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Introduction: Adolescence is a period of rapid physical growth, psychological and social changes. This period is also marked by onset of menstruation cycle “Menarche” in adolescent girls. Menstruation is natural, biological process experienced by all adolescent girls and women in reproductive age. Menstrual cycle is characterized by variability in volume, pattern, and regularity. Menstrual disorders and hygiene practices affect mental and physical health i.e. nutrition, educational performance and social behaviour. The objective of the current study was to observe the menstrual disorders among adolescent girls and to observe the demographic profile and assess hygiene practices during menstruation.
Method: The descriptive, prospective study was conducted among 130 adolescent girls attending gynaecology outpatient department at DMMC & SMHRC, Nagpur, India from August 2019 to January 2020. The demographic profile was noted and menstruation history and hygiene practices during menstruation cycle were carefully elicited with the help of semi-structured questionnaire. Post interview the adolescent girls were counselled regarding proper menstruation hygiene practices and nutrition.
Result: The mean age at menarche in the study subjects was 13.4 + 0.92 years. The commonest symptoms observed was abdominal pain/cramps during menstruation cycle in 93.1% adolescent girls. Majority of girls had intermenstrual interval of 21-35 days, moderate flow which lasted for 3-5 days. The commonest menstrual disorder was dysmenorrhoea in 3/4th girls. Use of sterile sanitary pads was seen in 83.8% girls, which shows that sanitary pads are accessible and affordable.
Conclusion: Dysmenorrhoea was the commonest cause of morbidity among adolescent girls, which may affect their mental and social wellbeing. This may also result in significant school absenteeism. Though, use of sterile sanitary pads was seen in majority of the girls, hygiene practices may be further improved with the engagement of health care professionals, teachers, and community groups.