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Embrace the Flow: A Monthly Menstrual Study!

Menstruation is a powerful and transformative experience, intricately woven into every aspect of a woman’s life. It symbolizes the transition into womanhood and the awakening of fertility. Yet, in India, this natural process is marred by unfair stigma and discrimination. The consequences are far-reaching, impacting their education, financial stability, and overall well-being. Tragically, many Indian girls and women face additional challenges due to limited access to menstrual products. Financial constraints, lack of knowledge, and limited availability further exacerbate the issue, perpetuating a cycle of inequality.

Empowering Women to Shape Menstrual Health

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.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

The perception of menstruation as impure in India has deep cultural and traditional roots. It is influenced by social norms and taboos that have been passed down through generations.
Limited access to menstrual products in India can lead to significant challenges for girls and women. It can result in missed school or work days, affecting their education and financial stability. Without proper menstrual products, they may face discomfort and embarrassment, leading to reduced opportunities and potential setbacks in their personal and professional lives.
This menstrual study aims to shed light on the sensitive topic of menstruation in India. It seeks to gain valuable insights into women’s current management choices, the physical and mental health impacts they experience, and the educational implications. The goal is to generate knowledge that can drive positive change and improve the lives of girls and women in the country.
By joining the monthly menstrual study, you play a crucial role in advancing research and understanding around menstrual health in India. Your participation allows researchers to gather essential data, enabling them to develop targeted interventions and strategies to address the challenges faced by girls and women. Your contribution is vital in creating a comprehensive understanding of the issue and making a meaningful impact.
We recognize and value your participation in the study. As a token of appreciation for your involvement, we provide well-deserved compensation of INR 500/- Rs. The specific details and nature of the compensation will be communicated to participants at the beginning of the study.
Respecting privacy and maintaining anonymity are of utmost importance in the study. We adhere to strict ethical guidelines and ensure that all data collected is treated confidentially. Personal identifying information will be kept secure and separate from research findings. Participants can rest assured that their privacy will be safeguarded throughout the study process.
To get involved in the monthly menstrual study, simply sign up or express your interest to participate through our designated channels.
The study will be conducted every month for a year.
Yes, we prioritize the confidentiality of participants. All personal information will be handled with strict confidentiality and privacy measures in place.
The study aims to provide valuable insights into women’s current management choices, the physical and mental health impacts they experience, and the broader educational implications of menstruation in India.
By gaining a deeper understanding of menstruation in India, the study will contribute to developing targeted interventions and strategies to address menstrual health challenges faced by girls and women in the country.

Eligibility criteria are specific requirements of the study. Details regarding eligibility are as follows:

Inclusion Criteria

  • 16 – 45 year old
  • Healthy women
  • Availability for 1 year
  • Already started menstruation
Exclusion Criteria
  • No diagnosed hormone-related diseases.
  • No menstruation-related diseases.
  • No current or planned pregnancy for the next year.
  • Last baby delivery was last year.
By participating in the study, you will contribute to important research efforts and gain a better understanding of menstrual health.

Participating Centers

Background

Menstruation is the cyclic bleeding process that occurs from the uterus between menarche (the beginning of menstruation) and menopause (the end of menstruation) [2]. It is a significant factor in overall women’s health, both biologically and as 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. This can result in physical, mental, and emotional health consequences, including complications like premenstrual syndrome (PMS), dysmenorrhea, and various discomforts [5]. 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 [1]. The COVID-19 pandemic has further exacerbated the challenges, particularly for marginalized women [11].

Poor hygiene practices during menstruation increase the risk of infections and stigmatization [4]. 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.

Publications

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.

Main Project Coordinator

  • Dr. Smita Karpate,
    Project Coordinator and
    Principal Investigator

Steering Committee

Rushikesh Darkunde,
Data Collector and Administrator

Dr. Christina Pranger,
Content Writer, Data Analyst and Study Design

Sushant Koli,
Content Writer