Background: This study was a retrospective examination of adolescents' use of non-pharmacologic methods to manage menstrual discomfort.
Methods: A convenience sample of 289 female adolescents (mean age = 16.28 years, SD = 1.00) recruited from a public high school completed a questionnaire designed for this study.
Results: Ninety-eight percent of these adolescents reported using at least one non-pharmacologic method (e.g., heat, distraction) to manage menstrual discomfort. The mean perceived effectiveness of most of these methods was reported by adolescents to be below 40% (range = 3-74%).
Conclusion: It is possible that some methods are used because they have a physiologic impact on pain (e.g. heat), whereas others (e.g., distraction) provide a sense of comfort and control. Further research is necessary to examine the determinants of why and when certain management strategies are used by adolescents.