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A community based cross-sectional study on perception regarding reproductive health among adolescent girls in an urban slum area of South India

Keerti S Jogdand Pravin N Yerpude

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Introduction: In the life, adolescence is a period of the transition from being a dependent child to becoming an independently functioning adult. Normally adolescent period was considered as healthiest period, so it may not get enough attention. But with high prevalence of HIV/AIDS among the young people, adolescent health is gaining its importance. Due to high risk taking behavior and lack of knowledge, adolescents are more susceptible for reproductive ill health. Another reproductive health problem faced by adolescents due to unprotected sexual behaviour and lack of knowledge on contraception is ‘unwanted pregnancy’.  

Materials and methods: A cross sectional, community based, study was conducted in one of the urban slum area of South India. From each house in this area, adolescent girls (10-19) were included in the study. So total number of adolescent girls included in the study were 257.

A one to one interview was conducted, and questions on knowledge, attitude and behaviour on Reproductive Health issues were asked. The primary tool of data collection was a predesigned and pretested questionnaire.

Results: Majority of respondents (40.08%) were in the age group of 13-15   years, followed by 16-19 years (32.30%). Majority of them 40.08% belonged to Class III socioeconomic status as per B.G Prasad’s Classification. Majority 62.65% of the girls had higher secondary school education.Majority of the respondents (68.8%) had attained menarche by the age of 13 years. Only 26.46% of the girls answered correctly about the organ responsible for menstruation. Majority (82.10%) of girls had knowledge about the duration of flow and 59.92% knew about duration of cycle.

Conclusion: The inadequacy of knowledge along with misinformation about the various reproductive health issues along with unfavorable attitudes and practices are hurdles in the healthy development of these adolescent girls. Equipping them with appropriate and adequate information on the various reproductive health issues will be beneficial for the generations to come. Adolescents should be given family life education which should be comprehensive in nature.


Adolescence girls, reproductive health,urban slum

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