Analysis of Knowledge of Menstruation, Hygiene Practices, and Perceptions in Adolescent Girls in India
Introduction: Unsafe water, poor sanitation and inadequate hygiene affects many communities around the world. Without access to clean water, proper waste management, or knowledge of basic hygiene practices, the risk for disease is greatly increased. The menstrual cycle can be hard to manage without access to clean products. Additionally, poor knowledge can perpetuate unhygienic practices. Girls are often not taught about menstruation before it occurs leaving them with feelings of fear, disgust, and uncertainty.
Methods: This paper analyzes data from adolescent girls in both rural and urban communities in India concerning their knowledge, perceptions, and hygiene practices regarding menstruation. Results from pre and posttests indicate change in knowledge following an educational intervention.
Results: The knowledge and practices of adolescent Indian girls regarding menstrual hygiene were greatly lacking. In fact, 53.8% of girls did not know anything about menstruation prior to their first period. Overall, knowledge and practices improved significantly after the educational intervention.
Discussion and Conclusion: Education of girls on menstrual hygiene management is effective. The results of this study are generally consistent with other literature. Further educational and environmental interventions as well as research are needed.
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