Journal of Women's Health Care

Journal of Women's Health Care
Open Access

ISSN: 2167-0420


The Impact of Menstrual Period on Physical Condition, Academic Performance and Habits of Medical Students

Huda Y Khamdan, Khadija M Aldallal, Eman M Almoosa, Najla J AlOmani, Aalaa SM Haider, Zahra I Abbas, Aalaa AM Haji, Sahar Z Aljamri and Randah R Hamadeh

Background: Menstrual period is a critical time in the life of females. It influences different daily life aspects, including physical status, academic performance, mood, diet, exercise and sleep pattern. Few studies were conducted to investigate its impact on medical students.
Objective: To determine the impact of the menstrual period on female medical students.
Methods: This is a cross sectional study on Arabian Gulf University medical students. A self -administered questionnaire was developed for the purpose of this study. It included the following variables: socio-demographic characteristics, menstrual history, academic performance and habits (sleeping, appetite, exercise, mood and social relationships) during the menstrual period. The questionnaires were distributed to two hundred twenty-six female medical students during the academic year 2011-2012.
Results: The mean age of menarche of the study population was 12.7 ± 1.5 years. The majority (90.7%) of the students experienced symptoms during their menstrual period, with the commonest five being abdominal cramps (90.7%), backache (82.7%), tiredness (80.4%), pelvic pain (74.0%) and bloating (65.2%) Pain was reported as the most common cause of exercise discontinuation during menstruation (42.86%). The menstrual period affected their amount of sleep (73.3%), sleep quality (60%), diet (73.8%) and exercise (60.7%). Academic performance was affected as well; study time (76.0%), concentration (65.8%), group activities (58.1%), examination performance (51.8%) and attendance (40.8%).
Conclusion: It can be concluded that the menstrual cycle has different effects on female medical students’ physical conditions, academic performance and habits. Further research should be conducted to study the effect of menstruation on Arab females.