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Year : 2013  |  Volume : 7  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 66-70

Age at menarche and prevalence of menstrual abnormalities among adolescents in Zaria, northern Nigeria

Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital, Shika-Zaria, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Hajaratu U Sulayman
Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, ABUTH, Zaria, Shika-Zaria
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0331-3131.133099

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Background: Nigerian adolescents constitute about 20% of the total population. Problems associated with menstruation affect 75% of adolescent females in both the developing and the developed world. Objectives: The objective of this study is to establish the age at menarche and menstrual abnormalities among adolescents in secondary schools in Zaria. Materials and Methods: A descriptive cross sectional study in which a self-administered pretested, semi-structured questionnaire in english was administered to 535 female secondary school students in Zaria, northern Nigeria. The students were selected from five schools that were chosen by simple random sampling from a list of schools in Zaria metropolis. Information obtained included age at menarche and menstruation related issues. Results: Of the 535 female secondary school students interviewed, 448 (83.7%) were in senior secondary school. The mean age of the respondents was 15.35 ± 1.48 years. The average age at menarche was 12.53 ± 1.33 years. Most respondents, 369 (69.0%) experienced regular menses. The average duration of menstruation was 5.45 ± 1.81 days in 354 (66.2%) of the respondents. Three hundred and forty-four (64.3%) of the respondents had dysmenorrhea, and it was severe in 229 (66.6%) of them. Only, 137 (25.6%) experienced premenstrual symptoms, the most common symptom being breast tenderness in 62 respondents (45.2%). Conclusion: The age at menarche and the menstrual pattern amongst adolescents in Zaria, northern Nigeria is similar to findings from other parts of Nigeria as well as from other parts of the world. Further studies are however needed to explore the full range of menstrual abnormalities that can occur in the adolescent age group.

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