Menstruation among adolescent girls in Malaysia: a cross-sectional Malaysian school survey
A cross sectional descriptive study was carried out among 2411 secondary school adolescent females in Negeri Sembilan. Abnormal cycle length (menstrual cycle longer than 35 days or cycle length between 14 to 20 days or irregular pattern) was common and affected 37.2% of them. Majority (74.6%) experienced premenstrual syndrome and 69.4% had dysmenorrhoea. About 18% reported excessive menstrual loss (use 2 pads at a time to prevent blood from soaking through or confirmed by doctor to be anaemic due to heavy menstrual flow). Only 11.1% of schoolgirls seek medical consultation for their menstrual disorders. Mothers remained the most important source of information (80%). Menstrual disorders were significantly more common in female adolescents who smoke and have suicidal behaviours (p<0.05). Absenteeism was more common in those with increasing severity of dysmenorrhoea.