To our knowledge, no large population – based studies have been performed on the topic of menstrual patterns among Egyptian adolescent in recent years. The aims of this study were to identify menstrual patterns and associated disorders as well as the sources of menstrual health knowledge among Egyptian adolescents.
A cross-sectional survey. A total of 800 questionnaires were administered to post-menarcheal Egyptian adolescents attending secondary schools in Giza, Egypt, from September 1, 2012, to December 1, 2013. Participants were asked to respond to a semi-structured questionnaire on menstrual health awareness. The questionnaire included items on girl’s socio-demographic and menstrual pattern characteristics, concerning their age at menarche, menstrual cycle length and regularity, duration and amount of flow, type and severity of pain related to menstruation, need for analgesia; and symptoms suggestive of premenstrual syndrome (PMS) Main Outcome Measure: description of menstrual patterns, disorders and source of knowledge.
Four hundred twelve (51.5 %) out of 800 adolescents completed the questionnaire. The mean age of the girls was 14.67 ± 1.7 years. Mean age at menarche was 12.49 ± 1.20 years. 382 respondents reported various menstrual disorders, giving a prevalence rate of 95 %. Dysmenorrhea was the most prevalent (93 %) menstrual disorder in our sample, followed by PMS (65 %), and abnormal cycle lengths (43 %). Menstrual disorders interfered with social and academic life of 33 and 7.7 % of respondents respectively. Most participants lacked menstrual health knowledge and only 8.9 % of girls reported consulting a physician.
To the best of our knowledge, this is one of the largest studies on menstrual pattern and disorders among Egyptian adolescent girls. Our Findings of the present study are consistent with other studies and reported higher than expected prevalence of menstrual disorders.