Dysmenorrhoea in different settings: are the rural and urban adolescent girls perceiving and managing the dysmenorrhoea problem differently?

Indian J Community Med. 2008 Oct;33(4):246-9. doi: 10.4103/0970-0218.43231.


Context: It is well-known that every health problem, not only presents itself with different epidemiological profiles in different population settings, but is also perceived and managed differently. Having knowledge of these variations in its presentations and perceptions in different population settings, for example, in urban and rural settings, will be useful for its successful management.

Aim: To study differences in epidemiological profiles, perceptions, socio economic losses, and quality-of-life losses and management of dysmenorrhoea in different settings for effective management.

Design and setting: A comparative cross-sectional study among adolescent school girls (101 girls in urban areas and 79 girls in rural areas) in the district of Karimnagar.

Materials and methods: A cross-sectional survey using a pretested questionnaire was conducted among 180 adolescent girls in urban and rural settings. STATISTICAL ANALYSES USED: Proportions and X(2) test.

Results: The prevalence of dysmenorrhoea is 54% (53% in girls in urban areas and 56% in girls in rural areas) (X(2) (df) = 0.1, P = 0.05). Sickness absenteeism (28-48%), socio economic losses, and perceived quality of life losses are more prevalent among girls in urban areas than in girls in rural areas. Girls in rural areas resort to physical labor and other natural methods to obtain relief while the girls in urban areas are mainly depending on medications.

Conclusions: Dysmenorrhoea can also be managed effectively by natural methods without resorting to medicines, provided one is psychologically prepared to face it without anxiety.

Keywords: Dysmenorrhoea in different settings; Karimnagar district; management differences; social losses; urban-rural variations.