Menarcheal age of Nigerian urban secondary shool girls in Benin City (pp. 221-227)
Authors: Alphonsus N Onyiriuka, Philip O Abiodun, Rita C Onyiriuka, Frances A Ehirim, and Eucharia PA Onyiriuka
Abstract: Age at menarche varies with time and the influence of social factors depends on the population under consideration. Objective: To determine the mean age at menarche among secondary school girls in Benin City and examine some social factors that might influence it. Methods: In this cross-sectional study in Benin City, Nigeria information on age at menarche was obtained from 1,640 menstruating secondary school girls (aged between 10 and 20 years) using the status quo method. Information sought in the structured questionnaire used included date of birth, date of menarche, educational attainment of parents, occupation of parents, birth position, family size and state of origin. Data was analyzed using SPSS (Statistical Package for Social Sciences), version 15.0. Results: The mean age at menarche was 13.44+1.32 years (95% Confidence Interval, CI= 13.36-13.50). Of the 1,640 girls who have attained menarche, 31(1.9%) were below the age of 12 years (early menarche). Socioeconomic status, birth position and family size had significant bearing with mean menarcheal age at p< 0.001, p< 0.01 and p< 0.01 respectively. Conclusion: The current mean age at menarche among secondary school girls in Benin City is 13.44 years and it is influenced by socioeconomic status, birth position and family size.