Adolescence is a period of maturity, a point of physical, emotional, social and psychological change. Menstruation is described as the exclusive sign of femininity and it is a physical manifestation of complex endocrine axis. Body mass index or BMI have the most control over menstrual irregularity. The increasing trends in the prevalence of childhood obesity, early puberty and menarche, and ethnic racial differences in the effect of body mass index on the reproductive characteristics of young females around the world, warrant continuous evaluation. Hence, we aim to investigate possible variations in the influence of body mass index on the age at menarche as well as duration of menstrual cycle and menses in young girls.
Material and Method: Present study was conducted on 300 young female medical students over a period of 18 months. Young and unmarried female medical students in the age group of 17-25 years of age group were included. Married or who were on treatment for menstrual problem or had primary amenorrhoea or undergone pelvic surgery were excluded. Structured questionnaire was used to determine the occurrence of menstrual problem. Body mass index was calculated and the collected data was analysed between the relationship parameter i.e. body mass index and menstrual abnormalities.
Result: The mean age of the study population was 21.98 yrs. The mean of BMI in the study population was found to be 21.42kg/m2. Irregular menses (including short and long cycles) is highly significantly associated with underweight and overweight BMI as clear with P- value of 0.0001 and 0.0001 respectively. Irregular cycles were seen in 45 cases out of which 9 were having Polymenorrhea i.e. cycle length less than 21 days, 10 were having irregular cycle with no fixed length, and 26 were having oligomenorrhea. Out of 45 cases with irregular cycle 19 were in underweight category, 9 in overweight category, and 2 in obese class 2 and rest 15 in normal BMI category.
Conclusion: The present study suggests alteration in body mass index was associated with changes in menstrual pattern. Maintaining the correct weight according to the height is utmost important to avoid so many menstrual irregularities as well as long term metabolic complications.