A cross-sectional school survey was carried out during January to February 2010 in 8 schools to investigate the age at menarche, menstrual cycle pattern among school girls in Kassala, eastern Sudan. Structured questionnaires were used to gather the socio-demographic data, age at menarche, regularity of the menstrual cycle and associated symptoms. Out of 900 schoolgirls investigated their age ranges between 9 to 19 with mean ± SD of 14.0 ± 4.7 years. Only 73% experienced menarche by the time of interview. The mean age ± SD of 13.07 ± 1.0 years, which was 0.9 year younger in the urban girls. The majority of girls (76.4%) experienced delayed menarche. The period was regular in 68.5% of these girls with the cycle length ranges between 21 to 35 days the mean ± SD duration of blood flow was 4 ± 1.2 days. The overall prevalence of dysmenorhea was 83.1 and 59.8% of the subject experienced premenstrual symptoms. In conclusion the menarcheal age was delayed in our study, it varies with residence, dysmenorrhea was a common health problem among the school girls.
Key words: Menarche, menstrual cycle, school girls, Sudan.
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