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Research Paper | Social Science | India | Volume 5 Issue 12, December 2016
Menstrual Hygiene and Emotions attached to Menstruation among Adolescent Girls: A Cross-Sectional Study among Irula Tribe (Tamil Nadu)
Dr. Arun Kumar.S | Sudha.M 
Abstract: Menstrual hygiene is one of the vital components of reproductive health but it is insufficiently addressed. Especially in developing country like India, which is taking immense measures to bring in decline in maternal mortality rate and infant mortality rate, it is essential to be sensitive to these issues. Adolescent girls from the tribal community of India are undisputedly considered as the weakest sections of the population in view of socio cultural factors, economic, educational status, access to health care facilitates and lack of adequative information on health. There are 23, 116 Irula households in Tamil Nadu (Census, 2011). Irulas are mainly concentrated in north-eastern part of Tamil Nadu. Objective- A descriptive, cross-sectional community based study was conducted among 140 adolescent girls situated in Chengalpattu, Kanchipuram, Thiruvallur and Villupuram. The present study was designed to assess the knowledge, beliefs and source of information regarding menstruation, identify the status of menstrual hygiene and emotions attached to menstruation. Methods- Consecutive sampling technique and mixed method was used to collect data. In the quantitative method, semi structured interview schedule was administrated to 140 adolescent females and two focus group discussion was used to collect data in the qualitative part. Findings- Respondents were found to be in the age group between 13 yrs-18 yrs and the mean age was 15yrs. Two third (67 %) of the respondents were aware of menstruation prior to their own experience. The awareness was mainly from their friends. All the respondents were using only cotton clothes as absorbents. Majority (89 %) of them were aware that menstruation was physiological. Nearly two fifth (58 %) of the respondents failed to attend school during menstruation time. Lack of toilet facilities, water facility, distance between school and home were some of the major factors which prevented the respondents from attending school. Majority (91 %) of the respondents considered attaining of puberty as curse as some of them were stopped from going to school and they are seen eligible for marriage. Food restrictions were common. Egg, chicken, mutton, sugar were considered to increase bleeding. Emotions like humiliation, anger, rejection were associated with menstruation. Conclusion- For women to enjoy good reproduction health it is very essential to concentrate the menstrual hygiene of the adolescent girls. During this period both the physical and mental health of the girls needs to be addressed. This would pave path to better reproductive health in women.
Keywords: menstrual hygiene, irulas, tribe, India
Edition: Volume 5 Issue 12, December 2016,
Pages: 25 - 27
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