Oum-Keltoum Hadjou

and 5 more

Objective: To evaluate the prevalence of dysmenorrhea in adolescents and its impact on daily living. Design: A cross-sectional, questionnaire-based study Setting: Multicenter study in eight randomly selected high schools in France. Population: Randomly selected post-menarche girl pupils 15 –19 years Methods: Each girl was asked to complete a 50-item questionnaire. Main Outcome Measures: Dysmenorrhea severity was assessed with the Numerical Rating Scale (NRS) and Verbal Multidimensional Scoring System Scale (VMSS). Results: Questionnaires from 953 girls were analyzed (mean age: 16.9 years). The prevalence of dysmenorrhea was 92.9 % with 8.9 % describing their pain as severe. Impact on quality of life was significant: 43.3% of the girls reported school absences because of dysmenorrhea, 74.9% difficulties in attending classes and 77.2% difficulties in sports activities. Risk factors of severe dysmenorrhea (VMSS grade 3) in multivariate analysis were heavy menstrual bleeding (OR 2.02, 95%CI [1.12 ; 3.63] p=0.0192), early menarche (OR 0.68, 95%CI [0.57 ; 0.81] p<0.0001), chronic pelvic pain (OR 2.60, 95%CI [1.10 ; 6.11] p=0.0274), BMI (BMI<18, OR 1.94, 95%CI [1.03 ; 3.66] p=0.0335). Of the 50.4% who had consulted a physician, 45.4% had seen a general practitioner. Among the girls who had not consulted a physician, 55.1% reported that menstruation was a “woman’s burden”. Conclusion: Dysmenorrhea is highly prevalent in adolescents in France and has a real impact on daily life activities. As such, it should be treated as a public health problem with educational and information campaigns targeting the girls themselves, their families and healthcare professionals.