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J Psychosom Obstet Gynaecol. 2009 Jun;30(2):127-32. doi: 10.1080/01674820802545446.

Pattern and correlates of premenstrual symptomatology amongst Nigerian University students.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry, Lagos State University College of Medicine, Lagos, Nigeria.


This study aimed to evaluate the pattern and correlates of premenstrual symptomatology amongst Nigerian female undergraduates. Female University students (n = 409) completed questionnaires detailing sociodemographic, menstruation/gynecological history and personality traits. They were then rated with a checklist for premenstrual symptoms. The most frequent premenstrual symptoms were 'breast tenderness' (35.5%), 'sleeplessness' (15.6%), 'decreased interest in usual activities' (15.4%), 'lethargy/easy fatigability/lack of energy' (13.2%) and 'change in appetite' (13.2%). The prevalence of premenstrual symptomatology was 50.1% and the correlates of increasing premenstrual symptomatology included increasing age, increasing severity of menstrual pain, personality traits of neuroticism and agreeableness and increasing body mass index. Although the rate of premenstrual symptomatology in sub-Saharan African women was comparable with that in the western cultures, there may be cross-cultural differences in the pattern of presentation. Dysmenorrhoea and personality traits should be taken into consideration when planning and implementing effective strategy to manage perimenstrual problems in this region.

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