Factors Influencing Menstrual Hygiene Practice Among Late Adolescent Girls in an Urban Area of Belgaum

Kanyadi Suhasini, Metgud Chandra



Background: Menstrual hygiene is an issue that is insufficiently acknowledged. Menstrual practices are still shrouded by taboos and socio-cultural restrictions. Thus adolescent girls remain ignorant of the scientific facts and hygiene practices which sometimes result into adverse health consequences. Objective: To study the factors influencing menstrual hygiene practices among late adolescent girls. Materials and methods: A community based cross sectional study was undertaken over a period of one year, in Ashoknagar which is an urban field practice area of J. N. Medical College, Belagavi. A total of 625 late adolescent girls between 16 - 19 years were studied. After obtaining the ethical clearance, pilot study was conducted. Written informed consent was obtained from every participant. Data was collected by house to house visit using a predesigned questionnaire. Result: The mean age (±SD) of the study participants was 17.4±1.09 years and mean age (±SD) at menarche was 12.8+1.73 years.  Less than half, 43.4% of the adolescent girls used sanitary pads and around 52.8% of the girls practiced cleaning of external genitalia during menstruation. Factors like age, religion, socio-economic status and mothers’ literacy were significantly associated both with the use of sanitary pads and practice of perineal hygiene. Conclusion: Appropriate health education programmes and social marketing of sanitary pads may lead to better menstrual hygiene practices among adolescents.

Keywords:  Menstual hygiene, Adolescent girls, Urban area

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