Journal of Basic and Clinical Reproductive Sciences

Journal of Basic and Clinical Reproductive Sciences

Cognizance about Menstruation among Urban Young Women of Delhi-NCR: A Socio-Cultural Perception

Author(s): Meena Yadav*, Aafreen Khan, Simran Goel and Ahmad Pervez

The understanding about menstruation among women is lacking in India. Although there are several studies carried out in rural areas about menstruation and its handling, the data was trivial from urban regions in North India. The respondents had a respectable economic background i.e. the family of 45.68% fell in 1-5 lac annual income group while those of 32.34% in 5-10 lac annual income group. They belonged to various religious and cultural backgrounds. In our study we found that 52.05% girls knew about menstruation before menarche and 76.69% also knew about the organs and hormones involved in the process. Moreover, 79.98% said that menstruation keeps their hormones in balance. Significantly greater number of females, i.e. 89.84% used sanitary pads and 85.83% bathed daily. Similarly, significantly higher number of females thought that increase in menstrual flow is directly dependent on increase in physical activities. The mothers of respondents were educated with 41.99% being graduates and 17% being post-graduates and above. To summarize, our study indicated that the young adult girls in the area of study, belonging to different social, cultural and economic backgrounds, are reasonably aware of their needs to maintain good reproductive health.

Context: Maintenance of reproductive hygiene during menstruation in young women of Delhi-NCR, India from socio- economic perspective

Aims: To comprehend the handling of menstruation by young women in various socio-economic sections in Delhi-NCR, India.

Settings and Design: Young college going girls were approached to voluntarily become part of the study and were asked to fill the detailed questionnaire. An informed written consent was taken from each respondent.

Methods and Material: The study was undertaken as a curiosity to understand the minds of young female population in Delhi- NCR (India) about menstruation. The survey was carried out from August, 2015 to June, 2016. The survey comprised 974 girls, age ranging from 18-24 years studying in various graduation and post-graduation courses in different colleges of Delhi and National Capital region (NCR), India and included girls who were having normal physiological menstruation. The data was collected by purposive sampling i.e. the girls who volunteered to provide correct information were selected. The girls were asked to fill the detailed questionnaire to elicit information about their socio-economic parameters, menstrual patterns and handling, physical and psychological complaints during menstruation etc. Along with collecting the information during the survey, we also explained the aims of the survey and questionnaire to them. Informed written consent was obtained from each of the respondents.

Statistical analysis used: Mostly the data on the annual income of family, education of mother, responses of girls regarding knowledge about menstruation, and sources of first information about menstruation was calculated as percentage. The data on different hygienic practices, viz. sanitary protection, daily bath during menstruation and influence of physical activity on the menstrual flow was arranged in five groups and was tested for normality using Kolmogorov–Smirnoff Test using statistical software, SAS Version 9.0.Normality test confirmed its normal distribution and thereafter the data was subjected to one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) using the statistical software SAS 9.0 and the means were compared using Tukey’s Test.

Results: The families of majority of respondents fell in the income group of 1-5 lackhs (45.68%) followed by 5-10 lackhs (32.34%). While 52.05% girls knew about menstruation before menarche, 46.81% did not know about the process. Majority of the girls (76.69%) knew about the hormones and organs playing role during menstruation while 19.81% did not know about them, with 3.49% not having any idea about hormones. Also, 79.98% knew that menstruation is important to maintain the normal levels of hormones in body while 13.76% did not believe in this and 6.26% did not know anything about such correlation. Mothers were the first source of information about menstruation (52.36%) followed by school/teachers (19.61%) and friends (12.11%). Statistically significant number of respondents (89.84%) used sanitary pads during menstruation while some (1.64%) used cloth as sanitary protection. Significantly greater numbers of girls were concerned about hygiene during menstruation as 85.83% bathed daily in this period. Similarly, significantly large number of respondents believed that physical activity increased the menstrual flow (62.32%).

Conclusions: The young women of Delhi-NCR are very well aware of their needs to maintain good reproductive hygiene during menstruation. This observation was beyond the limits of the social and economic strata they belonged to. Moreover, the social and economic status of respondents did not seem to interfere in adopting better methods to maintain a better reproductive hygiene.

Annals of Medical and Health Sciences Research Journal of Basic and Clinical Reproductive Sciences is a peer-reviewed online journal with Semiannual print on demand compilation of issues published.
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