Knowledge, attitudes and beliefs about menarche of adolescent girls in Anand district, Gujarat

Department of Preventive and Social Medicine, Municipal Medical College, Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India.
Eastern Mediterranean health journal = La revue de santé de la Méditerranée orientale = al-Majallah al-ṣiḥḥīyah li-sharq al-mutawassiṭ 05/2006; 12(3-4):428-33.
Source: PubMed


A questionnaire survey of knowledge, attitudes and beliefs towards menstruation was made in 22 schools in Anand district, Gujarat state. Of 900 schoolgirls aged 11-17 years, only 38.5% felt comfortable about menarche and only 31.0% believed that menstruation was a normal physiological process. Many (37.2%) had not been informed about menarche before its onset and 48.2% felt they were not mentally prepared. The major sources of information were the mother (60.7%) or an elder sister (15.8%); teachers and others relatives played a small role. In this area of India, many families continue the custom of celebrating the first menarche and observing social restrictions.

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    • "These findings are similar to other studies in Delhi where most of the young girls were previously unaware that it would happen and the information they are given is sparse (6, 7). Similar findings are also seen from other parts of India like Rajasthan (8), Gujarat (9), Haryana (10), and Kerala (11). These studies in India also found that mothers, sisters, and friends are usually the major source of information (7–9, 12). "
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    ABSTRACT: The main objective was to assess knowledge, practices, and restrictions faced by young women regarding their menstrual hygiene. The views of adult women having young daughters were also included and both views were compared. In addition, the factors influencing the menstrual hygiene practices were also studied. The study was carried out during 2008 in Mumbai, India. The mixed methods approach was followed for the data collection. Both qualitative and quantitative methods were used to collect the data. For quantitative survey, totally 192 respondents (96 adult and 96 younger women) were selected. While young women were asked about questions related to their menstruation, adult women were asked questions to find out how much they know about menstrual history of their daughters. The qualitative data helped to supplement the findings from the quantitative survey and to study the factors affecting menstrual practices in young women. The mean age at menarche reported was 13.4 years and 30-40% of young girls did not receive any information about menstruation before menarche. It is thus seen that very few young girls between the age group 15 and 24 years did receive any information before the onset of menstruation. Among those who received some information, it was not adequate enough. The source of information was also not authentic. Both young and adult women agreed on this. Due to the inadequate knowledge, there were certain unhygienic practices followed by the young girls resulting in poor menstrual hygiene. It also leads to many unnecessary restrictions on young girls and they faced many health problems and complaints, which were either ignored or managed inappropriately. The role of health sector was almost negligible from giving information to the management of health problems of these young girls. This paper reemphasizes the important, urgent, and neglected need of providing correct knowledge to the community including adolescent girls.
    Full-text · Article · Jul 2014 · Frontiers in Public Health
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    • "There remains much to do to achieve this goal, as up to 40% of some female populations in India have never heard of HIV/AIDS [39,40]. Women who lack knowledge about menstruation are vulnerable to a variety of sexual health challenges including reproductive tract infections and psycho-social stress related to menarche [41-43]. Finally, perceived ability to travel alone to another village for health services is a measure of empowerment that has been identified as key to womens’ health [44]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Background Rural women in West Bengal have been found to have low rates of formal education, poor health knowledge, high rates of malnutrition and anemia, and low levels of empowerment. Despite these difficult circumstances, some women have positive health outcomes compared to women with similarly disadvantaged backgrounds. The purpose of this study is to identify factors associated with positive health outcomes among women with primary education or less. Methods Multivariable regression models were built for outcomes of positive deviance to better characterize the factors in a woman’s life that most impact her ability to deviate from the status quo. Results Positive deviants in this context are shown to be women who are able to earn an income, who have access to information through media sources, and who, despite little schooling, have marginally higher levels of formal education that lead to improved health outcomes. Conclusions Study findings indicate that positive deviant women in disadvantaged circumstances can achieve positive outcomes amidst a host of contextual barriers that would predict poor health outcomes. Focusing on areas such as enhancing access to media sources, facilitating self-help groups for married women, and promoting prolonged education and delayed marriage for girls may improve health knowledge and behavior among married women with low levels of education.
    Full-text · Article · Apr 2013 · BMC Public Health
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    • "Mothers were found as potential sources of information in urban girls where as teachers for rural girls. This agrees with studies done in India [30] and Malaysia [23]. The difference in the source of information between rural and urban girls may be due to poor knowledge of rural mothers about menstruation which makes them refrain from advising their daughters about menstruation and related reproductive health issues. "
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    ABSTRACT: Population studies on normal and dysfunctional characteristics of menstrual cycles are scarce in Ethiopia. In addition variability in menarcheal age and menstrual characteristics are common. Knowledge on this variability is necessary for patient education and to guide clinical evaluation. A cross sectional study was conducted in two small towns called Dabat and Kola Diba, northwest Ethiopia between April and May 2007. Systematic sampling method was used to select 622 school girls from two secondary schools. A pretested questionnaire prepared in Amharic was used to gather data. Selected girls cooperated in answering the questionnaire in their classrooms under the supervision of the research team. Only 612 of the adolescent females were included in the final analysis, of which 305 were from Koladiba High School and 307 from Dabat. The age of the study subjects ranges between 14 and 19 with a mean (standard deviation) of 16.9 +/- 1 years. About 92.2% had attained menarche by the time the survey was conducted. The probit analysis of the status quo data yielded a median (CI) age at menarche of 14.8 (13.9-15.3) years. The average age at menarche by recall method was 15.8 +/- 1 years. The mean age at menarche was 0.3 years younger for urban females compared with rural ones (p < 0.001). A cycle length between 21 and 35 days was observed in 70.3% of the girls. The mean duration of flow was 4 +/- 1.3 days with a range of 2-7 days. The menstrual cycles were irregular in 42.8% of the subjects. The overall prevalence of dysmenorrhoea was 72% among these subjects. Premenstrual symptoms were present in 435 of the females (75.4%). The leading sources of menarcheal information to the adolescents were mothers (39.7%), followed by their friends (26.6%) and teachers (21.8%). In this study age of menarche was found to be delayed which is even higher than the findings indicated similar studies conducted in Ethiopia and other African countries. A significant number of students complain of abnormal menstrual cycle, dysmenorrhoea and premenstrual symptoms which call for appropriate counselling and management.
    Full-text · Article · Oct 2009 · BMC Women's Health
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