Gynecological Complaints and Seeking Medical Help Among Female Adolescents Living in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia


Affiliations

  • Ibn Sina National College for Medical Studies,, Department of Anatomy, Community Coordinator of Medicine Program, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
  • Ibn Sina National College for Medical Studies, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
  • Ain Shams University, Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology, Faculty of Medicine, Cairo, Egypt
  • Ibn Sina National College for Medical Studies, Department of Microbiology and Pathology, Faculty of Medicine, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia

Abstract

The objective of this research is to determine the prevalence of gynecological and menstrual complaints concerning adolescent girls in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, and exploring their behaviour in reporting them to a medical professional. A cross-sectional survey was conducted at female high schools in the South district of Jeddah, Saudi Arabia from June 2017 to Dec 2019. A sample population of 1931/2406 girls aged between 10-19 years was non-randomly selected to complete a self-reporting questionnaire. The questionnaire included a wide range of symptoms regarding the menstrual cycle and whether the sample sought medical attention. The gynecological complaints from most to least reported include dysmenorrhea (83%), Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS) (47%), abnormal vaginal discharge (39%), irregular menstrual periods (34%), heavy menstrual bleeding (HMB) (27%) and amenorrhea (17%). Overall, over 50% of the population failed to seek medical attention regarding every complaint, those suffering from breast pain (98%), abnormal vaginal discharge (92%), dysmenorrhea (87%), HMB (79%) and amenorrhea (78%). Our findings conclude that regardless of numerous adolescents complaining of gynecological symptoms, less than 50% of those with a complaint tend to seek medical consultation which may be attributed to lack of health awareness, family support and ongoing social stigma regarding women’s reproductive health. Therefore, attention should be given to this adolescent group, guide them and encourage them to seek medical help and improve the primary health care system.

Keywords

Abnormal Vaginal Discharge, Adolescents, Dysmenorrhea, Gynecological Complaints, Heavy Menstrual Bleeding, Irregular Menstrual Period, Medical Consultation, Menarche, Primary Health Care, PMS

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