Background- Menstruation is the main pubertal change that occurs in adolescent girls and is the process of growth & maturation and prepare them for motherhood It is surrounded by various customs, myths and taboos. For proper menstrual hygiene, requires access to appropriate materials and facilities, without which can lead to poor health consequences.
Objectives- To assess menstrual hygiene practices among adolescent girls in a rural area of Kanyakumari District and to find out the factors related to menstrual hygiene practices.
Methodology-Community based cross sectional study was conducted during January 2016 – June 2017 among 250 adolescent girls, 10-19 years of age group residing in rural area of Kanyakumari district. Adolescent girls were interviewed by a pretested interview schedule to assess their menstrual hygiene practices.
Results-Mean age of the study participants is 14.23 years majority of the study participants are currently school going (94.8%) and all the participants’ mothers are literate. Only 32% of the adolescent girls have good menstrual hygiene practice. Among 250 adolescent girls, 36.8% have experienced one or more genito urinary symptoms in the past six months. Among these, 34 (36%) girls experienced these symptoms during last menses. The most common symptom in the past six months was itching (19.6%) followed by 12.4% (31) experienced burning urination and 4.8% (12) experienced foul smelling discharge . Education of mother, religion, socio economic status, head of the family, source of information, presence of toilet with water supply at home and genito urinary symptoms are associated with good menstrual hygiene practices.
Conclusion- Only one third of the adolescent girls had good menstrual hygiene practices.
Keywords: Menstrual hygiene, Adolescent girls, Menstruation.