Dysmenorrhea and Associated Factors among Secondary School Students in East Hararghe Zone, Eastern Ethiopia

  • Hussein Mohammed
  • Nejat Hassen
  • Abdulbasit Musa


Background: Dysmenorrhea is a common menstrual problem among females in the reproductive ages. It negatively affects adolescents’ and young adults’ school performance, socialization, sports activities, and daily household chores. However, few studies have been conducted on dysmenorrhea among secondary school students in Ethiopia. Therefore, the aim of this study was to determine the prevalence and associated factors of dysmenorrhea among secondary school students in East Hararghe Zone. Methods: A school-based cross-sectional study was conducted from April to May 2017. A simple random sampling technique was used to select a total of 693 study participants. Data were collected using a pre-tested structured questionnaire through a face-to-face interview. Data were analyzed using SPSS version 20 software. Logistic regression was utilized to identify factors associated with the outcome variable. Results: The prevalence of dysmenorrhea was 69.26 % (95% CI: 65.6%, 72.7%). A family history of dysmenorrhea (AOR=2.41; 95% CI: 1.47, 3.95), early menarche (AOR=2.33; 95% CI: 1.44, 3.79), and heavy menstruation (AOR=2.49; 95% CI: 1.22, 5.08) were significantly associated with the occurrence of dysmenorrhea. Of the students with dysmenorrhea, 46.1% reported concentration loss during class time, 41.4% reported school missing and 38.2% reported inability to do their homework. The majority (54.4%) of students with dysmenorrhea silently endured their pain, while only 4.2% consulted health care providers. Conclusion: Dysmenorrhea is highly prevalent among secondary school students. It adversely affects students’ daily activities, and yet is a highly undertreated disorder. Thus, routine screening and treatment strategies should be put in place to help students cope with the challenges of dysmenorrhea . School authorities and teachers should provide education on dysmenorrhea, and academic support for the affected students.

Keywords: Dysmenorrhea; menstruation; student; adolescents; Ethiopia


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