Dysmenorrhoea is defined as painful menses in women.1 Dysmenorrhoea is frequently encountered in young women around adolescence. It affects the quality of life (QOL) of women during reproductive age. The aetiology of primary dysmenorrhoea is not precisely understood, but most symptoms can be explained by the action of uterine prostaglandins, particularly PG F2α. It may be associated with other symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, back pain, fatigue, headache, dizziness, and fainting. These symptoms could be very severe and social activity is very limited during menstruation, reducing quality of life in women. Severity of symptoms is usually assessed by grading of dysmenorrhoea as mild, moderate, and severe according to the degree of pain and analgesic requirement. Risk factors for dysmenorrhoea are early age at menarche (< 12 years), age < 20 years, nulliparity, heavy or prolonged menstrual flow, smoking, positive family history, obesity, attempts to lose weight, depression/anxiety, disruption of social networks among others. A study on factors influencing the prevalence and severity of dysmenorrhoea in young women had been conducted in Sweden by Sundell et al. Another study was conducted by Okusanya et al on menstrual pain and associated factors amongst undergraduates of Ambrose Ali University Ekpoma, South- south, Nigeria. These studies were carried out in other areas; however, to the best of our knowledge, no study on the factors that influence severity of dysmenorrhoea has been conducted at the University of Maiduguri. Dysmenorrhoea is the leading cause of recurrent short-term school absence in adolescent girls and a common problem in women of reproductive age.7 Knowledge of the severity factors is important because of the potential for intervention. It is against this background that we undertook this study. The objectives of the study, therefore, were to evaluate the factors that increase the severity of dysmenorrhoea among university female students, and to determine if increased severity of dysmenorrhoea affects the academic performance of the participants.




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