Menstrual health and hygiene management among female college students and their mothers in Thoothukudi district, Tamil Nadu, India
Keywords:Menstrual health, Menstrual hygiene, Period poverty, Mother and daughter
Background: A two-generation study on menstrual health and hygiene practices among daughters and their mothers is limited. In this study, the primary objective was to compare menstrual health practices, period poverty and menstrual hygiene practices between female college students and their mothers.
Methods: A community-based cross-sectional study was conducted among 500 female college students (mean age 19 years) and their mothers (n=500, mean age 41 years) in the Thoothukudi district. Five colleges were selected from the twenty colleges in the district using simple random sampling. From the list of students from the selected colleges, female students were selected using computer-generated random numbers and the mothers of all the selected students were included in the study. Information on menstrual health, period poverty and menstrual hygiene was collected using a pre-tested structured interview schedule.
Results: Among daughters, 80.4% speak about menstrual pain more than mothers 44% (p<0.001). Of the daughters, 46.2% and 19.8% of the mothers had information about menstruation before menarche (p<0.001). Among daughters 63% and among mothers 30.2% are embarrassed about buying period products (p<0.001). Sanitary pad use among daughters was 93.2% compared to 69.9% among mothers (p=0.001). Using cloth as their menstrual product was reported by 21.8% of daughters and 50.4% of mothers (p=0.001).
Conclusions: During menstruation, daughters reported better hygiene practices than their mothers. However, some of the daughters still use clothes as menstrual material, which needs improvement.
United Nations International Children Emergency Fund. Guidance on Menstrual Health and Hygiene. WASH, Education, Health, and Gender to develop programmes related to menstrual health and hygiene. Available at:www.unicef.org/wash. Accessed on 02 March 2023.
United Nations Population Fund. Menstruation and human rights. Available at: https://www.unfpa. org/menstruationfaq. Accessed on 07 March 2023.
Garg S, Anand T. Menstruation-related myths in India: strategies for combating it. J Family Med Prim Care. 2015;4(2):184-6.
Kumar A, Srivastava K. Cultural and social practices regarding menstruation among adolescent girls. Soc Work Public Health. 2011;26(6):594-604.
National Health Mission. Menstrual health in India. 2017. Available at: https://nhm.gov.in/index1. php?lang=1&level=3&sublinkid=1021&lid=391. Accessed on 07 March 2023.
Parikh V, Nagar S. Menstrual hygiene among adolescent girls studying in a university of Gujarat. J Family Med Prim Care. 2022;11(7):3607-12.
Medina-Perucha L, Jacques-Aviñó C, Valls-Llobet C, Turbau-Valls R, Pinzón D, Hernández L, et al. Menstrual health and period poverty among young people who menstruate in the Barcelona metropolitan area (Spain): Protocol of a mixed-methods study. BMJ Open. 2020;10(7):e035914.
Hennegan J, Nansubuga A, Akullo A, Smith C, Schwab KJ. The Menstrual Practices Questionnaire (MPQ): development, elaboration, and implications for future research. Glob Health Action. 2020;13(1):1829402.
Parasuraman G, Vijay V, Balaji S, Nisha B, Dutta R, Jain T, et al. Impact of a health education intervention on menstruation and its hygiene among urban school-going adolescent girls in Thiruvallur, Tamilnadu. J Family Med Prim Care. 2022;11(9):5271-6.
Mathiyalagen P, Peramasamy B, Vasudevan K, Basu M, Cherian J, Sundar B. A descriptive cross-sectional study on menstrual hygiene and perceived reproductive morbidity among adolescent girls in a union territory, India. J Family Med Prim Care. 2017;6(2):360-5.
Hassan S, Ghandour R, Bakri L, Shwiki S, Safi S, Abuzaid R, et al. Menstrual health and hygiene among young Palestinian female university students in the West Bank: a cross-sectional study. BMJ Open. 2023;13(3):e069222.
Roy A. A Study of Menstrual Hygiene Management and College Absenteeism among Female Medical and Dental Students. Int J Health Sci Res. 2016;6(12):21-7.
Cardoso LF, Scolese AM, Hamidaddin A, Gupta J. Period poverty and mental health implications among college-aged women in the United States. BMC Womens Health. 2021;21(1):262-8.
Paria B, Bhattacharyya A, Das S. A comparative study on menstrual hygiene among urban and rural adolescent girls of West Bengal. J Family Med Prim Care. 2014;3(4):413-7.
Munro AK, Keep M, Hunter EC, Hossain SZ. Confidence to manage menstruation among university students in Australia: Evidence from a cross-sectional survey. Women’s Health. 2022;18.
Ahmad MS, Rahmatullah M, Akter D. Communication between Mother-Adolescent Daughter about Sexual and Reproductive Health: A Cross-Sectional Study at Rangpur, Bangladesh. Int J Res Innov Soc Sci. 2021;5(9):737-44.