A Study on the Knowledge, Attitude and Practices Regarding Menstrual Hygiene among Adolescent Girls in Schools in a Rural Area of Goa LC07-LC10
Dr. Archana Milind Desai,
Flat No. 205, Crossroads Avenue, Eastern Express Bypass, Arlem, Raia, Fatorda, Margao-403720, Goa, India.
Introduction: Menstruation is a natural physiological process surrounded by myths and taboos which often lead to misconceptions and faulty knowledge and practices in menstruation. Along with social and cultural barriers, lack of adequate facilities such as water supply and sanitation have posed a problem for maintaining menstrual hygiene especially in adolescent school girls.
Aim: To study the knowledge, attitudes and practices towards menstruation among adolescent school girls.
Materials and Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted from August 2018 to September 2018 among 273 adolescent girls in the age group of 11-16 years studying in the five schools under field practice area of Rural Health and Training Centre, Mandur, using a semi structured, pretested questionnaire containing questions regarding their knowledge of origin, cause and source of menstrual bleeding as well as the various restriction imposed and various practices followed related to menstrual hygiene. Data were analysed using Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) Version 22.
Results: The results showed that 83.9% were aware of menses before they attained menarche. Majority received their knowledge of menstruation from their mother. Only 54.9% of the participants were aware that menstrual blood arises from the uterus while 35.9% girls were aware that the cause of menstruation is physiological. Different restrictions were compared against different religions and it was found that there was a significant difference in the restrictions imposed between the Hindu, the Catholic and the Muslim religions with respect to entering prayer room, entering kitchen, visiting peopleâ€™s homes and attending family functions. Only 28.6% girls faced no restriction during menstruation. Around 73.6% girls used sanitary pads.
Conclusion: The study highlights that there are many aspects regarding the attitude and practices of menstruation that need to be addressed. Promoting health seeking behaviour and educating the people who play a role in being sources of information of menstruation will help to improve menstrual hygiene among rural adolescent girls.