A community-based study of menstrual beliefs in Tigray, Ethiopia

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Objective To investigate knowledge and beliefs about menstruation in the Tigray Region of Ethiopia. Methods Between May 5 and May 25, 2015, a cross-sectional survey using semi-structured questionnaires was undertaken in 10 subdistricts (5 urban, 5 rural) in the Tigray Region of northern Ethiopia by trained data collectors (native speakers of the local languages). Individuals in randomly selected households who were aged 10 years or older and who were willing to participate were asked various questions regarding the nature and management of menstruation. Interviews were recorded, and handwritten field notes were taken during the interview process. Data were compiled, transcribed, translated into English, categorized, and analyzed thematically. Results Overall, 428 household members (349 female, 79 male) were interviewed. Reproductive anatomy and biology of menstrual regulation were poorly understood by the respondents. The belief that menstruating girls should not attend school was voiced by 17 (21.5%) male and 37 (10.6%) female respondents. Satisfactory management of menstrual hygiene was acknowledged to be a problem, and many respondents complained about the high cost of commercially produced, disposable menstrual pads. Conclusion Improved education on menstruation and better access to low-cost, reusable menstrual hygiene supplies would be worthwhile in the Tigray Region of Ethiopia.




Wall, L. L., Belay, S., Bayray, A., Salih, S., & Gabrehiwot, M. (2016). A community-based study of menstrual beliefs in Tigray, Ethiopia. International Journal of Gynecology and Obstetrics, 135(3), 310–313. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijgo.2016.05.015

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