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Ann Afr Med. 2007 Jun;6(2):68-72.

Premenstrual symptoms and dysmenorrhoea among Muslim women in Zaria, Nigeria.

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



To document the premenstrual and menstrual symptoms of Muslim women, with a view to providing adequate and sensitive care.


Two hundred Muslim women were interviewed at Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital and Muslim Specialist Hospital, both in Zaria between August and October 2003.


Premenstrual symptoms were present in 23.8% of the women and breast pain was the commonest symptom (50%). Self-medication was practiced by those who needed medication for the premenstrual symptoms (29.8%). Premenstrual symptoms were significantly associated with lower parity (p = 0.02), previous (p = 0.03) and current (p = 0.01) contraceptive use and dysmenorrhoea (p = < 0.001). Dysmenorrhoea was present in 36.4% and was significantly associated with lower age (p = 0.03), and lower parity (p = 0.01).


Health care workers and the general public need to be aware of premenstrual symptoms and dysmenorrhoea in order to provide adequate care and support that is sensitive to Muslim women's needs. Health care providers should also be aware that premenstrual symptoms are more likely to coexist with dysmenorrhoea and provide therapies that can cater for both problems whenever possible.

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