Introduction: Dysmenorrhea is one of the most common gynecologic disorders that affects women’s quality of life and social activities. Lifestyle, eating behaviors, and general health are essential to the management of menstrual symptoms. This study was conducted to examine the relationship between lifestyle and primary dysmenorrhea in students at Sari University of Medical Sciences in 2015 in order to facilitate the performance of lifestyle-improving interventions among young women. 

Methods: This study was conducted on 250 students with and without primary dysmenorrhea at Sari University of Medical Sciences in 2015. Data were collected using personal-social and lifestyle questionnaires (addressing nutrition, physical activity, stress, social relationships, improper health behaviors, and self-care). The data were analyzed by SPSS software, version 18, using the independent-samples t-test, the chi-squared test, and logistic regression analysis.

Results: Given the scores obtained on the lifestyle questionnaire, significant differences were observed between the groups with and without dysmenorrhea in terms of eating behavior (p=0.008), physical activity (p=0.011), stress (p=0.041), and social relationships (p=0.000). No differences were observed in terms of self-care (p=0.115) and smoking, drinking, and drug use (p=0.355). According to the logistic regression analysis, age (OR=1.208, p=0.014), physical activity (OR=1.008, p=0.040) and social relationship (OR=0.952, p=0.002) were different in the two groups, but there was no statistical differences in their eating behavior, self-care, and stress. 

Conclusion: To prevent and reduce the incidence of primary dysmenorrhea, knowledge and awareness should be raised in young women through proper lifestyle education and health promotion measures.


Keywords: dysmenorrhea, lifestyle, nutrition, physical activity, stress, social relationships, improper health behaviors
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