A comparative study of menstrual hygiene management among rural and urban adolescent girls in Mangaluru, Karnataka

Pradeep Senapathi, Hemant Kumar


Background: Menstruation is a completely normal biological process. Yet women and girls, the world over, face numerous challenges and taboos which often portray them as inferior to men. Poor hygiene and sanitation facilities in schools cause girls to experience menstruation as shameful and uncomfortable. The objective of the study was to assess and compare the status of menstrual hygiene management among rural and urban adolescent school girls.

Methods: A community-based cross-sectional study was carried out from 01 September 2016 to 31 October 2016, among 244 adolescent school girls, in urban and rural field practice areas of A.J. Institute of Medical Sciences of Research, Mangaluru, Karnataka.

Results: A total of 244 adolescent school girls participated in this study. Out of these, 54.17% girls were from rural, while 45.83% were from the urban school. Mean age of menarche of all the respondents was 12.61±0.81 years. Overall, 69.67% girls were aware of menstruation prior to attainment of menarche. The awareness was found to be more among urban school girls (72.32%) as compared to rural girls (67.42%). The study brings out that 49.24% of the girls in the rural school and 65.17% of the girls in urban school were using sanitary pads. ‘High cost’ was cited as the main reason for not using the sanitary pads.

Conclusions: Menstrual hygiene management was found to be sub-optimal among both, urban as well as rural adolescent girls.


Rural, Urban, Adolescent girls, Menarche, School, Sanitary pads, MHM

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