Dr. Iman Al BalushiOman Medical Specialty Board, Oman
Title: Obesity and menstrual disturbance among Omani school girls
Menstruation is a normal physiological phenomenon for females indicating their capability for procreation. Menstrual irregularities are common among adolescent, adversely affecting their quality of life. Obesity is one of the factors that contributes to irregularity in menstrual cycles. In Oman due to lifestyle changes over the last 4 decades prevalence of obesity among young females aged (5-19 years) increased from 5.1% to 43.5 %. Hence the prevalence of menstrual disorders and future subfertility expected to increase over the coming years.
Objective: The aim of this study is to assess the relationship between menstrual disturbances and BMI, and to determine the current mean age of menarche among Omani schoolgirls.
Materials and Methods: This study was cross-sectional survey, conducted with collaboration of NDEC, among schoolgirls at grade 11 in two governmental school in Muscat in Sep 2019. Ethical approval was obtained from research and ethics committee at RH. Permission was obtained from general directorate of education in Muscat and principal of schools. Written informed consent taken from the parents of schoolgirls.
Information was collected using a questionnaire that include demographic details, anthropometrics measurements, and standard questions describing the menstrual patterns, concerned their age at menarche, duration of the most recent menstruation intervals average days of bleeding, and any menstrual problems and their frequency. Questions describing the girl’s lifestyle were included in the questionnaire also. The data were analyzed in SPSS
Results: The total number of girls included in this study was 385. The Mean age of girls was 15.71 years and mean age of menarche was 12.77 years. The age of menarche noticed to be earlier among obese girls. Total of 55 girls (14.2 %) were overweight and 40 girls (10%) were obese. 79 (20.5%) girls had infrequent cycle with intermenstrual length of more than 34 days. 26 (32.9%) out of them were overweight and obese and 2 (2.5 %) were underweight. 85% of obese girls had dysmenorrhea. Almost 88 % of girls with acanthosis nigricans were overweight and obese. Around 42.5 % of obese girls and 30% of overweight had hirsutisim while Only 13 % of those with normal and under weight had hirsutisim.
Conclusion: Menstrual disturbances are more common among obese girls. Girls who reported more physical activity and healthy diet were less likely to have menstrual irregularities. A significant association between obesity and the menstrual irregularities and healthy lifestyle among adolescent, highlights the importance of taking measures for educating adolescents and their families to adapt simple and effective lifestyle modifications for a healthy reproductive life during adulthood.
Iman Khamis AlBalushi graduated from Sultan Qaboos University in 2014. Currently, she is an OBGYN resident at The Oman Medical Specialty Board (OMSB).