Menstrual hygiene among adolescent girls
Background: Menstruation and menstrual practices are still clouded by taboos and socio-cultural restrictions resulting in adolescent girls remaining ignorant of the scientific facts and hygienic health practices, which sometimes result into adverse health outcomes. Objective: To assess knowledge and practice regarding menstrual hygiene before and after teaching program among adolescent girls. Materials and Methods: A true experimental study was conducted among 50 adolescent girls of a secondary school situated in the Bhaniyawala of Dehradun district, Uttarakhand, with the help of a pre-designed and pre-tested questionnaire. Participants were randomly assigned into control (n=25) and experimental group (n=25). Adolescent girls from both groups were assessed for knowledge and practice regarding menstrual hygiene on day 1 and on 15th day. Participants of experimental group were administered educational programme regarding menstrual hygiene on day 1 after assessment for knowledge and practice regarding menstrual hygiene. Data were analysed statistically by simple proportions. Results: The mean age of the adolescent girl was 13.88± 1.5 and age of menarche 12.74±0.98. Out of 50, 32 (64%) mothers’ of adolescent girls were educated at graduate level. The mean pre-test knowledge and practice in experimental group 8.04±1.54, 3.52±1.0 and control group 8.02±2.0, 3.24±1.0 respectively. The level of knowledge and practice regarding menstrual hygiene of subjects who participated in educational program was significantly better than that of the control group. Conclusions: Menstrual hygiene, a very important risk factor for reproductive tract infections, is a vital aspect of health education for adolescent girls. Educational television programmes, trained school nurses/health personnel, motivated school teachers and knowledgeable parents can play a very important role in transmitting the vital message of correct menstrual hygiene to the adolescent girl of today.