Knowledge, attitude, and practice of menstrual hygiene at a medical and health sciences university
The practice of menstrual hygiene (MH) is a public health issue and depends on various factors. Taboos and incorrect MH practices can lead to health hazards. This study aimed to assess the Knowledge, Attitude, and Practice of MH among the female students and faculty of Medical and Health Sciences University in UAE. This cross-sectional survey was done between February and June 2023 by consecutive sampling using a structured questionnaire and open questions. Univariate and multivariate analyses and comparisons were done with a significant p-value <.05. A total of 253 women participated in the study. There was good knowledge and proper practices of MH among participants. There were significantly more irregular (p=.0005), heavy (p=.005), and painful periods in younger females (p=.0278). Younger women also felt that their menses were adversely affecting their day-to-day activities. 89% of women used commercially available disposable pads and least used menstrual cups. Younger women were unaware of menstrual clothing. The attitude towards menses varied, with younger females feeling annoyed (p=.0018), and older females happy but embarrassed (p<.05) at menarche. Having painful menses, and irregular or heavy periods are associated with being annoyed and perception of tolerating menses [p= .0002, .007, .003]. About 1/3rd of participants perceived menstrual blood as unhygienic. The reasons were mostly sociocultural. Younger women were more open about talking regarding menses (p=.00007). There were differences in menstrual history and attitude among older and younger women. The attitudes and beliefs vary among the participants, due to sociocultural factors and age differences.
Keywords: Menstrual hygiene , Knowledge of menstrual hygiene , Attitude about menstrual hygiene , Practice of menstrual hygiene , Menstrual hygiene in health science University
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