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Menstrual cycle pattern in adolescent girls among urban and rural regions – A comparative cross-sectional study

Kanmani Karthikkeyan, Nirmala N, ThirumalaiKolundhu S, Charumathi V, Santhosini V.

Abstract
Background: The term adolescence involves the period of various changes in the body of both males and females, which includes physical, mental, cognitive, developmental, and socio-behavioral changes. The period of adolescence starts from the age of 10 years and it lasts until the age of 19 years. The age at menarche in girls usually ranges between 14 and 16 years.

Objective: This study was aimed to assess the various pattern of the menstrual cycle in adolescent girls and to compare the menstrual cycle pattern among rural and urban girls.

Materials and Methods: It was a cross-sectional study conducted among 868 adolescent girls after obtaining Ethical Committee Clearance. After obtaining informed written consent, a questionnaire was explained to them in their native language for easy understanding. The questionnaire was structured to obtain information relating to the age at menarche, duration of bleeding, severity of bleeding, awareness of menstruation, source of information about menstruation, cultural practices during menstrual cycles, regarding various menstrual problems, and treatment practices among the study population. The data thus obtained were tabulated and analyzed statistically using SPSS software.

Results: There was a statistically significant (P ≤ 0.05) difference present between rural and urban girls’ menstrual cycle pattern with respect to dysmenorrhea, premenstrual symptoms, and problems related to menstrual flow and menstrual practices such as diaper usage, home culture, and food habits.

Conclusion: The menstrual cycle pattern differs significantly between rural and urban girls. This analysis shows decreased awareness of the menstrual cycle in rural girls than urban girls. Hence, proper health education can be given to improve their knowledge.

Key words: Adolescent Girls; Menstruation; Premenstrual Syndrome; Rural; Urban


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