Attitudes toward menstruation, menstrual-related symptoms, and premenstrual syndrome among adolescent girls: a rural school-based survey.

Women Health. 2011 Jun 21;51(4):340-64.


Wong LP.


Department of Social and Preventive Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.


Folk culture surrounding menstrual-related matters has considerable implications for symptom expression and treatment-seeking behavior. A cross-sectional survey of 1,295 rural adolescent girls aged 13 to 19 years was conducted between February 4 and April 16, 2009 to examine these associations. With a higher score indicating a more positive attitude toward menstruation, the mean attitude score was 3.84 (SD 1.62) out of a maximum of six. No significant association was observed between the severity of menstrual symptoms and attitudes. Most (63.1%) of the participants identified themselves as having premenstrual symptoms, and 61.1% viewed premenstrual symptoms as a normal part of menstrual cycle. Participants with a higher severity of symptoms in the premenstrual (OR 1.05, 95% CI 1.01-1.10) and menstrual phase (OR 1.04, 95% CI 1.01-1.07), were more likely to consult a physician for premenstrual symptoms, and having a divorced/separated parents was associated with a reduced odds of consulting a physician compared to those having parents that were married (OR 0.19, 95% CI 0.05-0.83). The findings imply the need for education to help adolescent girls manage menstrual symptoms and increase awareness of the benefit of treating them. Given that menstrual-related information was widely available from mothers, family, and social culture are potentially important in shaping good menstrual attitudes.

PMID: 21707338 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]


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