Year : 2015  |  Volume : 8  |  Issue : 6  |  Page : 719-723

Knowledge and practices related to reproductive health amongst adolescent girls

Department of Community Medicine, Bharati Vidyapeeth University Medicine College, Pune, Maharashtra, India

Correspondence Address:
Jayashree S Gothankar
Manik, 31 Meghana Soc., Sahakar Nagar No. 2, Pune - 411 009, Maharashtra
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0975-2870.169882

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Objective: To assess knowledge and practices related to menstruation and reproductive health amongst college going adolescent girls. Materials and Methods: Cross-sectional study done on 323 adolescent girls admitted in the year 2012 to professional colleges belonging to the health sciences faculty of a private university in Pune, India, using self-administered proforma. Results: Mean age of onset of menarche was 13.35 years. Many girls (86.65%) had knowledge of menstruation prior to menarche. For 68% of girls, mother was a source of menstrual information. Half of the girls reported some form of restriction in activities during menstruation due to religious reasons. 11% girls suffered from some form of reproductive tract infections (RTIs). Practices related to menstruation revealed that cloth piece is used for menstrual protection by 3% of girls. Soaked sanitary pads were disposed sanitarily by 96% of girls. Adolescent of medical faculty had significantly more knowledge than nursing faculty adolescents regarding emergency contraceptives (P < 0.05). Only four girls reported a history of sexual contact, of these, three were aware of emergency contraceptives, while one used them to prevent pregnancy. Conclusions: Adolescent girls received knowledge of menstruation prior to menarche from their mothers. Restriction in activity during menstruation due to religious reasons is practiced by many girls. Sanitary pad was used by almost all girls, and all disposed the same in a sanitary manner. More than half of the girls were aware about emergency contraceptives. Prevalence of RTI was found to be low and very few girls reported history of sexual exposure.

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