Student Dissertation

Agency : Menstrual Hygiene Management; Menstrual Practice; Adolescent Girls

Objective : The aim is to know about menstrual hygiene management and to find out the various factors like social, cultural, religious which affect the adolescent girls.

Background : Adolescence in girls has been recognized as a special period marked with the onset of menarche. Even though menstruation is a natural process, it is associated with misconceptions, traditional beliefs, and taboos. Poor hygiene during menstruation has been associated with serious ill-health, including reproductive tract and urinary tract infections. During menarche, girls experience different feelings like anxiety, fear, shame, and guilt because of the lack of prior information about menstruation.

Methodology : A mixed-method research was conducted in Panna district of Madhya Pradesh. Simple Random sampling was done. The study was conducted among 200 randomly selected adolescent school girls. Interviews were done including semi-structured questionnaire, along with focus group discussions.

Findings : The mean age at menarche was 13.7 years. About 52% of girls had knowledge about menstruation before menarche. Their mother, sister or friends were the source of information majorly about menstruation. Girls who were above the poverty line mostly used a pad and were aware of hygiene management. It was difficult to afford pads for the girls who were below the poverty line, therefore, they used rags or torn sarees for their periods. Around 94% of girls washed their hairs on a particular day due to their cultural beliefs and the guidance given by their elders. They are not allowed to involve in any social or religious activities such as doing prayers in the temple or cooking food or going inside the kitchen.

Recommendations : As a conclusion, it can be stated that the girls’ knowledge about issues of a menstrual cycle is influenced by cultural beliefs and practices. A large number of girls feels that it is a dirty thing and needs to be hidden. It can also be concluded that the taboo of menstruation results in silence which leads to lack of correct knowledge of the process. Girls have to follow the various myths and traditions which are provided by their culture which results in stress and tensions. There should be more awareness created about menstrual hygiene and girls should start using pads as a sanitary napkin. The government should make it affordable for girls who are not able to purchase it. School teachers should play a major role in telling the students about the menstrual cycle.


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