Reproductive and sexual health knowledge along with menstrual hygiene practices among late adolescent girls 15-19 years in an urban slum

Mayuri Verma, Yasmeen K. Kazi, Sudam R. Suryawanshi


Background: Many biological changes occur in the body of girls during the adolescent period. Menstruation, an important natural process, is linked with several perceptions and practices which may result in adverse health outcome.

Methods: The study was conducted among late adolescent girls in the age group of 15-19 years. Details of their socio demographic profile, knowledge about growing up changes, menstruation, pregnancy and contraception, Reproductive tract infections, sexually transmitted infections and HIV/AIDS. Their source of information regarding the same was also enquired into. Their menstrual hygiene practices were also asked in detail.

Results: The girls in this study were mostly Hindus, around 16 years of age, belonged to nuclear families, lived in pukka houses, only half of them had a sanitary latrine in their house, and majority of the girls had their mother’s educated up to middle school. Knowledge about puberty, especially physical changes was better than that about conception, pregnancy and contraception and STI/RTI and HIV. However, adequate menstrual hygiene was practiced only by a few of them. Girls who had symptoms related to RTI/STI were seen to have poor knowledge.

Conclusions: Importance of focusing on menstrual hygiene and reproductive health among adolescent girls, should start early and should be regularly reinforced to minimize the risk of infections.


Late adolescent girls, Menstrual hygiene practices, Reproductive and sexual health knowledge, Urban slum

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