We are embarking on a crucial study aimed at transforming the lives of young girls and women in urban India. By delving into the hygiene practices, mental impact, and perceptions surrounding menstruation, we seek to unlock the key to their empowerment. The insights gathered from this study will be a catalyst for change, paving the way for improvements and progress. Our goal is to empower young girls and women across the nation, granting them the tools to build a brighter future through education and well-being.
This study aims to shine a spotlight on the intricate and sensitive topic of menstruation in India. By shedding light on women’s current management choices and understanding the physical and mental health impacts they face, we will generate valuable insights that can drive positive change. Together, let’s create heightened awareness and gather vital information that will revolutionize the way we perceive and address menstruation in India. Join us on this transformative journey and make a lasting impact on the lives of countless young girls and women.
We will collect questionnaires every month for a year during this study.
The Eligibility criteria or specific requirements of the study are:
Menstruation is the cyclic bleeding process that occurs from the uterus between menarche (the beginning of menstruation) and menopause (the end of menstruation) . It is a significant factor in overall women’s health, especially as it is a transition into womanhood and fertility.
Unfortunately, in certain parts of the world, including India, menstruation is still associated with negative connotations. It is surrounded by social and religious taboos, leading to misconceptions and discrimination [3,4]. Girls often face restrictions during menstruation, such as being prevented from attending school or work, visiting religious places, or engaging in daily activities like washing hair or clothes [3,4].
The lack of open discussions and information about menstruation contributes to misunderstandings and misinformation, which can result in physical, mental, and emotional health consequences. Common complications during menstruation including premenstrual syndrome (PMS), dysmenorrhea, and various other discomforts, can be scary if experienced first time and without information or help. Menstruation also affects educational and financial status, with girls and women experiencing challenges in attending school or work, leading to increased vulnerability [6,7].
Addressing menstrual health and hygiene is a public health concern, and efforts have been made to improve the situation, such as the Menstrual Hygiene Scheme and the Swachh Bharat Mission [8,9]. However, recent studies highlight that many Indian girls and women still lack access to appropriate menstrual products due to financial constraints, limited knowledge, and inadequate availability . The COVID-19 pandemic has further exacerbated the challenges, particularly for marginalized women .
Poor hygiene practices during menstruation increase the risk of infections and stigmatization . It can also have long-term implications for reproductive and gynecological health, including increased susceptibility to infections and complications such as infertility and pre-term birth [12,13,14,15]. It is crucial to educate both women and men about menstruation to foster understanding, support, and alleviate societal pressures [4,16].
Proper management and hygiene during menstruation are critical topics that deserve global attention. Through this study, we aim to gather important data on menstrual hygiene management, mental impact, and perceptions among Indian adolescent girls in urban environments. This research will provide essential insights to improve the situation and education of young girls and women across India.
1. Singh, A., Chakrabarty, M., Singh, S. et al. Menstrual hygiene practices among adolescent women in rural India: a cross-sectional study. BMC Public Health 22, 2126 (2022). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12889-022-14622-7
2. Critchley, H. O., Babayev, E., Bulun, S. E., Clark, S., Garcia-Grau, I., Gregersen, P. K., … & Griffith, L. G. (2020). Menstruation: science and society. American journal of obstetrics and gynecology, 223(5), 624-664.
3. Singh, A., Chakrabarty, M., Chowdhury, S., & Singh, S. (2022). Exclusive use of hygienic menstrual absorbents among rural adolescent women in India: A geospatial analysis. Clinical Epidemiology and Global Health, 17, 101116.
4. Garg, S., & Anand, T. (2015). Menstruation related myths in India: strategies for combating it. Journal of family medicine and primary care, 4(2), 184–186. https://doi.org/10.4103/2249-4863.154627
5. McKenna, K. A., & Fogleman, C. D. (2021). Dysmenorrhea. American Family Physician, 104(2), 164-170.
6. Sommer, M., Caruso, B.A., Torondel, B. et al. Menstrual hygiene management in schools: midway progress update on the “MHM in Ten” 2014–2024 global agenda. Health Res Policy Sys 19, 1 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12961-020-00669-8
7. Prakash, R., Beattie, T., Javalkar, P., Bhattacharjee, P., Ramanaik, S., Thalinja, R., … & Isac, S. (2017). Correlates of school dropout and absenteeism among adolescent girls from marginalized community in north Karnataka, south India. Journal of adolescence, 61, 64-76.
8. Menstrual Hygiene Scheme (MHS), available from: https://nhm.gov.in/index1.php?lang=1&level=3&sublinkid=1021&lid=391,
accessed on : 06/04/2023
9. A history of UNICEF work on water, sanitation and hygiene in India, available from: https://www.unicef.org/india/stories/history-unicef-work-water-sanitation-and-hygiene-india, accessed on : 11/04/2023
10. Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH), available from: https://www.unicef.org/wash, accessed on : 11/04/2023
11. Singh A, Chakrabarty M. 2023. Spatial heterogeneity in the exclusive use of hygienic materials during menstruation among women in urban India. PeerJ 11:e15026 https://doi.org/10.7717/peerj.15026
12. Wilson, L. C., Rademacher, K. H., Rosenbaum, J., Callahan, R. L., Nanda, G., Fry, S., & Mackenzie, A. C. (2021). Seeking synergies: understanding the evidence that links menstrual health and sexual and reproductive health and rights. Sexual and Reproductive Health Matters, 29(1), 44-56.
13. Torondel, B., Sinha, S., Mohanty, J. R., Swain, T., Sahoo, P., Panda, B., … & Das, P. (2018). Association between unhygienic menstrual management practices and prevalence of lower reproductive tract infections: a hospital-based cross-sectional study in Odisha, India. BMC infectious diseases, 18, 1-12.
14. Peebles, K., Velloza, J., Balkus, J. E., McClelland, R. S., & Barnabas, R. V. (2019). High global burden and costs of bacterial vaginosis: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Sexually transmitted diseases, 46(5), 304-311.
15. Coudray, M. S., & Madhivanan, P. (2020). Bacterial vaginosis-A brief synopsis of the literature. European journal of obstetrics, gynecology, and reproductive biology, 245, 143–148. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ejogrb.2019.12.035
16. Babbar, K., Martin, J., Ruiz, J., Parray, A. A., & Sommer, M. (2022). Menstrual health is a public health and human rights issue. The Lancet Public Health, 7(1), e10-e11.
Dr. Smita Karpate
Project Coordinator and
Data Collector and Administrator
Dr. Christina Pranger
Content Writer, Data Analyst and Study Design