A cross sectional study of knowledge and practices regarding menstrual hygiene, in undergraduate student girls of Moradabad, Uttar Pradesh, India
Keywords:Menstrual hygiene, Knowledge, Practices, Undergraduate girls
Background: Observation of menstrual hygiene and practices during this period has a substantial bearing on the genito-urinary health of an individual. In Indian society discussion on menstruation is still considered a taboo resulting in poor knowledge and unhygienic practices during this period. Objectives of the study was to assess the status of knowledge and practices of menstrual hygiene among the undergraduate student girls and to assess the source of information and prevailing myths regarding menstruation in the society.
Methods: 396 female first year students pursuing undergraduate course were studied with the help of a structured pilot tested questionnaire.
Results: 68.7% girls were aware about menstruation before attaining the menarche. Mother or sister was the source of such information in 75.8% of those who were having this awareness. In spite of 56.6% girls being aware that sanitary napkin are the best absorbent to be used; only 24.75% were found to use it. Ordinary new cloth was used by 40.4% while 34. 85% used any available cloth. 39.4% girls cleaned external genitalia less than three times. Plain water was used for cleaning by 50.5%. Nearly three fourth of the girls were found to practice some or the other kind of restriction during menses.Conclusions: There is an urgent need to create awareness regarding menstrual hygiene among all the females in the society and to de-root the prevalent myths. The role of teachers and media should be enhanced. This will help in reducing the burden of genito-urinary infections and improve the reproductive health.
Adhikari P. Knowledge and practice regarding menstrual hygiene in rural adolescent girls of Nepal. Kathmandu University Medical Journal. 2007;5(3):382-6.
Mudey AB, Keshwani N, Mudey GA, Goyal RC. A cross-sectional study on the awareness regarding safe and hygienic practices amongst school going adolescent girls in the rural areas of Wardha district. Global Journal of Health Science. 2010;2(2):225-31.
Bhatia JC, Cleland J. Self-reported symptoms of gynecological morbidity and their treatment in south India. Studies in Family Planning. 1995;26(4):491-5.
Mehara S. Adolescent girl: an Indian perspective. MAMTA Health Institute for Mother and Child, Saket, New Delhi; 1995:75-78.
Dhingra R, Kumar A. Knowledge and practices related to menstruation among tribal (Gujjar) adolescent girls. Etho-Med. 2009;3(1):43-8.
Singh AJ. The place of menstruation in the reproductive lives of women of rural north India. Indian Journal of Community Medicine. 2006;31(1):10-4.
Ahuja A, Tiwari S. Awareness about pubertal changes among adolescent girls. Journal of Family Welfare. 1995;41(1):46-50.
Chaudhari RH. Socio-economic demographic and reproductive health profile of adolescents in the SAARC countries. Paper presented in south Asia Conference on Adolescents; New Delhi, India; 1998.
Khanna A, Goyal RS, Bhawsar R. Menstrual practices and reproductive problems: a study of adolescent girls in Rajasthan. Journal of Health Management. 2005;7(1):91-7.
Dasgupta A, Sarkar M. Menstrual hygiene: how hygienic is the adolescent girls? Indian Journal of Community Medicine. 2008;33(2):77-80.
Jyothi Kamalam K, Rajalakshmi B. Reproductive health awareness among college going girls. Indian Journal of Social Work. 2005:66(4):414-30.
El-Gilany AH, Badawi K. Menstrual hygiene among adolescent schoolgirls in Mansoura, Egypt. Reproductive Health Matters. 2005;13:147-52.
Juyal R, Kandpal SD, Semwal J, Negi KS. Practices of menstrual hygiene among adolescent girls in a district of Uttarakhand. Indian Journal of Community Health. 2012;24(2):124-12.