Three hundred eight nursing students were classified into three perimenstrual severity groups based on their responses to the Moos Menstrual Distress Questionnaire, disregarding the number of symptoms reported. The prevalence of severe perimenstrual symptoms was 44% for strong symptoms and 18% for acute symptoms. Severity was significantly related to perimenstrual absence and to health care seeking for menstrual disorders, dysmenorrhea, and for gynecological disorders unrelated to menstruation. Severity was not significantly related to non-gynecological absence or health care seeking for non-gynecological disorders. Severe menstrual symptoms, particularly dysmenorrhea, had more of an effect on absenteeism and health care seeking than severe premenstrual symptoms.
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