Knowledge And Practices About Menstrual Hygiene Among Higher Secondary School Girls
Introduction: Issues related to menstruation and its practices are still foggy due to taboos and socio-cultural restrictions resulting in adolescent girls remaining uninformed of the technical facts and hygienic practices to keep good health that is why sometimes it results in to adverse health outcomes. Objectives: (i) To find out the age of menarche.(ii) To elicit the beliefs, perception and source of information regarding menstruation among adolescent girls. Materials and Methods: A descriptive cross sectional study was conducted among 120 adolescent girls of a higher secondary school situated in Varanasi District. Information was obtained with the help of a predesigned and pretested questionnaire in a local language. Results: About half of the girls (58.3%) were aware about menstruation prior to attainment of menarche. The mean age of menarche was found to be 12.98yrs (+0.77).The most common menstrual pattern was 30/3 days. Mother was the first informant regarding menstruation in case of (41.66%) of girls. Most of the girls (85.8%) believed it as a physiological process. Regarding practices, only 61(50.8%) girls informed about the use of sanitary pads during menstruation. Most of the girls 59 (49.16%) used old plain cloth as menstrual absorbent. About (82.5%) girls practiced different restrictions during menstruation. Conclusion: Menstrual hygiene is still a very important risk factor for reproductive tract infections and it is a vital component of the health education to the 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 critical messages of correct practices about menstrual hygiene to the adolescent girls of today.