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Effect of moderate aerobic exercise on perceived stress during luteal phase of menstrual cycle in students pursuing professional course

Anuradha Rajiv Joshi, Tanvi Nitin Pendse, Savita M Vaidya.


Background: Students pursuing professional course are always under stress and do not exercise due to time constraint. Regular menstrual periods indicate good reproductive health of female students. Various problems during menstrual period are more common during the age group of 20–24 years. These problems can affect the physical and psychological well-being of female students. Well planned aerobic exercise improves reproductive system functioning in terms of regular menstrual cycle and reduces different symptoms.

Aims and Objectives: The study was planned to evaluate the effect of aerobic exercise on perceived stress and on various symptoms during the luteal phase of menstrual cycle.

Materials and Methods: This was an observational cross-sectional study. After ethical committee approval, 60 volunteers were divided into study group (n = 30, doing aerobic exercise) and control group (n = 30, non-exercising). They were asked to complete a validated questionnaire about the menstrual cycle. Basal body temperature was recorded to determine the luteal phase. Bleeding patterns were assessed by using questionnaires and pictograms. Cohen’s perceived stress scale (PSS) was used to assess PSS score. Results were analyzed by Paired t-test.

Results: PSS score showed the statistically significant difference in control and study group subjects. Intermenstrual bleeding was significantly reduced, and incidence of pain and absenteeism was also decreased during the menstrual period in exercising students.

Conclusion: The study showed that aerobic exercise reduced stress levels in young female students during the luteal phase and a positive effect on premenstrual symptoms was observed.

Key words: Premenstrual Symptoms; Perceived Stress Scale; Absenteeism; Intermenstrual Bleeding

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