PRACTICES OF MENSTRUAL HYGIENE AMONG ADOLESCENT GIRLS IN A DISTRICT OF UTTARAKHAND
Context: Adolescence in girls signifies the transition from girlhood to womanhood. Good menstrual hygiene is crucial for the health, education, and dignity of girls and women. This is an important sanitation issue which has long been in the closet and still there is a long standing need to openly discuss it. Aims: 1. To elicit the knowledge and source of information regarding menstruation among the adolescent girl students. 2. To find out the practices of menstrual hygiene among them. Settings and Design: Cross-Sectional study conducted in two randomly selected Inter colleges (one rural and one urban) of district Dehradun of Uttarakhand state. Methods and Material: 453 girls studying in 9th to 12th grades were interviewed by using a prestructured and pretested questionnaire. Statistical analysis used: percentages and Chi-square test Results: 64.5 % girls (71.1% Rural and 57% Urban) were aware about menstruation prior to the attainment of menarche. Awareness among rural girls was significantly more as compared to urban girls. Friends were the first informant in about 31.8 % girls. But the correct reason and source of bleeding during menstruation was not known to most of the respondents. Overall 38.4 % adolescent girls (48.1% Rural and 27.6% Urban) were using sanitary napkins as menstrual absorbent, while 30 % were using a new cloth/rag every time. Conclusions: There is a need to educate the girls about menstruation, its importance and hygiene maintenance; so as to enable them to lead a healthy reproductive life in future.