Menstrual Hygiene among the Women Aged 15-24 in India: Prevalence, Practices and Correlates (NFHS 4 & 5)

Priyanka Kumari, Rahul Kumar


The study explores the urban-rural differentials and the variation in the menstrual hygiene practices between the two nationally represented health surveys among women aged 15-24 years in India. Data has been utilized from two rounds of national family health survey, NFHS-4 and NFHS-5. Bivariate and multivariate analyses were carried out with the selected socio-economic and demographic factors and WASH (water and sanitation) access associated with the use of hygienic methods during menstruation. Decomposition analysis was utilised to find the urban- rural gap in the use of hygienic method. The proportion of women who practised the hygienic method to prevent blood stains from appearing has increased from 58 per cent in NFHS-4 to 77 per cent in NFHS-5. The differences between the urban and rural areas have narrowed down. Years of schooling, caste/tribe, wealth quintile, region, marital status, structure of the house and exposure to mass media were statistically significant with the use of hygienic methods. Type of toilet facility and location of source for water are the determinants of maintaining hygiene during menstruation. Educational and economic status and exposure to mass media contribute for the urban-rural gap. Lack of basic infrastructure and water facilities in rural areas hinder the women from menstruating with hygiene and dignity. Designing a system to address and provide access to healthy menstruation habits is crucial.

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