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Abstract

The aim of this study was to assess the level of knowledge, attitudes and health-taking behavior of female students ages 15-18 years old in regard to dysmenorrhea and menstrual hygiene in suburban districts of Tehran, the capital of Iran. The study applied a descriptive, cross-sectional method, in which 250 students were selected at random, using a cluster random sampling method. The data was collected by applying a 44-item questionnaire. The reliability of the questionnaire was checked by the Chronbach-Alpha method, showing a correlation of 90 percent. Seventy-seven percent of the subjects claimed that they had enough knowledge about dysmenorrhea, from which only 32% practiced the personal health taking behavior, such as taking a bath and using hygienic materials. About 33% of the students avoided any physical activity or even mild exercise during menstrual period. Over 67% of the girls reported to take palliative medicine for their menstrual pain without prescription by a doctor. Fifteen percent of them stated that dysmenorrhea has interfered with their daily life activities and caused them to be absent from school between one to seven days, similar to other relevant studies. The prevalence of dysmenorrhea in this study was 71%. The main point achieved in this study was the necessity of educating female students about the menstrual period health-taking behaviors, including: appropriate nutrition, exercise and physical activity, personal hygiene, and appropriate use of medication based on physician’s prescription.

Note on the Author

Mohammad Poureslami, Assistant Professor, Iran University of Medical Sciences, School of Medicine, Department of Community and Preventive Medicine

Farzaneh Osati-Ashtiani, Assistant Professor, Iran University of Medical Sciences, School of Medicine, Department of Immunology and Microbiology

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