Relationship between Examination Stress and Menstrual Irregularities among Medical Students of Rawalpindi Medical University
Background: Examination stress is a common condition faced by female medical students which adversely affects their normal physiological cyclic pattern of menstruation. This study is conducted to assess the impact of examination stress on normal menstrual cycle and assessing the most commonly observed menstrual irregularities among the female medical students of Rawalpindi Medical University.
Methods: Via non-probability consecutive sampling 246 female medical students of class third to final year MBBS between the age group of 18-25 years were selected and interviewed through a self-structured questionnaire. Female medical students having normal menstrual cycle but suffering from menstrual irregularity during exams only were included in this study while those with current medical, gynaecological or psychiatric illness were excluded.
Results: In our study, 34.1% (84 out of 246) female medical students have menstrual irregularities during examination. Out of 84 students 37.4% have their normal cycle lengthened during examination, 22% have shortened normal cycle. 36.9% require intervention for their menstrual symptoms, out of those for 25 respondents these interventions were effective. 69% suffered from pre-menstrual symptoms and only 06 respondents had chronic medical condition.
Conclusion: Examination stress leads to various menstrual irregularities. Therefore, there is a strong need to modify the examination system of medical education in order to reduce the stress levels different awareness programs should be conducted educating the students on how to cope with their stress due to studies.
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