Hygienic menstrual practices among tribal adolescents in India
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International Institute for Population Sciences, India
Publication date: 2023-04-26
Popul. Med. 2023;5(Supplement):A1105
Menstruation is a natural biological process in which blood and other related materials are carried out of the uterus through the vagina. Despite being a normal process, it is seen as dirty and many taboos, misbeliefs, and misconceptions are related to it, which prevents many menstruators across the world from handling it in a healthy, hygienic, and respectful manner. Girls and women, especially in the tribal setting, have restricted access to healthcare facilities despite shifting social and cultural norms and practices. Teenagers, especially young females, are more likely to retain inaccurate beliefs and conceptions due to inadequate, incorrect, and unclear information.

The present study is based on secondary data, i.e., National Family Health Survey-5 (NFHS-5), and used suitable statistical tools to explore hygienic menstrual practices among tribal adolescents in India. The total sample of scheduled tribal women aged 15-19 in NFHS-5 is 22,563.

The prevalence of hygienic menstrual practices among adolescents aged 15-19 years is 77.55% overall, while among the tribal adolescents, it is approx. 67%. In most states and union territories, the prevalence of hygienic menstrual practices among tribal adolescents is less than that of overall adolescents The usage of the hygienic method depends on the place of residence, wealth status, educational status, and toilet facility.

Interventions should focus on the states where the prevalence of using hygienic methods is less. Government should focus on reaching the community as lack of accessibility, and affordability is the major concern among the tribal communities. Enhancing better menstrual practices in the present helps to enhance womens reproductive health in the future.