Menarche, menstrual problems and reproductive tract infections among adolescents in rural and urban areas of Northern Karnataka in India

Thankaperumal Rajaretnam, Tata Institute of Social Sciences
Jyoti S. Hallad, Population Research Centre, Dharwad, India

A study to address the reproductive health needs of adolescent boys and girls of age 13-19 was undertaken in 2006 in rural and urban areas of Northern Karnataka. Altogether 372 adolescent boys and 422 girls were interviewed and 10 FGDs were conducted. Most of the girls and majority of boys were aware of menstruation in girls and its periodicity, but very few girls most boys were aware of spermarche in boys. Most girls were aware of menarche and menstruation only after they actually experienced it. The mean age at menarche was 13.5 years and mean age at spermarche was 17 years. Most girls reported change in dress, increase in household activities, restriction of movement and reduction in outside labour after menarche. Most girls were using only cloth to absorb menstrual bleeding. Most girls in rural areas refrained from touching children during menstruation. Few girls experienced RTI symptoms.

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Presented in Poster Session 2