Menstrual Hygiene Practices and their Association with Urogenital infections among Women in Prayagraj District
M enstrual Hygiene Practices (MHP), vary worldwide depending upon the socio-economic status of individual, Personal likeness, traditional beliefs and ease of access to water and sanitation resources. These practices can be unhygienic and inconvenient for women belonging to a poor section of society. The relationship between Urogenital infections (UGI) (bacterial Vaginosis, BV) and Urinary tract infections (UTI) with MHP is not much explored. A hospital based case control study was performed where 159 women participants were investigated. Vaginal Swabs were collected for the possibility to check for BV infections and Urinary culture were asses to check for UTI status. In the study 71 symptomatic cases were and 88 asymptomatic controls were investigated. The socio-economic status, clinical symptoms, reproductive history and availability of good sanitation and water resource among participants were obtained by standardized questionnaire. Women who used reusable absorbent pads are more prone to develop symptoms associated with UGI (AdjOR = 1.9, 95% ), and diagnosed with either BV or UTI, than those which are using disposable pads and following good MHP. The low education status of the participants and lack of sufficient space and resources to adopt safer MHP practices are major factors which leads to unhygienic menstrual practices which exposes women to UGI. There is a dire need to organize awareness camps which can teach women to adopt safer MHP and also use of low cost MHP-material which can save their exposure to pathogenic infections.