A new study shows that menstrual pain can lead to absenteeism in school and university and thus negatively affect the educational outcomes of young women.
The prevalence of painful menstruation is more than 71%, regardless of the country’s economic situation.
Published in the Journal of Women’s Health, the study was led by Dr. Mike Armor of Western Sydney University, Australia, and analyzed the results of thirty-eight studies on 21,573 young women. Twenty-three were from low- and middle-income countries, and fifteen from high-income countries. This research shows that the prevalence of painful menstruation (dysmenorrhea) is more than 71%, regardless of the country’s economic situation.
One in five young women (20%) reported missing class because of menstrual pain, while 41% reported that their concentration or productivity in the classroom was affected.
“This declining efficiency in the classroom at the time of menstruation is something that women often consider they have to go through, which means that girls and young women can be at a significant disadvantage in their studies because of impact of menstrual pain,” says Dr. Armor.
Women also stated that they had to restrict their social activities, sports and other school activities because of menstrual symptoms, which had a negative impact on their health.
According to the doctor, these data point to the need for better education on menstrual pain: “Improving women’s education about menstruation can help them make better choices with respect to self-treatment and when they should seek medical care,” says Dr. Armor.
This research is part of a 12-month national project led by Western Sydney University, the results of which will be revealed in 2020.