018  |  Volume : 7  |  Issue : 12  |  Page : 39-42

Patterns and predictors of management strategies of dysmenorrhea among ghanaian undergraduate students

1 Department of Pharmacology, School of Medical Sciences, University of Cape Coast, Cape Coast, Ghana
2 Department of Pharmacology and Therapeutics, Faculty of Basic Medical Sciences, Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ago-Iwoye, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Ayokunle Osonuga
Department of Pharmacology, School of Medical Sciences, University of Cape Coast, Cape Coast
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/nnjcr.nnjcr_14_18

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Background and Aim: Dysmenorrhea is a major medical problem as it is the most common gynecological disorder of females of reproductive age and a major complaint of women presenting to a gynecologist. It has a repertoire of negative consequences, which can be severely incapacitating, even though not life-threatening. Our study was an attempt to understand the way Ghanaian undergraduate students managed dysmenorrhea and to see if differences exist in the way medical and nonmedical students managed it. Methodology: The study was a descriptive cross-sectional study involving 200 female undergraduate students (100 medical and 100 nonmedical students) of the University of Cape Coast, Ghana. Data were analyzed using standardized and acceptable statistical tools. P < 0.05 was considered statistically significant. Results: Only 8.9% of the women with menstrual pain sort formal medical advice for dysmenorrhea, while others either practiced self-management or did nothing (88.7%). Females with severe dysmenorrhea were more likely to seek medical help (P < 0.05). Nonmedical students were more likely to seek medical help than their counterparts in medical school. Although analgesic use was high in this study (58.9%), with the use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs predominating (72.1%), only 28.2% had very effective control of menstrual pain. This resulted in the high use of combination of pharmacologic and nonpharmacologic means in pain control in 53.3%. Conclusion: Pain relief was grossly inadequate in this study; we advocate for widespread health education on the management of dysmenorrhea among females and their families. Healthcare personnel are also encouraged to treat patients with dysmenorrhea with empathy and offer them the best care available so as to improve their quality of life.

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