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Determinants of menstrual hygiene practices among adolescents girls : A cross sectional study from North India

Author: 
Amit Mohan Varshney, Neha Shukla, Arvind Kr Shukla, Sartaj Ahmad, Bhawna Pant and Pawan Parashar
Subject Area: 
Health Sciences
Abstract: 

Background: Menstruation is normal physiological phenomenon occurring in woman. Adolescence is a phase of growth when large number of physical and psychological changes occur. Menarche is a significant milestone in the transitory developmental journey of an adolescent. Poor personal hygiene and defective menstrual management practices give rise to repeated reproductive tract infections (RTIs), which are otherwise preventable. Menstrual practices are still shrouded by taboos and socio-cultural restrictions. Thus adolescent girls remain ignorant of the scientific facts and hygiene practices which sometimes result into adverse health consequences. This study was undertaken with the following objectives. (1). To access menstrual hygiene and practices of urban adolescent girls. (2). To find out menstrual disorders experienced by adolescent girls. Materials and Methods: A community-based cross-sectional study was conducted in UHTC, a field practice area under the Dept of Community Medicine Subharti Medical College, Meerut, from August to September 2014. A structured questionnaire was used to collect data from the sampled respondents. The collected data was entered in Microsoft excel sheet and appropriate statistical tests were applied by using SPSS 21 version. Results: The total numbers of girls were 375. Maximum number of girls being >13 years 312(83.2%) age group. Fathers and mothers of the respondents had almost equal level of education i.e. intermediate passed (37.3%) and (34.6 %) respectively, maximum (66.6%) were from middle socioeconomic status The mean age of menarche of the respondents has been observed as 12.5 years. Mother (63%) was found to be the main source of information for girls. (91.2%) girls use only napkin (readymade sanitary pads) during menses while, (1.3%) girls use only cloths. 364 (97.1%) Bath during menses, 294(78.4%) washed of their genital, 305(81.33%) wearing stained clothes, (76.8%) taboo during menses and 51(13.6%) avoid their school. Conclusion: Knowledge was better but taking into account the health implications and prevailing socio-cultural and economic factors, there is need for a continuous, school education programme. The girls should be educated about the process and significance of menstruation, use of proper pads and its proper disposal. There is a need for improving access to sanitary pads and advanced provision of it.

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