Published: 2021-05-27

Assessment of age at menarche and menstrual pattern among secondary school girls in Awka, Southeast Nigeria

Cyril C. Ezenyeaku, Ifeanyichukwu U. Ezebialu, Joseph C. Umeobika, Josephat Akabike, Chijioke A. Ezenyeaku, Chukwuemeka E. Ojiyi, Tochukwu C. Okeke


Background: Menarche is an important physiological milestone in girls and this usually occurs during their secondary school years. The menstrual pattern may vary in these adolescents. This knowledge may assist in counselling the young girls on reproductive health issues.

Methods: A cross-sectional study of female secondary school students from Kenneth Dike secondary school, Awka; Amaenyi girls’ secondary school and community secondary school, Okpuno, all in Awka, Anambra state of Nigeria. All together 545 students were selected following informed consent. The study instrument was a pre-tested, semi-structured and self-administered questionnaire. Data analysis was done with IBM SPSS 20 software. Tests of association between variables were done with Fisher’s exact test and the level of significance set at p≤0.05.

 Results: The mean age of the 545 respondents was 16.79±1.736 years and majority of them are of the Igbo ethnic group (90.5%). The average age at menarche was 12.77±1.159 years. There is a significant difference between the age at menarche and the father’s occupation. The modal duration of flow was 4 days (48.7%) while 95.2% had a normal cycle length of 21-35 days.

Conclusions: The average age of menarche of secondary school girls in Awka was 12.77±1.159 years. Most of the students had normal menstrual flow duration of 2-7 days with a cycle length of 21-35 days.


Age, Menarche, Menstrual pattern, School, Awka

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