Mapping the knowledge and understanding of menarche, menstrual hygiene and menstrual health among adolescent girls in low- and middle-income countries

by Venkatraman Chandra-Mouli and Sheila Vipul Patel
Reproductive Health, 2017 14:30 – Published: 1 March 2017

16 pp. 573 kB

The key findings of this review were that substantial numbers of girls in many countries have knowledge gaps and misconceptions about menstruation. This leaves them unprepared when they reach menarche that can lead to fear and anxiety. Girls commonly experience a variety of symptoms during menstruation (e.g., severe pain, headaches, fatigue). These symptoms combined with taboos result in their not being able to participate in household, school, social, and religious activities. Girls in poor urban and rural communities face barriers to obtaining and using sanitary pads. Instead, they use materials made at home with scraps of old cloth, cotton, paper, etc. Lack of privacy, access to clean water and functional toilets make it harder for them to manage their periods.

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