41.4% Women In India Had Irregular Gap In Menstrual Periods
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India’s feminine hygiene brand, Everteen, released the findings of its 6th annual Menstrual Hygiene Survey on the eve of the Menstrual Hygiene Day 2021 which is observed globally on 28 May. Nearly 5000 women in the age group of 18 to 35 years from Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, and Kolkata participated in the survey.

The survey revealed that more than 41% women experienced an unusually irregular gap in their menstrual periods. This is startling, because only 13.7% women who participated in the survey said they were infected with Covid-19. As many as 64.5% women said that the current Covid times had impacted their stress and anxiety levels, which could be a possible reason for irregularity in the gap between two menstrual periods in so many women.

Out of all the women who participated in the survey, 34.2%, or more than one-third, said they even noticed a change in intensity of menstrual flow, while 20% women said they missed their menstrual period at least once during this Covid phase. 29.2% women respondents claimed that they had more painful periods during Covid time than normal, while 28.8% women said that they noticed unusual amount of clots in blood during menstrual period.

A disturbing finding was that 26.6% women did nothing about irregularity in their menstrual cycle dates, while another 35.4% women only discussed it with their mother or friends. Just 38% women chose to consult a doctor to evaluate why their menstrual cycle date was irregular. Similarly, 58.1% women said they had suffered from white discharge at some point in their menstruating life, but only 25.5% women consulted a doctor.

38.1% women said that when they got their first menstrual period, they did not know what it exactly was, and in fact, 36% women thought that it was some injury or disease! 79.8% women still preferred to discuss their first period with their mother. These findings again highlight a need to create a more holistic IEC model to shift the society’s perceptions on menstruation.

Period cramps, cloth staining and changing pads emerged as the top three concerns for women at 35.3%, 30.8% and 30.1% respectively. Over 80% women admitted they had experienced staining during their periods. More than two-thirds of all women, 67.7% to be exact, felt that girls avoid participating in sports or outdoor activities during their periods. These findings highlight a need for awareness and adoption of modern menstrual hygiene methods (MHM) such as menstrual cups in India.

Says Hariom Tyagi, CEO of Wet and Dry Personal Care, the maker of Everteen, and a PAN Heath initiative, “This year’s everteen Menstrual Hygiene Survey also has some very encouraging findings. For example, as many as 56.2% women said that they buy sanitary products freely from a chemist or a shop, which shows that women are shedding their inhibitions and guilt on the subject. It is also reassuring to note that one in four women feel free to roam out of home as usual even during periods.”

Among other findings, everteen Menstrual Hygiene Survey 2021 showed that 90.9% women still prefer to use sanitary napkins in India, while 7.3% women have switched to menstrual cups followed by 1% tampon users.