Prevalence and impact of primary dysmenorrhea among Mexican high school students

Int J Gynaecol Obstet. 2009 Dec;107(3):240-3. doi: 10.1016/j.ijgo.2009.07.031. Epub 2009 Aug 27.


Objective: To evaluate factors affecting the prevalence of dysmenorrhea in a group of Mexican students.

Method: A questionnaire was administered to 1152 high school students and the obtained data about severity, symptoms, and medications used were analyzed.

Results: Dysmenorrhea had a prevalence of 48.4% and was the cause of school absences for 24% of the affected students. It was mild in 32.9%, moderate in 49.7%, and severe in 17.4% of these students, of whom 28% consulted a physician and 60.9% self-medicated. The most common over-the-counter drugs used were a combination of paracetamol, pamabrom and pyrilamine maleate; metamizol (a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug) plus butylhioscine; and naproxen. We found a significant correlation between the presence of dysmenorrhea and smoking, cycle pattern, cycle duration, flow duration, and amount of flow.

Conclusion: The prevalence of dysmenorrhea was high in our sample. The condition caused short-term school absences and the students commonly addressed it by self-medicating.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Dysmenorrhea / epidemiology*
  • Female
  • Health Surveys
  • Humans
  • Mexico / epidemiology
  • Prevalence
  • Students
  • Young Adult