Abstract

AWARENESS OF REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH IN ADOLESCENT GIRLS: A COMPARATIVE STUDY BETWEEN RURAL AND URBAN BACKGROUND

Author(s): Gunvanti Meena1, Amrit Pal Kaur2, Vijay Kumar Meena3, Satinderpal Singh4, Harbhajan Kaur5, S. S. Deepti6

BACKGROUND
Reproductive health is an essential part of the life of each and every individual. Our adolescents particularly rural girls have poor reproductive health awareness, which leads them easy prey to disasters i.e. teenage pregnancy and STDs.
OBJECTIVES
To evaluate and compare the reproductive health awareness of rural and urban adolescent school girls.
METHODS
Total 1400 adolescent school girls (700 from rural and 700 urban girls) studying in 6th to 12th class were included in the study. Awareness was assessed by a questionnaire.
RESULTS
Only a few girls were aware about age of onset of adolescence. Term puberty was heard by 444 urban and 306 rural girls. Awareness about changes of adolescence was more for urban girls. Awareness regarding menstruation as activation of reproductive system was more in urban girls. About half girls of both background were aware regarding normal duration of menses. Only a few girls were aware about part of menstruation during which a woman has greatest chances of getting pregnant. Awareness regarding contraception and symptoms of sexual diseases was more in urban girls. Awareness regarding modes of spread of HIV was more in rural girls.
CONCLUSION
Awareness regarding contraceptive, menstruation, and changes of adolescence is very poor, so special attention is required for these aspects such as including these topics in educational system and there is also need to maintain and increase awareness regarding HIV/AIDS. The health system of India should bridge this huge gap of unmet need of adolescent reproductive health.