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International Journal of Adolescent Medicine and Health

Editor-in-Chief: Merrick, Joav

Editorial Board: Birch, Diana ML / Blum, Robert W. / Greydanus, MD, Dr. HC (Athens), Donald E. / Hardoff, Daniel / Kerr, Mike / Levy, Howard B / Morad, Mohammed / Omar, Hatim A. / de Paul, Joaquin / Rydelius, Per-Anders / Shek, Daniel T.L. / Sher, Leo / Silber, Tomas J. / Towns, Susan / Urkin, Jacob / Verhofstadt-Deneve, Leni / Zeltzer, Lonnie / Tenenbaum, Ariel


CiteScore 2018: 0.79

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2018: 0.350
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2018: 0.476

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2191-0278
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Awareness and practices of menstrual hygiene among females of reproductive age in rural Puducherry – a mixed method study

Deepika Chandar
  • Corresponding author
  • Department of Preventive and Social Medicine, Jawaharlal Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education and Research (JIPMER), Puducherry – 605006, India
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  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
/ Yamini Vaishnavi
  • Department of Preventive and Social Medicine, Jawaharlal Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education and Research (JIPMER), Puducherry, India
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
/ Shanthosh Priyan
  • Department of Preventive and Social Medicine, Jawaharlal Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education and Research (JIPMER), Puducherry, India
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
/ Ganesh Kumar S
  • Department of Preventive and Social Medicine, Jawaharlal Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education and Research (JIPMER), Puducherry, India
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Published Online: 2018-12-18 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/ijamh-2017-0221

Abstract

Background

Menstruation is a physiological process. Unfortunately, there is substantial lacuna in knowledge related to menstrual hygiene among females.

Objectives

To assess the awareness and prevailing practices of menstrual hygiene, prevalence of symptoms related to genito-urinary tract infection, and the factors influencing menstrual hygiene practices, among women of reproductive age in rural Puducherry.

Methodology

The study was conducted in March 2017 in rural Puducherry adopting a mixed-methods approach. A pre-tested semi-structured questionnaire was used for a quantitative survey among 357 women of reproductive age. Qualitative data was collected through focused group discussions (FGDs).

Results

The mean age of the participants was 28.25 + 9.25 years. Thirty-three percent of the respondents had menstrual knowledge prior to menarche. A total of 90.8% were aware that menstruation is a physiological process. The majority of respondents 94.1%, used sanitary napkins as absorbents during menstruation and 60.7% of them changed it 3 times a day. Regarding the method of disposal, 47.6% participants threw it into the routine waste and 43.8% burnt it after use. Among 8.9% of cloth users 62.5% used a new cloth for each cycle and 37.5% of respondents washed and reused the cloth. Satisfactory cleaning of external genitalia was practised by 62.2%. Only 11.2% respondents had symptoms related to genito-urinary tract infection. From FGDs it was observed that the several socio-cultural factors and taboos restrict them from practising safe menstrual hygiene practices.

Conclusion

Our study has revealed that most of the females are still unaware of menstrual hygienic practices which suggest the need for appropriate health intervention measures to be implemented for their well-being.

Keywords: menstrual hygiene; reproductive health; sanitary napkins

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About the article

Received: 2017-12-21

Accepted: 2018-02-19

Published Online: 2018-12-18


Citation Information: International Journal of Adolescent Medicine and Health, 20170221, ISSN (Online) 2191-0278, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/ijamh-2017-0221.

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