Menstrual characteristics of sickle cell disease patients seen at a tertiary institution in North Western Nigeria.

Citation metadata

From: Annals of African Medicine(Vol. 20, Issue 4)
Publisher: Medknow Publications and Media Pvt. Ltd.
Document Type: Article
Length: 4,048 words
Lexile Measure: 1480L

Document controls

Main content

Article Preview :

Byline: Amina. Mohammed-Durosinlorun, Halima. Bello-Manga, Joel. Adze, Ifeoma. Ijei, Bature. Stephen

Introduction: The burden of sickle cell disease (SCD) is high in Sub-Saharan Africa, including Nigeria, and with improved care and survival, reproductive health issues, including menstruation, have become increasingly important and may impact on long-term health and social wellbeing. Objectives: This study was carried out to characterize the menstrual characteristics of SCD patients. Methodology: Using a cross-sectional study design, a semi-structured questionnaire was administered and information collected on bio-demographic data, medical history of SCD, reproductive, and menstrual history. Results: One hundred and sixty female patients participated in the study. The mean age was 24.9 years (standard deviation [SD] [+ or -] 8.8). The mean age at menarche was 15.6 years (SD [+ or -] 2.7) for those menstruating. Most respondents had regular menstrual cycles 120 (82%); normal menstrual cycle lengths 120 (81%) significantly associated with respondent's age (P < 0.05); normal duration of flow 140 (97%); light menstrual flow 104 (71%) significantly associated with body mass index BMI (P 0.05). Conclusion: The mean age at menarche was high at 15.6 years. Most respondents had light menstrual flow and overall abnormal menstrual patterns. Menstrual pain was common but was not significantly associated with the frequency of crisis.


Sickle cell disease (SCD) is a group of autosomal recessive disorders, with a variety of phenotypes caused by mutations in the ß hemoglobin gene, resulting in the polymerization of hemoglobin in hypoxic states, sickling of red blood cells, vaso-occlusion and hemolysis which consequently cause variable complications including end-organ damage and severe morbidity or mortality.[1],[2]

The burden of SCD is high in Sub-Saharan Africa, accounting for over 75% of the estimated 300,000 children born with SCD annually worldwide.[3] In Nigeria, the prevalence of SCD is about 2%-3%, with an estimated 150,000 new births annually.[4],[5],[6],[7],[8],[9]

Advances in medicine have led to improved care and survival of women with SCD; hence, reproductive health issues, including menstruation, have become increasingly important.[10] Menstruation may also impact on social well-being, and be an important marker of current and potential health problems.[11] Menstrual cycle parameters can serve as noninvasive clinical markers of reproductive function be used to monitor environmental effects on reproduction and predict long-term health outcomes, including breast cancer and cardiovascular disease risk factors.[12],[13],[14],[15],[16]

As with all women, menstrual characteristics may be varied in women with SCD. However perhaps, the disease may directly influence the menstrual characteristics and vice versa. Menstruation is also associated with pain, which may affect SCD-related pain rate, though studies are inconsistent.[10],[17],[18]

This study was done to characterize the menstrual characteristics of SCD patients. Few studies have been done in this area, especially in this environment and may be useful to improve patient counseling and management.


Description of the study area

The study setting was the Barau Dikko Teaching Hospital (BDTH), of the Kaduna State University, North-Western Nigeria. The hospital serves the people of Kaduna metropolis and its environs. The adult SCD clinic runs under the department of Haematology each week, with an...

Source Citation

Source Citation   

Gale Document Number: GALE|A685769966