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ORIGINAL ARTICLE Table of Contents   
Year : 2008  |  Volume : 33  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 77-80
Menstrual hygiene: How hygienic is the adolescent girl?


Department of Preventive and Social Medicine, All India Institute of Hygiene & Public Health, Kolkata, West Bengal, India

Correspondence Address:
A Dasgupta
Department of Preventive and Social Medicine, All India Institute of Hygiene & Public Health, 110, Chittaranjan Avenue, Kolkata - 700 073, West Bengal
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0970-0218.40872

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Background: Menstruation and menstrual practices are still clouded by taboos and socio-cultural restrictions resulting in adolescent girls remaining ignorant of the scientific facts and hygienic health practices, which sometimes result into adverse health outcomes. Objectives: (i) To elicit the beliefs, conception and source of information regarding menstruation among the study population and (ii) to find out the status of menstrual hygiene among adolescent girls. Materials and Methods: A descriptive, cross-sectional study was conducted among 160 adolescent girls of a secondary school situated in the field practice area of Rural Health Unit and Training Center, Singur, West Bengal, with the help of a pre-designed and pre-tested questionnaire. Data were analyzed statistically by simple proportions. Results: Out of 160 respondents, 108 (67.5%) girls were aware about menstruation prior to attainment of menarche. Mother was the first informant regarding menstruation in case of 60 (37.5%) girls. One hundred and thirty-eight (86.25%) girls believed it as a physiological process. Seventy-eight (48.75%) girls knew the use of sanitary pad during menstruation. Regarding practices, only 18 (11.25%) girls used sanitary pads during menstruation. For cleaning purpose, 156 (97.5%) girls used both soap and water. Regarding restrictions practiced, 136 (85%) girls practised different restrictions during menstruation. Conclusions: Menstrual hygiene, a very important risk factor for reproductive tract infections, is a vital aspect of health education for adolescent girls. Educational television programmes, trained school nurses/health personnel, motivated school teachers and knowledgeable parents can play a very important role in transmitting the vital message of correct menstrual hygiene to the adolescent girl of today.


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  2007 - Indian Journal of Community Medicine | Published by Wolters Kluwer - Medknow
  Online since 15th September, 2007