Menarche and its Correlates: A Reproductive Health Study among Muslim Females of North India
Background: Menarche has been considered as a significant event in the entire process of female puberty and hence plays an important role in the study of growth and development. The age at menarche usually varies from 9-18 years and has been declined over last century. Objective: The objective of the present study was to explore age of menarche and factors affecting it in Muslim females of North India.
Methods: The study is a community based cross-sectional study conducting in different part of National capital. Random sampling was used to collect data from door-to door survey through pre designed and pre-tested questionnaires.
Results: The mean age at menarche in the present study was found to be 13.3 ± 1.59 years. Most of the subjects (51.5%) were unmarried and belonged to nuclear families (63%). 24.5 % of the respondents were educated upto secondary school followed by higher secondary (22.3%), intermediate (14.5%) and primary (12.8%). Education of the respondents, education of their mother, family type, family size, presence of dysmenorrhea and socio-economic status are effecting age at menarche significantly (p<0.001). All the respondents reported avoiding any kind of religious activity during menstrual cycle.
Conclusion: Age at menarche is decreasing over centuries and factors like education, mother’s education, family type and size, menstrual morbidities and socio-economic status are significantly affecting age at menarche. By comparing the lower age at menarche in the studied population to previous analogous studies, it may be stated that nutritional and social well-being has been improved over time.