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Appraisal of menstrual hygiene management among women in a rural setting: a prospective study

Geethu C., Elizabeth Phoeba Paul, Jasmin Elizabeth Thomas, Chintu S. Pullan, Hemalatha S., Sivakumar T..

Background: Menstrual hygiene management has been defined as, women and adolescent girls using a clean menstrual management material to absorb or collect blood that can be changed in privacy as often as necessary for the duration of the menstruation period using soap and water for washing the body as required and having access to facilities to dispose of used menstrual management materials (UNICEF and WHO, 2014). Management of menstruation in a hygienic manner is essential for females because poor maintenance of hygiene during menstruation causes reproductive tract infections. The aim is to assess the practices of menstrual hygiene among women of age group 18-45 in a rural setting.
Methods: A prospective, randomised, observational study was carried out in the outpatient department of obstetrics and gynaecology in a rural setting using a well-designed questionnaire.
Results: Out of 186 study subjects, sanitary pads were used by 83.87%.An adequate washing of external genitalia was followed, that is 3-4 times/day (51.61%). Only 8.07% of them used vaginal washes.82.25%seemed to change the sanitary pad before sleep. 38.37% used more than 4 pads per day. The frequency of baths varied from twice (69.35%) to once (25.8%) per day. Only 8.06% used OTC to manage menstrual pain.61.39% of them stored the sanitary pads in the bathroom.67.74% burnt, 16.12% threw along with domestic waste, 6.45% threw in open places and 9.67% buried the pads.
Conclusions: Overall, the study reported a satisfactory menstrual hygiene practice.

Key words: Menstruation, Hygiene, Practices

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