Dirty public toilets, disturbed sleep and cramps are some of the major hygiene concerns for women during menstruation, according to a survey.
The survey, which saw the participation of nearly 6,000 women in the age group 18 to 35 years from more than 35 cities found that 53.2 per cent of participants said that they do not sleep well during the first two days of their periods.
Also, 67.5 per cent of the participants worry about the risk of spotting while sleeping during their periods, found the Menstrual Hygiene Survey conducted by feminine hygiene brand, everteen, ahead of the Menstrual Hygiene Day, which was observed on May 28.
It has been found that 57.3 per cent of women experienced moderate to severe menstrual cramps, while 37.2 per cent had mild or occasional menstrual pain. The survey report stated that 62.2 per cent of women admitted that they have never or only rarely changed a sanitary pad at a public toilet in an office, mall or cinema hall.
An even higher 74.6 per cent of women get uncomfortable if they need to change their sanitary pad at a public toilet and 88.3 per cent believe that dirty toilets can be a source of the persistent urinary tract infection, it stated.
The survey also reveals some startling facts about the average onset age and duration of periods.
While 79.3 per cent of the respondents said they were 12 years or more when they experienced their first period, 63.1 per cent said of the girls they knew who have just started their periods, 37.5 per cent were aged 11 years or less.
The survey shows that girls are now having their first period at the tender age of just 8 (3.2 per cent) or 9 years (4.8 per cent).
Chirag Pan, CEO of PAN Healthcare, said this year’s everteen survey provides clear action items for the research community, industry and policymakers. “We would love to see a greater focus in macro-economic policies to set up hygiene benchmarks and audits of public toilets so that women can use them to change sanitary pads without fear of infection. For the industry, there is scope to explore how menstruation can be made easier for women with better and more innovative products.”
Hariom Tyagi, CEO of Wet and Dry Personal Care, the maker of everteen, “Over the years, our surveys have shown that awareness about menstruation is increasing and taboos being broken… Indian women are coming out of traditional cocoons and accepting a complete feminine hygiene regime, but we have a long way to go.”