Prevalence of premenstrual syndrome and dysmenorrhea among medical students and its impact on their college absenteeism


  • Arshia Syed Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Yenepoya Medical College, Mangalore, Karnataka, India
  • Smitha B. Rao Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Yenepoya Medical College, Mangalore, Karnataka, India



Absenteeism, Body mass index, Dysmenorrhea, Premenstrual syndrome


Background: Dysmenorrhea and premenstrual syndrome are two most common gynaecological problem leading to college absenteeism seen among female medical students. Aim of the study was to evaluate the factors associated and prevalence of dysmenorrhoea and PMS and its effects on the quality of life, particularly absenteeism from college in female medical students. The health care profession has an obligation to provide and to promote education on menstruation and related subjects.

Methods: This is a prospective study, conducted on 100 MBBS students studying in a medical college at Mangalore. All participants were given a preformed questionnaire to complete. Dysmenorrhea was assessed based on WaLiDD scoring system. Diagnosis of PMS in the present study was made according to diagnosis criteria proposed by American College of obstetrician and gynecology. The severity of their condition was assessed based on their absenteeism from college/classes.

Results: The average age of the participants was 21 year±1 year. The prevalence of dysmenorrhea was 45% and that of the pre-menstrual syndrome was 68%. Pre-menstrual syndrome (p = 0.05) is significantly associated with overweight, obesity and physical inactivity but not the same for dysmenorrhea. 73% and 60% of students consumed junk food suffered from PMS and dysmenorrhea respectively, 40% of students with dysmenorrhea reported limitation of daily activities and significantly associated with college absenteeism (p = 0.005). The most frequent somatic symptom of PMS in this study was breast tenderness (41%) and affective symptom was irritability (35%).

Conclusions: Dysmenorrhea and PMS is highly prevalent among female medical students; it is related to college/class absenteeism. Unhealthy and sedentary lifestyle could be the attributing factors which has to be addressed by health education in order to improve the quality of life and academic performance by the medical students.


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