ISSN: 2319-5835 

Let’s talk about menstruation: A study on women’s perception through their knowledge, attitudes and experiences

Apoorva Sharma¹, Akanksha Yadav², Chakraverti Mahajan³

¹MPhil, Department of Anthropology, University of Delhi
²MSc., Department of Anthropology, University of Delhi
³Assistant Professor, PhD, Department of Anthropology, University of Delhi, Delhi-07, India.

Manuscript Timeline
Submitted: November 9, 2021
Accepted: January 20, 2022
Published: March 16, 2022

Frontier Anthropology, 2022, 11: 1-11
©Anthropological Society of Manipur

                                                               

Original Article

KEYWORDS Menstrual health, menarche, menstrual knowledge, menstrual perception, menstrual experience.

ABSTRACT
Objective: Menarche marks the beginning of the biological transition to puberty. Adolescent girls are often hesitant and embarrassed to discuss menstruation and menstrual problems with their parents, friends, and teachers, which may have turned into a negative impact on their health. Girls who are unaware of menstruation are more likely to have gynecologic issues. As a result, it is critical to assess girls’ knowledge, attitude, practice, and perceptions about menstruation, which will aid in the planning and implementation of appropriate educational programs or interventions to raise awareness.
Material and Methods: The present research was conducted to assess the perception, knowledge and experience of menarche of college-going females in the Delhi region and current menstrual attitude. The qualitative study was undertaken on thirty college going females. The criteria for sample selection were females of the age group between 21-24 years old and who belonged to Rajiv Gandhi Hostel for Girls located at Mukherjee Nagar, Delhi. The method used for sample selection was convenient sampling. The method used for data collection was in-depth interviews. Data analysis was done through thematic analysis.
Results: The thematic analysis revealed that girls described their experience of menarche in varied ways. The event was unexpected and left them surprised and embarrassed. The supportive attitude of mothers played a positive role in the understanding of menarche. In absence of any support from mothers, girls described their experience in terms of distressing. The awareness regarding the use of sanitary pads and tampons was limited in the beginning. The acceptance of adult personality came shortly after menarche. Gendered behavior was imposed more strictly on most the girls.
Conclusion: This study shows that menarche is an experience unique to each girl. They described menarche memories vividly; as most girls had no prior knowledge of the phenomenon. However, with time they gained knowledge regarding their physiology and management of mensuration. The current attitude towards menstruation has improved in positive terms.

Corresponding Author: Chakraverti Mahajan, Assistant Professor, Department of Anthropology, University of Delhi, Delhi-110007, India. Email: chakravertimahajan@gmail.com

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