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Original Research

Prevalence and awareness of reproductive tract infections among women in select underprivileged areas of Bangalore city

Ratnaprabha GK, Sulekha Thimmaiah, Avita Rose Johnson, Naveen Ramesh.


Background: Reproductive tract infections (RTIs) and sexually transmitted infections (STIs) present a huge burden of disease and adversely impact reproductive health of people. They are more common in developing countries than developed.

Objective: (1) To study the awareness, prevalence, and factors associated with RTIs among women aged 15–49 years residing in two slum areas of Bangalore city. (2) To assess the treatment seeking behavior for symptoms suggestive of RTIs in the past 1 year.

Materials and Methods: Using systematic random sampling, 470 women of age group 15–49 years were studied from June 2010 to September 2011. Data were collected using a structured pretested questionnaire at their houses.

Result: A total of 29.15% women had symptom suggestive of RTIs. White discharge was reported by 17.45%, genital skin infections by 14.47%, lower abdominal pain by 9.15%, complain of genital ulcer reported in 0.21%, and none complained of inguinal bubo. Symptoms of RTI were higher in young, Muslim women, those with higher education and poor menstrual hygiene. Only 62 (45.25%) symptomatic women had sought some form of treatment. Private doctors were preferred by 87% of women who sought treatment and only 6.7% went to government doctors. None had adequate knowledge regarding RTIs and 324 (68.93%) women had some knowledge.

Conclusion: About one-third of the women had experienced at least one symptom of RTI in the past 1 year. Women in reproductive age group showed very poor awareness regarding RTI and poor treatment seeking behavior for the same.

Key words: RTIs, STIs, prevalence, awareness, treatment seeking behavior, reproductive age group women

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