Background: Menstrual cycle is affected by a number of
factors either positively or negatively. Disturbed menstrual cycle impacts
physical, mental and social well being of women. Physical activity and exercise
affect pattern of menstrual cycle depending upon its intensity.
Aim: To explore the relationship of physical
activity and pattern of menstrual cycle particularly dysmenorrhea and its
impact on absenteeism.
Study Design: Cross-sectional study
Place and Duration of the Study: Department of Community Medicine, HITEC-IMS
Taxila from 1st March to 31st August 2020.
Methodology: One hundred and six randomly selected female
undergraduate medical students of 1st to 4th year. A
self-reported structured questionnaire was used to collect the data.
Results: Mean age of respondents was 21.1+1.6
years. Body mass index of 47.2% respondents was normal, 26.4% were overweight
and 15.1% were obese. Menstrual flow was reported light by 11.3% respondents,
74.5% had moderate and 14.2% had heavy menstrual flow. Dysmenorrhea was
reported by 85% respondents, 13% had mild, 14% had moderate and 33% had severe
pain during menstruation. Absenteeism was reported by 28.3% participants and
was found to be associated with dysmenorrhea. Statistically significant (p<.05)
association was found between physical activity and dysmenorrhea.
Conclusion: Abnormalities of menstrual cycle among
medical students can affect their physical well-being leading to class
absenteeism. Regular and continuous physical activity can be of a great effect
in improving menstrual pain and related problems.