Student Dissertation

Agency : Menstrual Hygiene; Awareness; Sanitary Pad; Menstruation; Adolescent Girls

Objective : • To assess the awareness about menstrual history and menstruation among adolescent girls. • To study the existing menstrual practices of adolescent girls in the sample district.

Background : Adolescents form a significant section of the population. They are living in diverse circumstances and have diversified health needs. Adolescents face multiple health problems which include undernutrition, early marriage, and early childbearing, obesity, smoking, alcohol and substance abuse. The hygiene-related practices of adolescent girls during menstruation can have an effect on their health”. Studies have shown that the girls lack knowledge about menstruation and due to lack of hygiene during those periods, they are likely to suffer from reproductive tract infections. Menstruation is considered as a matter of embarrassment in most cultures.

Methodology : A cross-sectional descriptive Study was conducted in AFHC’s and RKSK adolescent female population in Dindori district, Madhya Pradesh, and the data was collected by using a structured questionnaire.

Findings : Majority of the respondents (around 80 percent) were not aware of menstruation and associated reproductive organs and cause of menstruation, 62 percent of the respondents mentioned that they were not aware of menstruation before attaining menarche. Only 26 percent of the respondents mentioned exclusive usage of sanitary pads,30 percent mentioned about combined usage of cloth and pads whereas 42 percent of the respondents mentioned exclusive usage of cloth as absorbent. Respondents mentioned that the frequency of change of cloth or pad during menstruation is majorly once during the day (78 percent).

Recommendations : • The overall knowledge and awareness of the adolescent girls need to be raised. Exclusive usage of Sanitary pads should be promoted. • Frequency of change of pad or cloth is very low i.e. once daily. • Approximately one-fourth of the respondents mentioned that they used to dry clothes inside the house (without sunlight).