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Effects of Perimenstrual Complaints on Sexuality and Disability and Coping Strategies of University Students

Abstract

Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) is a group of psychological and somatic symptoms related to the menstrual cycle. These symptoms occur specifically during last half of the luteal phase of menstrual cycle and resolve by the end of menstruation. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of premenstrual and menstrual complaints on well-being and sexuality and their relation with analgesic use as a coping strategy in university students. This study focused on the experience of perimenstrual and menstrual complaints of university students with regular menstrual cycles and their coping strategy. The research data were collected by means of an introductory form with open-ended questions and the responses were assessed for the presence of premenstrual and menstrual complaints, their effects and coping strategies of the students. Of 202 participants enrolled in the study, the mean age was 20.5 ± 2.1 years. Fifty-seven participants (33.1 %) were adolescent girls while 115 (66.9 %) of them were adults. Among students, the five most common complaints reported were irritability (76.7 %), breast fullness (68.6 %), back pain (67.4 %), abdominal distension (60.5 %) and sentimentalism (56.4 %). Of participants, 102 (59.3 %) responded as having disability and 34 (19.4 %) were found as having impaired sexuality. Back pain and weakness were found to be related with disability. For impaired sexuality, headache and sentimentalism were found to be significant predictors. One hundred and thirty-three (77.3 %) subjects reported that they have been using some medication; however, 99 (57.6 %) students have never sought help. The most common medications reported were analgesics (n = 117, 68 %). Overall, we found comparable distribution of complaints and coping strategies in adolescent and adult students. A majority of women experience mild to severe physical and psychological discomfort during the perimenstrual period, which may affect their life quality. There is a need for a program to increase awareness about PMS and menstrual complaints and suitable coping strategies for its symptomatology in the university settings to improve quality of life and school performance of the students.

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Conflict of interest

The authors stated that did not have conflict of interests.

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Correspondence to Tolga Guler.

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Guler, T., Yavuz, U., Özkum, D. et al. Effects of Perimenstrual Complaints on Sexuality and Disability and Coping Strategies of University Students. Sex Disabil 31, 93–101 (2013). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11195-012-9264-6

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Keywords

  • Sexuality
  • Disability
  • Perimenstrual complaints
  • Analgesic