Impact of menstrual awareness and knowledge among adolescents in a rural area
Background: Socio-cultural factors have a bearing on women's attitude towards menstruation. Health care providers should be aware of how women react to menstruation while providing health care. Aims & Objectives: To elicit menstrual awareness and knowledge of the rural adolescent girls and assess how this awareness, knowledge and demographics influence their menstrual attitude. Methodology: A community based descriptive cross-sectional study was undertaken among 245 adolescent school going girls in a rural area. Adolescent Menstrual Attitude Questionnaire (AMAQ) was used as a data collection device. Data were compared by using SPSS (ver. 20.0) at the level of 0.05. Results: At menarche, 59.9% adolescents were aware of menstruation and in 3/4th of them, mothers were the source of information. There was a statistically significant effect of menstrual awareness (yes or no) and menstrual knowledge (nil, partial and complete) on the combined dependent variables (F(6,238)=9.0, p= 0.000, Wilk’s Lambda=0.81, partial eta square=0.29 and F(6,237)=8.01, p= 0.000, Wilk’s Lambda=0.69, partial eta square=0.20 respectively). Older adolescents had favorable attitude towards menstruation in three significant dimensions i.e. living with menarche, openness and acceptance. Significant effect of mother’s educational level was observed on five dimensions of menstrual attitude. Conclusion: Menstrual attitude is significantly affected by menstrual awareness and knowledge. Demographics too contributed in bringing positive attitude. There is a need to plan menstrual health education programme for adolescent girls and their mothers.