A Study of Menstrual Hygiene Practices and Associated Symptomatic Genitourinary Illness among Adolescent Girls in Rural Puducherry

Hema Priya Subramani, Nandi Partha, Seetharaman Narayanan, Narayan Kavasseri Anantahasubramanian, Lokeshmaran Anandaraj


Background: Adolescent population occupies 1/5th of world’s population and in India 20.9% of the population falls in this age group. Social prohibitions and traditional beliefs blocked the access to get the right kind of information to adolescent girls that led to poor hygiene practices. These practices result in harboring of microorganisms that increase susceptibility to genitourinary infections. Hence this study was conducted to study the menstrual hygiene practices among adolescent girls and in rural Puducherry.

Methodology: A community-based descriptive cross sectional study was conducted in rural field practicing area of MGMCRI, Puducherry, from 15th of March 2013 to 31st April 2014 by using semi-structured questionnaire. 528 adolescent girls were included by complete enumeration.

Results: Majority (89.2%) of the adolescent girls was using sanitary pads, fresh and reusable cloths were used by 6.6% and 4.2%, respectively. 65.3% girls changed their soaked absorbent 25 times in a day. Majority (60.8%) of the girls disposed their used absorbent by burying or burning. 67.9% girls were washing genitalia during micturition. 54.4% used soap and water for hand cleaning purpose and 1.4% used ash & mud etc. 35.9% & 32.5% reported abnormal vaginal discharge and itching in the genitalia. 2-4 symptoms and more than 4 symptoms were reported in 39% and 4.6% girls. The association between menstrual hygiene practices with genitourinary illness (symptomatic) was found to be statistically significant.

Conclusions: Even though sanitary pad users were high, unhygienic practices were noticed, so more emphasis is needed to be given on awareness of menstrual hygiene practices among adolescent girls. This study also highlights the lack of sanitary latrine facility in majority of houses that affected the privacy of the girls which resulted in poor menstrual hygiene practices.


Adolescent girls, Menstrual hygiene practices, Genitourinary illness, Sanitary pads.

Full Text:



World Health Organisation. Factsheet on adolescent health. Geneva: WHO. Available from: http:// www.who.int/topics/adolescent_health/en/.

Sanyal S, Ray S. Variation in the menstrual characteristics in adolescent of West Bengal. Singapore Medical Journal 2008; 49(7): 542-50.

Chandramouli C. Release of social and cultural tables - Age data highlights. Census of India. Mumbai: IIPS, 2011. 2013. Available from: www.censusindia.gov.in/2011.../Census_2011_Age_data-final-12-09-2013.ppt.

Mudey AB, Kesharwani N, Mudey GA et al. A cross-sectional study on the awareness regarding safe and hygienic practices amongst school going adolescent girls in the rural areas of Wardha district. Global Journal of Health Science 2010; 2(2): 225-31.

Garg R, Goyal S, Gupta S. India moves towards menstrual hygiene: Subsidized sanitary napkins for rural adolescent girls-Issues and challenges. Maternal Child Health Journal 2012; 16(4): 767-74.

Ram R, Bhattacharya SK, Bhattacharya K et al. Reproductive tract infection among female adolescents. Indian Journal of Community Medicine 2006; 31(1): 32-33.

WASH United. Menstrual hygiene management. Berlin: WASH United. Available from: http://wash-united.org/our-work/issues/menstrual-hygiene-management/articles/our-work-issues-menstrual-hygiene-management.

Jogdand K, Yerpude P. A community based study on menstrual hygiene among adolescent girls. Indian Journal of Maternal and Child Health 2011; 13 (3): 1-6.

Allah ESA, Elsabagh EEM. Impact of health education intervention on knowledge and practice about menstruation among female secondary school students in Zagazig city. Journal of American Science 2011; 7(9): 737-47.

Monika A, Singh JV, Srivastava AK. Awareness and attitude of rural adolescent girls regarding reproductive health issues in Northern India. Indian Journal of Community Health 2009; 21(1): 26-32.

Sharma R. Revision of Prasad’s social classification and provision of an online tool for real-time updating. South Asian J Cancer 2013; 2(3): 157. Available from: www.prasadscaleupdate.weebly. com.

Government of India. All-India average consumer price index numbers for industrial workers. Labour Bureau, Government of India, 2013. Available from: http://www.labourbureau.nic.in/indtab.html.

Omidvar S, Begum K. Factors influencing hygienic practices during menses among girls from south India-A cross sectional study. International Journal of Collaborative Research on Internal Medicine & Public Health 2010; 2(12): 411-23.

Jogdand K, Yerpude P. A community based study on menstrual hygiene among adolescent girls. Indian Journal of Maternal and Child Health 2011; 13(3): 1-6.

Karthiga V, Boratne AV, Datta SS et al. Menstrual problems and pattern of consultation among adolescent school girls in Pondicherry. Indian Journal of Medical Specialities 2011; 2(2): 92-95.

Kumar A, Srivastava K. Cultural and social practices regarding menstruation among adolescent girls. Social Work in Public Health 2011; 26(6): 594-604.

Thakre SB, Thakre SS, Reddy M et al. Menstrual hygiene: Knowledge and practice among adolescent school girls of Saoner, Nagpur district. J Clin Diagn

Res 2011; 5(5): 1027-33.

Kamaljit K, Arora B, Singh, Neki NS. Social Beliefs and Practices associated with Menstrual Hygiene among Adolescent Girls of Amritsar, Punjab, India. JIMSA 2012; 25(2): 69-70.

Dasgupta A, Sarkar M. How hygienic is the adolescent girl? Indian Journal of Community Medicine 2008; 33(2): 77-80.

Datta A, Manna N, Datta M et al. Menstruation and menstrual hygiene among adolescent girls of West Bengal, India: A school based comparative study.

Global Journal of Medicine and Public Health 2012; 1(5): 50-57.

Fakhri M, Hamzehgardeshi Z, Golchin NAH et al. Promoting menstrual health among Persian adolescent girls from low socioeconomic backgrounds: A quasi-experimental study. BMC Public Health 2012; 12(1): 193.

Negi T, Solanki D. Health care practices of rural adolescent girls in Almora district of Uttarakhand state. Journal of Advances in Developmental Research 2012; 3(1): 13-16.


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c)