Prevalence of oligomenorrhea and amenorrhea in a college population

Am J Obstet Gynecol. 1982 Sep 1;144(1):98-102. doi: 10.1016/0002-9378(82)90402-1.


Menstrual disorders in college students have been reported as higher than in the general population. Several reasons, among them calorie-restricted diets, strenuous exercise, and college-related stress, have been attributed to this increased prevalence. During the period November, 1979, to January, 1980, 991 of 1,420 college students completed questionnaires which inquired about their menstrual history. The prevalence of oligomenorrhea in this group was 11.3% and that of amenorrhea was 2.6%. Significant factors associated with oligomenorrhea or amenorrhea in this group were weight loss (greater than 20 pounds) and jogging. In most women with oligomenorrhea or amenorrhea, menstrual irregularity was present prior to college entry. With the use of self-administered questionnaires, we could not identify any specific college stress to account for the presence of menstrual abnormalities in a college population.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Amenorrhea / epidemiology
  • Amenorrhea / etiology*
  • Body Weight
  • Contraceptives, Oral / adverse effects
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Menarche
  • Menstruation Disturbances / etiology*
  • Oligomenorrhea / epidemiology
  • Oligomenorrhea / etiology*
  • Parity
  • Physical Exertion
  • Stress, Physiological
  • Students*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires


  • Contraceptives, Oral