Author(s): Amit Sachdeva1, Shruti Sharma2
Menstruation is a vital part of the reproductive health of a woman. There is evident neglect of problems related to menstruation especially in young girls and they are lacking scientific knowledge regarding menstruation. The study was undertaken with the objective to assess the prevalence & patterns of menstrual problems, knowledge, belief, restrictions, menstrual hygiene and treatment seeking practice among college going unmarried girls of Chandigarh
MATERIALS AND METHODS
A stratified multistage random sampling design was adopted for selection of participants from the selected colleges of Chandigarh. A total of 1000 girls who had attained menarche were selected. Information was collected through personal interviews conducted in privacy using semi -structured survey schedule.
The mean age of menarche was ± 13.89 years. Prior knowledge regarding menses was reported by 82.6% girls and 56.9% girls reported mother as the first source of information followed by 21.6% friends. 86.1% have regular menstrual history 86.8% of the respondents experienced pre menstrual syndrome while overall prevalence of menstrual problem in the present study was found 68.4%. Abdominal pain was the most common menstrual problem reported by 51.3% of participants having menstrual problems. 47.7% girls did not visit holy places during periods. 95.5% preferred sanitary napkins as menstrual absorbent. Treatment seeking behavior of the girls was poor and only about 34.9% of girls having menstrual problems approached for treatment. 72.4% of respondents were aware of emergency contraceptives.
The study revealed that there was an inappropriate knowledge and hygiene practice due to various Misconceptions, beliefs and taboos among college girls regarding menstruation. Reproductive health education in the school curriculum should be introduced for improving awareness regarding menstrual care practices.