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A longitudinal study on premenstrual disorders among female medical students of a tertiary-care hospital

Mandakini P Bhowmick, Anup L Kharde.

Background: Premenstrual disorders (PMDs) are a debilitating group of conditions that remit on onset or immediately after menstruation, causing social and occupational impairment in the lives of affected women. PMDs consist of premenstrual syndrome (PMS) and premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD). With the lack of awareness of PMDs in young girls, they are often neglected not only by the students but also by their parents and teachers.

Aims and Objectives: To find the prevalence of PMS and PMDD in undergraduate medical students; to find out the severity of premenstrual symptoms; and to find out the impact of PMDs on students.

Materials and Methods: A descriptive, longitudinal study was carried out at Pravara Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS), Loni, Maharashtra, India, on students of medical faculty for 3 months in which 220 female subjects were selected according to inclusion and exclusion criteria. Self-structured, pretested premenstrual disorder symptoms questionnaire was given for charting occurrence and severity of symptoms for two consecutive cycles.

Results: Of 220 students, 94 (42.8%) had PMDs: 49 (20.5%) with PMS and 45 (22.3%) with PMDD. Behavioral symptom irritability [51 (54.25%)] was the most commonly occurring severe premenstrual symptom. In the PMD group, 58 (61.70%) reported a marked effect of premenstrual symptoms on their studies and 37 (39.36%) missed out on lectures.

Conclusion: The severe forms of PMDs are high in this study setup, and despite awareness they significantly affect academics and daily functioning of medical students.

Key words: Premenstrual Disorders; Premenstrual Syndrome; Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder; Medical Students

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