Menstrual hygiene practices among female adolescents seen in general outpatient clinic
Introduction: Menstruation is a normal physiologic phenomenon which is indicative that a woman is ready for her reproductive roles. Adolescents are often uninformed and inexperienced on most health‑related issues including menstruation. This study therefore hopes to determine the common menstrual hygiene practices among adolescent females.
Materials and Methods: This was a cross‑sectional study involving women aged 14–18 years. A pretested questionnaire was administered by trained female clinical assistants to those who cannot read and write; however, literate respondents self‑administered the questionnaires.
Results: Three hundred and ninety‑six (95.4%) of the respondents were aware of menstruation before their first period. Four hundred and two (96.9%) respondents believed menstruation was caused by the age of maturity, while 13 (3.1%) reported failure of fertilization of the ovum resulted in menstruation. Close relations were common source of information on menstruation; however, the age of menarche ranged from 9 to 18 years, with a mean age of 13.4 ± 1.5 years. Sixty‑one (14.7%) respondents used clean cloth for menses, 271 (65.3%) used sanitary pad, while 83 (20.0%) used tampon. However, 55 (13.3%) reused their sanitary wares. Most respondents changed their sanitary wares twice in a day; they mostly bath twice in a day even during their periods.
Conclusion: Most respondents were aware of menstruation before their menarche and their close relatives were their common source of information on menstruation, 13 years was the mean age of menarche; most respondents used sanitary pads; however, 20% of them still used tampons.
Keywords: Female adolescents; menstrual hygiene; menstruation; sanitary wares
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