Menstrual hygiene and practices among adolescent girls in rural Visakhapatnam: a cross-sectional study

K. V. Phani Madhavi, Kranthi Paruvu


Background: Adolescent girls constitute 1/5th of total female population in the world. Poor personal hygiene and defective menstrual management practices among adolescents give rise to repeated reproductive tract infections (RTIs) which are otherwise preventable. So the present study was undertaken to study the knowledge, status of hygiene and practices regarding menstruation among adolescent girls. The objectives of the study were to study the knowledge and practices of menstrual hygiene among study population and to identify beliefs, perception regarding menstruation and menstrual practices among the study population.

Methods: A cross-sectional study was done in the month of November 2017 in the rural field practice area of the Department of Community Medicine, Andhra Medical College, Visakhapatnam. The study was done in a high school selected by simple random sampling among 400 adolescent girls who had attained menarche and were present in the schools during the days of survey after obtaining Institutional Ethics Committee approval, permission from the school authority and informed consent was taken from study participants. The sample size was calculated Using 4PQ/L2   with 5% absolute precision (p=36% from previous studies).

Results: Mean age of study participants was 14.2yrs ±1.05. About 206(48.4%) knew about menstrual cycle before their menarche. Majority of study participants (78.3%) used sanitary pad as protective material. Regarding hygienic practices during menstruation 78.8% had daily bath.

Conclusions: Awareness about menarche before its onset was still poor in rural areas.


Adolescent, Cloth, Menstrual hygiene, School, Sanitary pads

Full Text:



Adolescents in India. A Profile. World Health Organization. 2003. Available at: http://www. Accessed on August 12, 2011.

Banerjee I, Chakraborty S, Bhattacharyya NG, Bandyopadhyay S, Saiyed HN, Mukherjee D. A cohort study of correlation between body mass index and age at menarche in healthy Bengali girls. J Indian Med Assoc. 2007;105:75-8.

Rao S, Joshi S, Kanade A. Height velocity, body fat and menarcheal age of Indian girls. Indian Pediatr. 1998;35:619-28.

Singh MM, Devi R, Garg S, Mehra M. Effectiveness of syndromic approach in management of reproductive tract infections in women. Indian J Med Sci. 2001;55(4):209-14.

Wasserheit JN. The significance and scope of reproductive tract infections among Third World women. Suppl Int J Gynecol Obstet. 1989;3:145-68.

Yasmin S. Menstrual hygiene among adolescent school students: An in-depth cross-sectional study in an urban community of WestBengal, India. IOSR-JDMS. 2013;5(6):22-6.

Khanna A, Goyal RS, Bhawsar R. Menstrual practices and reproductive problems: a study of adolescent girls in Rajasthan. J Health Manag. 2005;7:91-107.

Deo DS, Ghattargi CH. Perceptions and practices regarding menstruation: a comparative study in urban and rural adolescent girls. Indian J Community Med. 2005;30:33-4.

Dasgupta A, Sarkar M. Menstrual Hygiene: How Hygienic is the Adolescent Girl? Indian J Comm Med. 2008;33(2):78-80.