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Year : 2017  |  Volume : 6  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 360-365

A descriptive cross-sectional study on menstrual hygiene and perceived reproductive morbidity among adolescent girls in a union territory, India

1 Department of Community Medicine, IGMCRI, Puducherry, India
2 Department of Community Medicine, IPGMER and SSKM Hospital, Kolkata, West Bengal, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Mausumi Basu
Department of Community Medicine, IPGMER and SSKM Hospital, Kolkata, West Bengal
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/2249-4863.220031

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Introduction: Menstruation is a milestone event in a girl's life and the beginning of reproductive life. Lack of knowledge and poor sanitary practices during menstruation has been associated with serious ill-health ranging from genital tract infections, urinary tract infections, and bad odor. Aim: This study aims to explore the knowledge, attitude, and practices about menstrual hygiene and perceived reproductive morbidity among adolescent school girls in Puducherry. Materials and Methods: A school based cross-sectional study was conducted from June 2015 to July 2015 in Puducherry among 242 adolescent school girls in the age group of 12–18 years using multistage random sampling technique. Data were collected using a predesigned pretested, structured proforma by personal interview method after having informed written consent. Results: The mean age for menarche was 12.99 ± 0.9 years; 51.7% of respondents were not aware of menstruation before attaining menarche; 71.5% and 61.2% were not known about the cause and source of the menstrual bleeding, respectively; 78.1% used only sanitary pads whereas 21.9% used both old clothes and sanitary pads as the absorbents. Unsatisfactory cleaning of the external genitalia was practiced by 12% of respondents. Higher prevalence of dysmenorrhea (82.2%) was mentioned by the respondents; 25.2% reported excessive genital discharge. Statistically significant association was found between perceived reproductive morbidity and poor menstrual hygiene practices. About 88.4% of the study population reported any one of the reproductive morbidity, and only 37.4% sought for medical treatment from a health facility. Conclusion: The present study has underscored the necessity of adolescent girls to have adequate and precise knowledge about menstruation before menarche. Proper menstrual hygiene practices which could be imparted through appropriate interventions at earlier stages of life can prevent the girls and women from suffering reproductive morbidities.

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