Psychology of Beliefs and Practices Relating to Menstrual Hygiene of Adolescent Girls in Rural, Islamabad, Pakistan

Prof. Dr Shamim Mumtaz, Dr. Sadaf Konain Ansari


Objective: It was observed in rural areas that, myth, mystery and superstition have long enveloped the facts about menstruation especially among adolescent girls. In girls, menarche starts during 10 to 19 years. Girls feel shy to discuss this topic openly. It was therefore considered relevant to assess the psychology of beliefs and practices relating to menstrual hygiene of adolescent girls aged 11-16 years old in regard to various aspects of menstruation, in rural area of Pakistan.

Design: The study applied was a descriptive survey.

Place and Duration of study: This study was carried out in BharaKahu Islamabad from Oct. 2014 to Nov. 2014.

Patients and Methods: A total of 416 post-menarche adolescent girl students aged 11–16 years, in grade 6–10, living with their parents were selected by random sampling and self-completed questionnaires. Collected data was analysed by using descriptive statistics, SPSS V.18.

Results: Of 416 participants, 63.0% respondents were 11– 14 years old. 68.5% lived in a kacha house. 56.8% did not follow all menstrual hygiene practices recommended, they adopted menstrual practices based on the dominant sociocultural beliefs (51.0%) found in the BharaKahu society. A significant association (p=0.001) was found between describe menstrual hygiene practices based on sociocultural beliefs. Cronbach’s α for CDI and PSS was 0.96 and 0.88 respectively.

Conclusion: Finding indicates that menstrual hygiene psychology and taboos are the issues. Factors most influential are sociocultural belief and both parents’ education levels.

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