Premenstrual symptoms and remedies practiced by Malaysian women attending a rural primary care clinic

Khairani Omar, Siti S. Mohsin, Leelavathi Muthupalani, Idayu Badilla Idris, Rahmah Mohd Amin, Khadijah Shamsuddin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: Premenstrual symptoms affect about 40% of women of reproductive age. In an effort to alleviate premenstrual symptoms, affected women practice various remedial approaches. The aim of this study was to assess the prevalence and severity of premenstrual symptoms experienced by women, the associated factors and the remedial approaches practiced by them. Method: This was a cross-sectional study conducted at a rural primary care clinic situated in Hulu Langat, Malaysia. All women of reproductive age (18 to 44 years old) attending the clinic during the study period and who fi t the selection criteria were included. Premenstrual symptoms and severity were assessed using a self-report questionnaire, the Shortened Premenstrual Assessment Form (SPAF). It consists of 10 items that measure changes in mood, behaviour and physical symptoms. The respondents were also asked if they had used any remedy to relieve their symptoms. Results: A total of 158 women were included in the study. The majority of the respondents were Malay (70.3%), followed by Indian (16.5%) and Chinese (10.8%) women. About 75% of the women experienced at least one of the premenstrual symptoms. Approximately 7% of them reported experiencing severe symptoms in all three subscales of the SPAF. The frequently reported symptoms were body ache (75.3%), abdominal pain (75.3%), irritable feeling (63.9%) and breast discomfort (61.4%). The symptom score was higher among Malay women (p = 0.034), and those with a higher household income (p = 0.037) and higher educational level (p = 0.01). There was no signifi cant association between premenstrual symptoms and age, marital status, menstrual cycle and age of menarche. The common remedies used were vitamins (19%), a healthy diet (15.8%) and analgesics (13.3%). Approximately 60% of the women did not use any remedy to reduce their premenstrual symptoms. Conclusion: Premenstrual symptoms were common among women attending the clinic. The symptoms affect them signifi cantly both physically and emotionally. Thus, it is essential for primary care providers to take an active role in identifying, educating and managing premenstrual symptoms among women.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)42-46
Number of pages5
JournalAfrican Journal of Primary Health Care and Family Medicine
Volume1
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2009

Fingerprint

Primary Health Care
Menarche
Malaysia
Marital Status
Menstrual Cycle
Vitamins
Self Report
Abdominal Pain
Patient Selection
Analgesics
Emotions
Breast
Cross-Sectional Studies
Pain

Keywords

  • Premenstrual symptoms
  • Premenstrual syndrome
  • Primary care
  • Remedies
  • Reproductive age women

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Family Practice
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

Cite this

Premenstrual symptoms and remedies practiced by Malaysian women attending a rural primary care clinic. / Omar, Khairani; Mohsin, Siti S.; Muthupalani, Leelavathi; Idris, Idayu Badilla; Mohd Amin, Rahmah; Shamsuddin, Khadijah.

In: African Journal of Primary Health Care and Family Medicine, Vol. 1, No. 1, 2009, p. 42-46.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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abstract = "Background: Premenstrual symptoms affect about 40{\%} of women of reproductive age. In an effort to alleviate premenstrual symptoms, affected women practice various remedial approaches. The aim of this study was to assess the prevalence and severity of premenstrual symptoms experienced by women, the associated factors and the remedial approaches practiced by them. Method: This was a cross-sectional study conducted at a rural primary care clinic situated in Hulu Langat, Malaysia. All women of reproductive age (18 to 44 years old) attending the clinic during the study period and who fi t the selection criteria were included. Premenstrual symptoms and severity were assessed using a self-report questionnaire, the Shortened Premenstrual Assessment Form (SPAF). It consists of 10 items that measure changes in mood, behaviour and physical symptoms. The respondents were also asked if they had used any remedy to relieve their symptoms. Results: A total of 158 women were included in the study. The majority of the respondents were Malay (70.3{\%}), followed by Indian (16.5{\%}) and Chinese (10.8{\%}) women. About 75{\%} of the women experienced at least one of the premenstrual symptoms. Approximately 7{\%} of them reported experiencing severe symptoms in all three subscales of the SPAF. The frequently reported symptoms were body ache (75.3{\%}), abdominal pain (75.3{\%}), irritable feeling (63.9{\%}) and breast discomfort (61.4{\%}). The symptom score was higher among Malay women (p = 0.034), and those with a higher household income (p = 0.037) and higher educational level (p = 0.01). There was no signifi cant association between premenstrual symptoms and age, marital status, menstrual cycle and age of menarche. The common remedies used were vitamins (19{\%}), a healthy diet (15.8{\%}) and analgesics (13.3{\%}). Approximately 60{\%} of the women did not use any remedy to reduce their premenstrual symptoms. Conclusion: Premenstrual symptoms were common among women attending the clinic. The symptoms affect them signifi cantly both physically and emotionally. Thus, it is essential for primary care providers to take an active role in identifying, educating and managing premenstrual symptoms among women.",
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AU - Mohd Amin, Rahmah

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