A new pan-India survey has revealed that 9 out of 10 menstruators do not regularly consult a doctor for menstrual health concerns, with only 11 per cent reporting that they are comfortable speaking to anyone about menstruation.
The Blood Report- a pan India social research study of 3500 menstruators outlines the current state of menstrual health and hygiene in the country. RIO Pads along with Schbang, a creative and technology transformation company, conducted the survey to “deep dive into the ground realities and stigma surrounding menstruation at different life stages of menstruators”.
According to the report, only 44 per cent of menstruaters above the age of 34, stated they feel comfortable while purchasing menstrual hygiene products. This number rose to 74 per cent below the age of 34. Highlighting the taboo around menstruation, the report mentioned that 53 per cent of menstruators are not allowed to participate in religious activities when they are menstruating. However, 76 per cent of menstruators below the age of 34 do not feel impure because of other people’s opinions.
The study surveyed menstruators from 35 states and union territories of India. Menstruators from the age group of under 14 to above 55 years were considered.
Sixty-four per cent of menstruators surveyed experience extreme menstrual cramps during their period.
Commenting on the research findings, Kartik Johari, VP Nobel Hygiene, said, “While the report does bring to light some of the harsher realities of menstruation in India, it also acknowledges the silver lining found in young menstruators. Some of the insights were eye-openers but what emerges clearly is that access, along with education on menstrual hygiene and health, should be sacrosanct. We are taught to question our assumptions to be truly wise; we hope this report makes you question at least one.”
The report also throws a spotlight on the state of access to menstrual facilities, level of comfort, and menstrual literacy that still needs to be pushed.
“Many women, both rural and urban, are unaware of the hazards that can arise from ill menstrual practices. It is important for us to empower women through education which will enable them to make the right choices.” Dr Suhasini Inamdar, consultant – obstetrician and gynecologist, Motherhood Hospital, Bengaluru also added.