Document Type : Research Article (s)


1 Department of Community Health, Federal Medical Centre, Owo, Ondo State, Nigeria

2 Department of Community Medicine, College of Medicine, P. O. Box 1517, U. I. Post Office,University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Nigeria

3 Department of Community Health, University of Uyo/University of Uyo Teaching Hospital, Uyo, Akwa Ibom State

4 Department of Paediatrics, Federal Medical Centre, Owo, Ondo State, Nigeria


Background: School absenteeism is a serious public health concern because of its effect on the family, society and economy of the nation at large. It is intricately linked to several social and medical conditions in which menstrual patterns and their disorders are included especially for adolescent girls. There is little evidence on the effect of menstrual disorders on school attendance in Nigeria. Therefore, this study aimed to determine the prevalence of school absenteeism due to menstrual bleeding and its associated disorders among secondary school girls in a semi-urban area of Ondo state, Southwest Nigeria.
Method: A descriptive cross-sectional study was employed in eight secondary schools using a multi-stage cluster sampling technique. A self-administered questionnaire was used to obtain information on menstrual bleeding and associated disorders, school absenteeism and strategies for managing menstrual pain. Data were analysed using descriptive statistics and association between variables explored with Chi-square test at p <0.05.
Results: The mean age of respondents was 15.6±1.6 years and the mean age at menarche was 13.2±1.3 years. School absenteeism was reported among 53.6% of the respondents and 24.7% reported absence from school due to dysmenorrhoea. School absenteeism was associated with severe menstrual pain (p=0.001), premenstrual syndrome (p=0.035) and reduced concentration in class (p=0.005). Other factors include homework performance (p=0.001) and number of daily changes of menstrual materials (p=0.046).
Conclusion: Menstrual disorders have been shown to have negative effects on school attendance and homework performance of the female students.


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