MENSTRUATION HYGIENE AND RELATED DISORDERS IN INDIAN ADOLESCENT GIRLS
Aakanksha Mrugeshbhai Patel*
Adolescence is a period of physiological, psychological, and social transition between childhood and adulthood. Menstrual disorders are a common presentation and leading reasons for the physician office visits by adolescents. Knowledge of adolescent girls regarding reproductive health including menstruation is not learnt in systematic manner and hence may be half baked and influenced by socio-cultural barriers. Most adolescent girls in India have little knowledge on menstruation, reproduction, and sexuality. As menstruation remains a taboo, several misconceptions and restrictions are followed in the community. During menstruation, poor personal hygiene and unsafe sanitary conditions increase susceptibility to reproductive tract infections and gynecological problem. In resource poor contexts, where women do not have access to basic facilities such as water, bathroom and privacy, the standard of hygiene one can maintain is severely compromised. There is a need to improve the housing conditions with respect to basic facilities. Universalized use of sanitary pads can be advocated to every girl only by making it available at affordable prices. Setting up of a separate „adolescent gynaecological clinics‟ is the need of the hour. Sensitization and counseling in schools along with comprehensive school education program on menarche and menstrual problems may help girls to cope better and seek proper medical assistance.
Keywords: Adolescence, Menstrual disorders, Reproductive Health, Sanitary Pads.
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