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International Journal of Adolescent Medicine and Health

Editor-in-Chief: Merrick, Joav

Editorial Board: Birch, Diana ML / Blum, Robert W. / Greydanus, MD, Dr. HC (Athens), Donald E. / Hardoff, Daniel / Kerr, Mike / Levy, Howard B / Morad, Mohammed / Omar, Hatim A. / de Paul, Joaquin / Rydelius, Per-Anders / Shek, Daniel T.L. / Sher, Leo / Silber, Tomas J. / Towns, Susan / Urkin, Jacob / Verhofstadt-Deneve, Leni / Zeltzer, Lonnie / Tenenbaum, Ariel

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Association between menstrual disorders and school absenteeism among schoolgirls in South Egypt

Ahmed Arafa / Lamiaa Saleh / Sherwet Shawky
  • Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Faculty of Medicine, Beni-Suef University, Beni-Suef, Egypt
  • Other articles by this author:
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Published Online: 2019-06-17 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/ijamh-2019-0081


Menstrual disorders are highly prevalent among girls and may interrupt school attendance. This study aimed to investigate the association between menstrual disorders and school absenteeism among schoolgirls in South Egypt.

Subjects and methods

A multi-stage random sampling method was adopted to select 930 schoolgirls. A self-administered questionnaire composed of 3 sections (socio-demographic characteristics, menstrual disorders, and school absenteeism) was used to assess the relationship between different menstrual disorders and school absenteeism during the previous 6 months.


The mean age of the participating schoolgirls was 15.5 ± 0.8 years, age of menarche 13.2 ± 1.2 years, menstrual cycle duration 28.8 ± 7.3 days with average flow days 5 ± 1.3. During the previous 6 months, 43.9% of schoolgirls reported school absenteeism. Dysmenorrhea (89.1%) and premenstrual symptoms, especially abdominal spasm (62.2%), fatigue (32%), and headache (22.7%) were heavily reported during the same period. Menstrual flow >4 days [odds ratio (OR) 1.37, 1.04–1.80], premenstrual abdominal spasm (OR 1.60, 1.22–2.11), fatigue (OR 1.69, 1.27–2.24), breast tenderness (OR 1.67, 1.17–2.38), insomnia (OR 1.92, 1.31–2.80), abdominal bloating (OR 2.29, 1.34–3.91), dysmenorrhea (OR 4.44, 2.58–7.62), dysmenorrhea for more than 1 day (OR 1.38, 1.03–1.84), menstrual acne flare (OR 2.23, 1.68–2.97), dysuria (OR 1.96, 1.31–2.93), and facial hair (OR 2.59, 1.26–5.31) were significantly associated with school absenteeism.


Premenstrual and menstrual disorders are associated with school absenteeism among schoolgirls in South Egypt. Future research should focus on the effect of school counseling on reducing the absenteeism rate attributed to menstrual disorders.

Keywords: dysmenorrhea; premenstrual syndrome; school absenteeism; schoolgirls


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About the article

Received: 2019-03-31

Accepted: 2019-04-25

Published Online: 2019-06-17

Funding sources: None.

Conflict of interest: None.

Citation Information: International Journal of Adolescent Medicine and Health, 20190081, ISSN (Online) 2191-0278, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/ijamh-2019-0081.

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