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A study to assess the knowledge regarding practices of menstrual hygiene and reproductive tract infections among school going adolescent girls

Akhil R Nair, Pal D K, Dileep Dandotiya, Shipra Verma, Harshima Sawlani, Sudarshan Kushwah.


Background: Poor menstrual hygiene and inadequate self-care are major determinants of morbidity and other complications among adolescent age groups. Some of these problems include urinary tract infections, scabies in the vaginal area, abnormal abdominal pain, and absence from school. Due to the silence prevailing in developing countries related to the topic of menstruation and related issues, many young girls lack appropriate information on menstrual hygiene. Learning about menstrual hygiene is a vital part of health education for adolescent girls so that they can continue to work and maintain hygienic habits throughout their adult life.

Objectives: The objectives of this study were (1) to assess the knowledge of students about menstrual hygiene and the diseases contracted if the standards of hygiene are not maintained and (2) to educate and increase the awareness of the students about the proper hygiene to be maintained during the cycle and about the risks.

Materials and Methods: This was a two-point cross-sectional study, carried out during October–December 2017 among 200 adolescent school going girl students of Government Hamidia Girls School, Bhopal. MS Excel and Epi info version 6 were used for statistical analysis. The study population was interviewed through pre-tested and pre-designed questionnaire, and intervention in the form of audiovisual presentations was given.

Results: Of 200 students studied, majority, i.e., 71% of the girls was aged between 15 and 17 years. Only 38% of the girls were aware of menstruation before menarche. The main source of information about menstruation and menstrual hygiene was their mother in about 54% of girls. 76% of the girls used sanitary pads during menstruation.

Conclusion: The present study shows the need for adolescent girls to have accurate and adequate information about menstruation. The study revealed that the knowledge on menstruation is poor and the hygiene practiced is often suboptimal. Awareness among adolescent girls regarding menstruation has increased in recent times, but lot more can be done to improve menstrual health management awareness among adolescent girls for addressing those problems.

Key words: Adolescent; Awareness; Educational Interventional Study; Menstrual Hygiene; Sanitary Pads

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