Background: Adolescent girls often lack knowledge regarding reproductive health including menstruation which can be due to socio-cultural barriers in which they grow up. Poor personal hygiene and unsafe sanitary conditions result in gynaecological problems among the adolescent girls.
Aims & Objectives: To study the knowledge, perceptions and practices of school going adolescent girls of 15-19 years of age regarding menstrual hygiene and identify the socio-cultural factors influencing them.
Material & Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted among 500 adolescent girls in the age group of 15-19 years studying in the secondary schools located in the field practice area of Urban Health Training Centre, Tripuri, Patiala (Punjab) during the calendar year 2016. The semi-structured questionnaire was used and data thus generated was entered and analysed using Microsoft Excel 2007 and Epi Info 7 software for both descriptive and inferential statistics.
Results: 69.2% of the adolescent girls were aware about menstruation and mother was the key informant in 384 (76.80%). 194 (38.80%) who believed that it is associated with pregnancy, 100 (20.00%) thought that it is a Curse of God/Sin and 91 (18.20%) of the respondents perceived menstruation as a disease/abnormal bleeding. Only 149 (29.80%) of the subjects answered that uterus is the source of menstrual blood. Majority of the girls living in the joint families were not allowed to visit religious places and the association was found to be statistically significant (p
Key words: Keywords: Menstruation, menstrual hygiene, adolescent girls, sanitary napkins, personal hygiene.