Menstrual Changes among HIV Positive Women on Anti-Retroviral Treatment in Southwestern Nigeria

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Authors : Adebimpe Wasiu Olalekan, Adebimpe MujidatAdebukola, Adeoye OluwatosinAdediran, Omisore Akinlolu Gabriel, Adewole Adefisoye Oluwaseun


There are conflicting reports regarding menstrual irregularities and HIV infection in women. Varying degrees of menstrual abnormalities have been reported with prolonged ARV use, and these have implications for drug adherence. The objective of this study was to assess the effect of ARV drugs on menstrual pattern among HIV positive women in South-western Nigeria. It was a descriptive cross-sectional survey among 238 HIV positive women on anti-retroviral therapy randomly selected after excluding for co-morbidities. Research instrument was semi structured interviewer administered questionnaires, and data was analyzed using the SPSS software. Level of significance for statistic test was p ≤ 0.05

Mean age of respondents was 38.6±2.3 years and 205(86.1%) had commenced ART for a period of 1-5 years mostly 1st line ART, 45(18.9%) have missed their ARVs at one time or the other in the last 1year. Self reported adherence was good among 227(95.4%), calculated adherence was above 95% among 185(77.7%) with a mean calculated adherence of 93.0±3.6% and a median of 95.0%. About 167(70.2%) of respondents reported a change in their menstrual pattern.

Different patterns of menstrual changes reported were changes in number of days, interval between menstruations and flow of menstrual blood, 52(73.2%) believed that use of ART caused these menstrual changes, only 36(50.7%) reported these changes to the doctor. Predictors of having menstrual disturbances include missing pills, poor adherence and use of ARVs for period longer than 5years. ARVs were found to be common causes of menstrual irregularities. Thus, clients‘ concerns should always be addressed most especially issues that may compromise ARV adherence 


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