Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) is a cyclic occurring disorder that affects young and middle-aged women mainly. It characterized
by group of physical, cognitive, emotional and behavioural symptoms that interfere with daily living activities. PMS is common worldwide, but there is no published research about it in Palestine. The aim of this study is to assess the prevalence of premenstrual syndrome and the degree of its severity among the medical students at An-Najah National University, Palestine
A cross-sectional study using a self-administered questionnaire was conducted to collect data from 260 female students. American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) criteria and Shortened Premenstrual Assessment Form (SPAF) were used to measure PMS prevalence and severity of premenstrual symptoms.
The prevalence of PMS was 71.9%. The most frequently reported complaints were: lower back pain (57.7%), followed by feeling bloated (51.9%) and feeling under stress (50%). Significant relationships were found between the severity of premenstrual symptoms and academic class (rank), regular coffee intake, duration of menstrual cycle and absence from lectures and rotations.
Premenstrual syndrome is common among female medical students and has negative effect in their academic performance and attendance and should be taken into consideration by university officials. We highly recommend increasing the awareness of PMS among university students and staff and communicating the results with university officials in order to make attendance policy more flexible to adapt this high prevalent problem among female students.