Published: 2022-01-28

Menstrual taboos and social restrictions affecting good menstrual hygiene management among reproductive age group female students

Rajanbir Kaur, Kanwaljit Kaur, Rajinder Kaur


Background: Awareness about menstruation and menstrual hygiene is an important aspect of health education for adolescent girls and pre-menopausal women. Taboos and socio-cultural restrictions still overcome the scientific facts and hygienic health practices among females of different communities. The present study was designed to assess the knowledge, awareness, beliefs, restrictions and practices regarding menstruation among the undergraduate and postgraduate females of Amritsar city of Punjab.

Methods: This observational cross-sectional study was conducted among two hundred female students pursuing different degree courses in the university. A pre-designed questionnaire contains thirty five questions related to socio-demographic profile, knowledge and practices and different socio-cultural and environmental factors which affects menstrual hygiene.

Results: The study results elicited that majority of the participants know that menstruation was a physiological process and poor menstrual hygiene leads to urinary and reproductive tract infections. As most of the participants were from middle class families residing in the urban areas of the city, they faced fewer restrictions and can access and afford sanitary napkins easily.

Conclusions: This study shows a significant association between the age and knowledge of the participants regarding menstrual hygiene practices. The education status of the parents plays an important role in the good menstrual hygiene practices of the participants.


Menstrual hygiene, Menstruation, Sanitary pads, Knowledge, Cultural practices, Reproductive tract infections

Full Text:



Richmond A, Ashinyo A, Adjuik M. Age of Menarche among basic level school girls in Madina, Accra. Afr J Reproduct Health. 2011;15(3):113-21.

Dharampal GD, Wagh SV, Dudhe JY. Age at menarche and menstrual cycle pattern among school adolescent girls in Central India. Glob J Health Sci. 2012;4(1):105.

Tunau KA, Adamu AN, Hassan MA, Ahmed Y, Ekele BA. Age at menarche among school girls in Sokoto, Northern Nigeria. Ann Afr Med. 2012;11(2):103-7.

Mohammad P, Osati-Ashtiani F. Assessing knowledge, attitudes, and behavior of adolescent girls in suburban districts of Tehran about dysmenorrhea and menstrual hygiene. J Int Women Studies. 2002;2:51-61.

Thakur H, Aronsson A, Bansode S, Lundborg CS, Dalvie S, Faxelid E. Knowledge, practices, and restrictions related to menstruation among young women from low socioeconomic community in Mumbai, India. Front Public Health. 2014;2:72.

Ameade E, Kwame P, Garti HA. Relationship between female university students’ knowledge on menstruation and their menstrual hygiene practices: a study in Tamale, Ghana. Adv Prevent Med. 2016.

Kaur R, Kaur K, Kaur R. Menstrual hygiene, management, and waste disposal: practices and challenges faced by girls/women of developing countries. J Environment Pub Health. 2018;2018.

Garg R, Goyal S, Gupta S. India moves towards menstrual hygiene: subsidized sanitary napkins for rural adolescent girls-issues and challenges. Matern Child Health J. 2012;16(4):767-74.

House S, Mahon T, Cavill S. Menstrual hygiene matters: a resource for improving menstrual hygiene around the world. Reproduct Health Matter. 2013;21(41):257-9.

Sommer M. Where the education system and women's bodies collide: the social and health impact of girls' experiences of menstruation and schooling in Tanzania. J Adolesc. 2010;33(4):521-9.

Sommer M, Kjellén M, Pensulo C. Girls' and women's unmet needs for menstrual hygiene management (MHM): the interactions between MHM and sanitation systems in low-income countries. J Water Sanitat Hyg Develop. 2013;3(3):283-97.

Shah SP, Nair R, Shah PP, Modi DK, Desai SA, Desai L. Improving quality of life with new menstrual hygiene practices among adolescent tribal girls in rural Gujarat, India. Reproduct Health Matter. 2013;21(41):205-13.

Das P, Baker KK, Dutta A, Swain T, Sahoo S, Das BS, et al. Menstrual hygiene practices, WASH access and the risk of urogenital infection in women from Odisha, India. PloS One. 2016;10(6):0130777.

Anand E, Singh J, Unisa S. Menstrual hygiene practices and its association with reproductive tract infections and abnormal vaginal discharge among women in India. Sex Reproduct Healthcare. 2015;6(4):249-54. 6,

Subhash BT, Thakre SS, Reddy M, Rathi N, Pathak K, Ughade S. Menstrual hygiene: knowledge and practice among adolescent school girls of Saoner, Nagpur district. J Clin Diagnost Res. 2011;5(5):1027-33.

Shanbhag D, Shilpa R, D'Souza N, Josephine P, Singh J, Goud BR. Perceptions regarding menstruation and practices during menstrual cycles among high school going adolescent girls in resource limited settings around Bangalore city, Karnataka, India. Int J Collaborat Res Intern Med Pub Health. 2012;4(7):1353.

Yasmin S, Manna N, Mallik S, Ahmed A, Paria B. Menstrual hygiene among adolescent school students: An in-depth cross-sectional study in an urban community of West Bengal, India. IOSR J Dent Med Sci. 2013;5(6):22-6.

Sangeetha BS, Shilpa S, Shaji S. A community based study on menstrual hygiene among reproductive age group women in a rural area, Tamil Nadu. J Basic Clin Reproduct Sci. 2014;3(2):83-7.

Anusree PC, Ardra R, Aswathy BS, Faseela VCM, Gincy PB, Anupama T. Knowledge regarding menstrual hygiene among adolescent girls in selected schools, Mangalore with a view to develop an information booklet. J Nurs Health Sci. 2014;3(1):55-60.

Ray S, Aparajita D. Determinants of menstrual hygiene among adolescent girls: a multivariate analysis. Natl J Community Med. 2012;3(2):294-301.

Sarkar I, Dobe M, Dasgupta A, Basu R, Shahbabu B. Determinants of menstrual hygiene among school going adolescent girls in a rural area of West Bengal. J Fam Med Prim Care. 2017;6(3):583.

Kamath R, Ghosh D, Lena A, Chandrasekaran V. A study on knowledge and practices regarding menstrual hygiene among rural and urban adolescent girls in Udupi Taluk, Manipal, India. Glob J Med Pub Health. 2013;2(4):1-9.

Santina T, Wehbe N, Ziade FM, Nehme M. Assessment of beliefs and practices relating to menstrual hygiene of adolescent girls in Lebanon. Int J Health Sci Res. 2013;3(12):75-88.

Nabilal PB, Kapilashrami MC, Rasheed N, Pathak R. Menstrual hygiene among adolescent school girls: an in-depth cross-sectional study in an urban community. Int J Health Sci Res. 2014;4(11):15-21.

Uzoma AU, Aniebue PN, Nwankwo TO. The impact of pre-menarcheal training on menstrual practices and hygiene of Nigerian school girls. Pan Afr Med J. 2009;2(1).

Khanna A, Goyal RS, Bhawsar R. Menstrual practices and reproductive problems: a study of adolescent girls in Rajasthan. J Health Manage. 2005;7(1):91-107.

Kumar GM, Kundan M. Psycho-social behaviour of urban Indian adolescent girls during menstruation. Austral Med J. 2011;4(1):49.

Christian J, Le T, Bartram J. Water and sanitation in schools: a systematic review of the health and educational outcomes. Int J Environment Res Pub Health. 2012;9(8):2772-87.

El-Gilany, A, Badawi K, El-Fedawy S. Menstrual hygiene among adolescent schoolgirls in Mansoura, Egypt. Reproduct Health Matter. 2005;13(26):147-52.

Ade A, Patil R. Menstrual hygiene and practices of rural adolescent girls of Raichur. Int J Biol Med Res. 2013;4(2):3014-7.

Garg S, Sharma M, Sahay R. Socio-cultural aspects of menstruation in an urban slum in Delhi, India. Reproduct Health Matter. 2001;9(17):16-25.

Parameaswari PJ, Udayshankar PM, Cynthia S, Vidhyashree MD, Abiselvi A, Sultan SI. A school survey to assess menstrual hygiene practices among teenage girls in Chennai, India. M E J Scientif Res. 2014;21(9):1448-53.