Title

Exploration of Lifestyle Choices, Reproductive Health Knowledge, and Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) Awareness Among Female Emirati University Students

Author First name, Last name, Institution

Sreepoorna Pramodh, Zayed University

ORCID Identifiers

0000-0002-1478-338X

Document Type

Article

Source of Publication

International Journal of Women's Health

Publication Date

1-1-2020

Abstract

© 2020 Pramodh. Objective: Healthy lifestyle and adequate reproductive health knowledge are prerequisites for maintenance of physical and mental well-being of women across the world. With increasing prevalence of metabolic disorders such as polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), it is important that sufficient awareness of these issues is generated, especially in conservative communities in Arab regions. The main objective of this study is to assess reproductive health (RH) knowledge and awareness of PCOS among female Emirati students and also to explore their lifestyle choices. Materials and Methods: A total of 493 Emirati students were recruited based on convenience sampling and completed a survey containing questions related to demography, lifestyle preferences, RH knowledge, and PCOS awareness. Results: Of the students, 13% self-reported being diagnosed with PCOS, with 3.5% also taking medication for the same, 6% reported having high androgen levels, 30.7% reported polymenorrhea, and 3.5% reported oligomenorrhea for frequency of menstrual cycle. Also, 12.4% students experienced abnormal bleeding (heavy/none) during menstruation and 24% reported excessive body hair. It was found that 4.3% of students were taking medication for hyperglycemia and 75% of students reported a family history of diabetes. Students displayed low reproductive health knowledge and poor awareness of PCOS. Lifestyle preferences indicated low physical activity and high indulgence in fast food. Conclusion: Lifestyle choices adopted by Emirati University students may predispose them to disorders such as PCOS. Early detection and management of PCOS coupled with a dynamic awareness campaign for RH can help in improving fertility rates of Emirati women. The study identifies major gaps in knowledge and awareness of RH and PCOS in Emirati women that need to be addressed by creating a culturally congruent heathcare policy with emphasis on education and health promotion. Mandatory PA programs and increasing availability of healthy eating options in campus should be considered by all universities, particularly in Arab regions, for improving lifestyle and preventing metabolic disorders in young students.

ISSN

1179-1411

Publisher

Dove Medical Press Ltd

Volume

12

First Page

927

Last Page

938

Disciplines

Life Sciences

Keywords

Emirati, Health policy, Infertility, Lifestyle choices, Menstrual disorder, PCOS, Reproductive health, UAE

Scopus ID

85095435596

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License

Indexed in Scopus

yes

Open Access

yes

Open Access Type

Gold: This publication is openly available in an open access journal/series

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