Published: 2019-06-29

Gynecological problems and reproductive health awareness amongst late adolescent girls pursuing professional courses: a questionnaire based survey

Rambabu Chennuru, Revathi Srungavarapu, Niharika Sarma Ikkurthy, Jarina Begum


Background: Dysmenorrhoeais a debilitating menstrual problem and may be related to body mass index (BMI). This study was done to explore the various gynecological problems in girls in their late adolescence that is pursuing professional courses in medicine, dental and nursing.

Methods: This was a prospective, questionnaire based study conducted between January and February 2019 in a medical college in Visakhapatnam, India. The survey included female undergraduate students of the Medical, Dental and Nursing colleges to find out their menstrual history and reproductive awareness with the help of a self-structured questionnaire. Participants were categorized based on BMI. Data was reported as number and percentage.

Results: Of the 190 participants, 154 participants (age range; 16-19 years) were included in the study. Fifty percent of the total participants reported to have dysmenorrhoea, of which 21% reported severe dysmenorrhoea. A very high % of participants in the obese category (77.8%) reported severe dysmenorrhoea, followed by 27.3% in the underweight category. A U-shaped relationship between percentage of participants with severe dysmenorrhoea and increasing BMI was observed. A fair percentage of obese participants reported for infrequent periods beyond 35-45 days and androgenic features like excess hair, acne and dark pigmentation around neck, suggestive of polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). The participants possessed a high level of awareness and reported in the range of 87.1 to 96.8% related to reproductive health.

Conclusions: Despite high level of awareness among the participants we observed a considerably high prevalence of dysmenorrhoea which was even more prevalent, in the obese category.


Adolescents, Body mass index, Dysmenorrhoea, Menstrual problem, Obesity

Full Text:



Romero World Health Organization. Maternal, newborn, child and adolescent health. Available at: Accessed 8 June 2019.

Rathod AD, Chavan RP, Pajai SP, Bhagat V, Thool P. Gynecological problems of adolescent girls attending outpatient department at tertiary care center with evaluation of cases of puberty menorrhagia requiring hospitalization. J Obstet Gynecol India. 2016;66(S1):400-6.

UNICEF. Progress for Children. A report card on adolescents. Number 10, April 2012. Available at: Accessed on 7 June, 2019.

Rashtriya Kishor Swasthya Karyakram. National Health Mission Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India. Available at: Accessed on 7 June, 2019.

Adolescents in India: A desk review of existing evidence and behaviours, programmes and policies." 2013. New Delhi: Population Council and UNICEF. Available at: http://4dj7dt2ychlw3310xlowzop2. /09/Adolescents_in_India.pdf. Accessed on 7 June, 2019.

Ju H, Jones M, Mishra GD. A U-Shaped Relationship between Body Mass Index and Dysmenorrhea: A Longitudinal Study. Pan C-W, ed. PLOS ONE. 2015;10(7):e0134187.

Barnard K, Frayne SM, Skinner KM, Sullivan LM. Health status among women with menstrual symptoms. J Womens Health (Larchmt). 2003;12(9):911-9.

Bettendorf B, Shay S, Tu F. Dysmenorrhea: contemporary perspectives. Obstet Gynecol Surv. 2008;63(9):597-603.

Ghanghoriya V, Patel K, Markam R. Prevalence of dysmenorrhoea and its effect on quality of life among nursing students. Int J Repro Contra Obstet Gynecol. 2018;7(6):2129.

Singh A, Kiran D, Singh H, Nel B, Singh P, Tiwari P. Prevalence and severity of dysmenorrhea: a problem related to menstruation, among first and second year female medical students. Indian J Physiol Pharmacol. 2008;52(4):389-97.

Chauhan M, Kala J. Relation between dysmenorrhea and body mass index in adolescents with rural versus urban variation. J Obstet Gynecol India. 2012;62(4):442-5.

World Health Organization Expert Committee. Physical status: the use and interpretation of anthropometry. Report of a WHO Expert Committee. World Health Organization technical report series. 1995;854:1-452.

Ju H, Jones M, Mishra G. The prevalence and risk factors of dysmenorrhea. Epidemiol Rev. 2014;36:104-13.

Sanyal S, Ray S. Variation in the menstrual characteristics in adolescents of West Bengal. Singapore Med J. 2008;49(7):542-50.

Ray S, Mishra SK, Roy AG, Das BM. Menstrual characteristics: A study of the adolescents of rural and urban West Bengal, India. Annals of Human Biol. 2010;37(5):668-1.

Christensen SB, Black MH, Smith N, Martinez MM, Jacobsen SJ, Porter AH, et al. Prevalence of polycystic ovary syndrome in adolescents. Fertil Steril. 2013;100(2):470-7.

Shankar P, Dudeja P, Gadekar T, Mukherji S. Reproductive health awareness among adolescent girls of a government school in an urban slum of Pune City. Med J Dr DY Patil University. 2017;10(2):133.

Grover S, Garg N, Rupali R, Kaur B. Awareness about reproductive health, contraceptive methods, STDs including HIV/AIDS, and HPV vaccine, among adolescent girls in district Faridkot in Punjab. Int J Repro Contra Obstet Gynecol. 2017;6(5):2003.

Kotecha PV, Patel S, Baxi RK, Mazumdar VS, Misra S, Modi E, et al. Reproductive health awareness among rural school going adolescents of Vadodara district. Indian J Sex Transm Dis AIDS. 2009;30(2):94-9.

Patanwar P, Sharma K. Awareness of reproductive health among the kurmi adolescent girls of Raipur city, Chhattisgarh, India. Int J Res Health Sci. 2013;1(3):126-33.

Rani SG, Rao BB. Study on reproductive health awareness among adolescent girls in urban and rural field practice areas of Osmania medical college. Int J Cur Res Rev. 2015;7(18):15-8.

Vinitha CT, Singh S, Rajendran AK. Level of reproductive health awareness and factors affecting it in a rural community of South India. Health and Population Persp Issues. 2007;30(1):24-44.

Gollakota S, Mylavarapu SR, Padmavathi K. A study of awareness of reproductive health among college students of Visakhapatnam. IOSR J Dent Med Sci. 2015;14(2):54-9.

Menzil M. Study of the knowledge regarding reproductive health among the second PUC students from the colleges of Bangalore city. Int J Comm Med Public Health. 2018;5(6):2301.