An epidemiological study of menstrual hygiene practices in school going adolescent girls from urban slums of Nalgonda, Telangana

Jyothi Veleshala, Varun M. Malhotra, Suresh J. Thomas, Kondagunta Nagaraj


Background: Reproductive health of adolescent girls is crucial as it determines the health of future generations. School girls when experiencing menarche find themselves in a setting without water, toilets or a supportive female teacher to explain the changes happening in their body. Hence, the present study was conducted to assess knowledge and practices about menstruation in adolescent school girls of an urban slum and to find some socio-demographic determinants of menstrual hygiene.

Methods: This was a descriptive cross-sectional study conducted among 6th to 10th class school going adolescent girls from an urban slum of Telangana state. A total of 300 girls participated.

Results: The mean age of the students was 11.9±3.3 years. The mean age at menarche was 13.09 (95% CI: 12.07–14.11). 25.3% had acquired prior knowledge about attaining menarche. For majority (74.2%) the knowledge was imparted by their mothers. 96.9% of school girls used sanitary pads. Significant association observed between educational status and employment status of mother and usage of sanitary pads by respondent. Almost 90% of the young women faced physical complaints or health problems during menstruation. Majority (94.3%) had religious restrictions on them during the menstruation.

Conclusions: Menstrual hygiene is an issue which needs to be addressed to all adolescents, with special emphasis in slum area. Lack of awareness is a roadblock in adopting safe and hygienic menstrual practices. More emphasis should be given on improving adolescent literacy for achieving hygienic menstrual practices.


Adolescents, Awareness, Hygiene, Menstruation

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