A cross sectional study on the knowledge, attitudes and practices towards menstrual cycle and its problems: a comparative study of government and non-government adolescent school girls
Keywords:Menarche, Menstrual cycle, Knowledge, Attitude, Practice, Hygiene
Background: Young girls up to 20 years of age comprise a quarter of Indian female population. A vast majority of adolescent girls in India are affected by reproductive health issues and menstrual problems are one of them. These problems arise mostly due to false beliefs & poor awareness regarding menstrual cycle. The objective of the study was to assess knowledge, attitude and practices towards menstrual cycle and its problems among school girls.
Methods: A cross sectional study among 250 girls (age 13-19 years) each from government and non-government schools of Jodhpur City was carried out by interviewing them with predesigned & pretested questionnaire.
Results: Most of the girls of non-government schools considered menarche as a different experience of life (34.8%) and unhygienic (27.6%) while 41.6% of government school girls were scared due to menarche and 30% considered it as unhygienic. 59.6% of non-government school girls knew about menstrual cycle before menarche while 48.8% of government school girls had such knowledge. Mother was the commonest channel of information in both study groups. 12-14 years was the most common age groups in which menarche occurred in both study groups. About 2/3 of non-government school girls were using sanitary pads while only ¼ of government school girls had such practice. High cost was the major reason for not using sanitary pads in Govt. school girls. Pain Abdomen was the commonest complaint faced during menstrual cycle followed by backache. About 4/5th of non-government school girls and about 2/3rd of government school girls attended school during menstrual cycle. All subjects faced some kind of domestic restriction due to disbelief in relation to menstrual cycle. Irritability was reported as most common psychological problem during menstrual cycle
Conclusions: There is a need for adolescent girls to have accurate and adequate information about menstruation appropriate sanitary and hygienic management.
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