Menstruation is a naturally occurring physiological phenomenon in adolescent girls and pre-menopausal women . Menstrual Hygiene Management (MHM) is defined as ‘Women and adolescent girls using a clean menstrual management material to absorb or collect blood that can be changed in privacy as often as necessary for the duration of the menstruation period, using soap and water for washing the body as required, and having access to facilities to dispose of used menstrual management materials’. Menstruation necessitates the availability of material resources to absorb or collect menstrual blood, facilitate personal hygiene and dispose of waste, ideally with adequate privacy . Women and girls in low income settings have low awareness on hygienic practices and lack culturally appropriate materials for menstrual hygiene management (MHM) practices Menstruation and associated activities are surrounded by silence, shame and social taboos that are further manifested in social practices that restrict mobility, freedom and access to normal activities in developing countries . For instance, drinking milk, preparing food, interacting with people or refraining from performing religious rituals are restrictions found in many cultures
The materials used as adsorbents during menstruation in low income countries including , vary from reusable towels (cloth torn from dresses of women and cotton fabric) to commercially available disposable sanitary pads Practical, sustainable and culturally acceptable methods are recommended for addressing the menstrual hygiene needs of women in low income countries Types of adsorbents used, hygienic practices and cultural restrictions during menstruation are associated with negative clinical and psychosocial outcomes including reproductive and urinary tract infections, anemia, school absenteeism, and social isolation .Young adolescent girls tend to be less prepared for MHM and suffer from anxiety, apprehensions, fear and shame during their menses . In addition, pre-existing social taboos and cultural restraints during menstruation mean that managing menstruation is a greater challenge during disasters . Further, there is limited access to reproductive health services and safe menstrual hygiene materials during disasters . Menstrual hygiene needs are not only specific and pressing to women and girls in reproductive age but also require access to same management of the menstrual period, a basic reproductive health right. In emergencies, the usual lifestyles of affected individuals change and they are confronted with additional stress that could worsen their physical and psychological well-being. Provision of fundamental human requirements such as shelter, food, clean water and medicines is prioritised, however other needs such as safe menstrual hygiene management that can have profound psychosocial impact if unmet are often neglected .
Menstrual hygiene is a need of menstruating women & girls.