Menstrual discomforts and physical exercise.

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Publication Type thesis
School or College College of Nursing
Department Nursing
Author Bassford, Karen Lou.
Title Menstrual discomforts and physical exercise.
Date 1980-08
Description A descriptive correlation methodology was used to investigate the relationship between the type of severity of menstrual discomforts experienced by a sample of undergraduate women and the amount of physical exercise in which they participate A questionnaire, developed and pilot-tested by the investigator, was administered to 150 women between the ages of 18 and 25 years who were enrolled in classes at The University of Utah. Analysis of data was completed by use of the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences at The University of Utah Computer Center. Frequency distribution and measures of central tendency, Chi-square correlations, Spearman correlation coefficients, and Pearson product-moment correlation coefficients were employed to answer research questions dealing with menstrual discomforts and physical exercise. Of the total sample, 98.7% reported experiencing one or more symptoms associated with their periods. This percentage approximated findings of previous studies (Loevsky, 1978). The most common discomforts seen in the sample, as a whole, were abdominal swelling, abdominal cramping, irritability, and weight gain. The most frequent symptoms reported only before the onset of the period were weight gain, acne, and irritability. Those most commonly reported during the period were abdominal cramping, low backache, abdominal swelling, and diarrhea. Those symptoms most frequently experience, both before and during the period, were abdominal swelling, irritability, and abdominal cramping. Of 150 subjects, 96.7% reported participating in one or more physical activities. The most common activities were walking, individualized program (e.g., calisthenics, stretching, and weight training), and jogging. The results of the study generally support literatures which suggest an association between increasing amounts of physical exercise and a decreasing incidence of menstrual discomforts. The total amount of exercise per week was demonstrated to be negatively correlated (p<.022) with the occurrence of discomforts categorized as pain symptoms (abdominal cramping, low backache, breast tenderness, leg discomfort, and other pain. Of the women who reported training for competition in sporting events, the majority experienced favorable effects associated with the physical activity (43.8% reported less severe symptoms, and 25% experienced no symptoms during the time they were training). Women in the general sample reported favorable effects from increased activity (excluding sports training) in relation to their menstrual symptoms. Of 141 respondents, 39.7% reported symptoms as being less sever during the months when they were more active, while 19% reported experiencing not symptoms during more active months. A higher frequency of symptoms were found in women whose menarche occurred between the ages of 9 and 13 years, than in those who started menstruating between the ages of 14 and 18. A significant negative correlation was noted between age at menarche and severity of symptoms (as age of menarche decreased, severity of symptoms increased). Results suggest that increased frequency of symptoms is associated with irregularity in the menstrual cycle, as proposed by Romney et al. (1975). Greater frequency and severity of symptoms, as well as an increased amount of flow during the period were noted in the presence of increasing irregularity of periods. A significant positive relationship was demonstrated between the incidence of vomiting and increasing irregularity of periods. Five significant relationships were noted in regards to the amount of flow during periods: (1) weight gain and increasing flow, (2) diarrhea and increasing flow, (3) vomiting and increasing flow, (4) other pain and increasing flow, and (5) increasing severity and increasing flow.
Type Text
Publisher University of Utah
Subject Abdominal Cramping; Premenstrual Syndrome
Subject MESH Menstruation; Exercise
Dissertation Institution University of Utah
Dissertation Name MS
Language eng
Relation is Version of Digital reproduction of "Menstrual discomforts and physical exercise." Spencer S. Eccles Health Sciences Library. Print version of "Menstrual discomforts and physical exercise." available at J. Willard Marriott Library Special Collection. RG 41.5 1980 B38.
Rights Management © Karen Lou Bassford.
Format Medium application/pdf
Identifier us-etd2,131
Source Original: University of Utah Spencer S. Eccles Health Sciences Library (no longer available).
ARK ark:/87278/s6sb4m8n
Setname ir_etd
Date Created 2012-04-23
Date Modified 2012-04-23
ID 192875
Reference URL
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