Management of Primary Dysmenorrhea among University Students in the South of Spain and Family Influence.
Abstract: The present study analyses the management of primary dysmenorrhea by university students in the south of Spain. In this cross-sectional observational study, 224 women participated, using an ad hoc self-report questionnaire about menstrual pain and self-care and including sociodemographic and gynecological variables. Some 76.8% of participants consumed analgesics and the majority self-medicated with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) without consulting a health professional, with a correlation between pain intensity and the number of pills ingested during menstruation (r = 0.151, p < 0.05). The higher proportion of women who found their analgesia effective were those who took medication after being prescribed by a health care provider (60.8%) compared to those who self-medicated (40%; p < 0.01). Only 43.8% employed non-pharmaceutical methods, most commonly antalgic positions, massages and local heat. These choices were not related to the intensity of menstrual pain nor with the severity of the dysmenorrhea, nor did these most common methods prove to be the most effective. However, a higher percentage of women using non-pharmacological methods was identified in women with family members suffering from dysmenorrhea (73.2%) compared to those without (60%; p = 0.040), which may indicate that the choice of remedies is more related to learning self-care in the family context. This study identifies the need for education on self-care and management of menstrual pain.
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