Evaluation of the severity and self-management practice in primary dysmenorrhea in medical and dental students: A cross-sectional study in a teaching hospital
Keywords:Dicyclomine, Mefnamic Acid, Primary Dysmenorrhea, Self-medication
Background: Primary dysmenorrhea is the commonest gynecological problem in females of childbearing age. The severity of dysmenorrhea catalyzed females to use home remedies or self-medication to relieve pain.
Aims and Objectives: The study aimed to find out the severity of primary dysmenorrhea and self-management practices in medical and dental students.
Materials and Methods: Female students who had painful menstrual cycles were included. A self-responding semi-structured questionnaire was used to collect information related to demographic, menstrual characteristics and self-management practices. The severity of primary dysmenorrhea was estimated by using the Verbal Multidimensional Scoring System (VMSS). Descriptive statistics were used to present the study findings using SPSS version 11.5.
Results: Out of 143 students, mild severity of primary dysmenorrhea was more common 85 (59.4%), followed by moderate 44 (30.8%) and severe 14 (9.8%) dysmenorrhea. Over two-thirds 124 (86.7%) of respondents used home remedies alone or in combination with analgesic drugs 87 (60.8%). Mefenamic acid 44 (50.6%) was the most common self-medicated drug. Among the respondents who practiced self-medication, the majority had used drugs once a day 68 (78.2%), and more than half of them 57 (65.5%) took medication for one day, and 59 (67.8%) had insufficient knowledge about drug dose.
Conclusion: Most of the respondents experienced the mild severity of primary dysmenorrhea. Home remedies were the most commonly used methods of self-management. The majority of the respondents did not receive medical consultation, but they were preferred self-medication. Encouragement for medical consultation along with the implementation of educational awareness programs to control morbidity associated with primary dysmenorrhea is recommended.
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