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Menstrual Needs and Associations with Sexual and Reproductive Risks in Rural Kenyan Females: A Cross-Sectional Behavioral Survey Linked with HIV Prevalence

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Phillips-Howard, Penelope ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-1018-116X, Otieno, George, Burmen, Barbara, Otieno, Frederick, Odongo, Frederick, Odour, Clifford, Nyothach, Elizabeth, Amek, Nyanguara, Zielinski-Gutierrez, Emily, Odhiambo, Frank, Zeh, Clement, Kwaro, Daniel, Mills, Lisa and Laserson, Kayla (2014) 'Menstrual Needs and Associations with Sexual and Reproductive Risks in Rural Kenyan Females: A Cross-Sectional Behavioral Survey Linked with HIV Prevalence'. Journal of Women's Health, Vol 24, Issue 10, pp. 801-811.

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Abstract

Background: Females in low and middle income countries (LMICs) have difficulty coping with menstrual needs, but few studies have examined the social or health implications of these needs.

Methods: Responses from 3418 menstruating females aged 13–29 years were extracted from an HIV and behavioral risks cross-sectional survey conducted in rural western Kenya. We examined sanitary products used, provision of products from sexual partners or from transactional sex, and demographic and sexual exposures.

Results: Overall, 75% of females reported using commercial pads and 25% used traditional materials such as cloth or items like paper or tissue, with 10% of girls <15 years old depending on makeshift items. Two-thirds of females with no education relied on traditional items. Having attended secondary school increased the odds of using commercial pads among married (adjusted odds ratios [AOR] 4.8, 95% confidence interval [CI] 3.25–7.12) and single females (AOR 2.17, 95% CI 1.04–4.55). Married females had lower odds of pad use if they reported early (<12 years of age) compared with later (≥18 years) sexual debut (64% vs. 78%, AOR 0.45, 95% CI 0.21–0.97). Two-thirds of pad users received them from sexual partners. Receipt was lower among married females if partners were violent (AOR 0.67, 95% CI 0.53–0.85). Receipt among single females was higher if they had two or more sexual partners in the past year (AOR 2.11, 95% CI 1.04–4.29). Prevalence of engaging in sex for money to buy pads was low (1.3%); however, 10% of 15-year-olds reported this, with girls ≤15 having significantly higher odds compared with females over 15 (AOR 2.84, 95% CI 0.89–9.11). The odds of having transactional sex for pads was higher among females having two or more partners in the past 12 months (AOR 4.86, 95% CI 2.06–11.43).

Conclusions: Menstrual needs of impoverished females in rural LMICs settings likely leads to increased physical and sexual harms. Studies are required to strengthen knowledge and to evaluate interventions to reduce these harms.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: WA Public Health > Health Problems of Special Population Groups > WA 309 Women's health
WC Communicable Diseases > Virus Diseases > Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome. HIV Infections > WC 503 Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome. HIV infections
WC Communicable Diseases > Virus Diseases > Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome. HIV Infections > WC 503.6 Prevention and control
WP Gynecology > WP 100 General works
WP Gynecology > WP 20 Research (General)
Faculty: Department: Clinical Sciences & International Health > Clinical Sciences Department
Digital Object Identifer (DOI): https://doi.org/10.1089/jwh.2014.5031
Depositing User: Stacy Murtagh
Date Deposited: 17 Dec 2015 12:53
Last Modified: 06 Feb 2018 13:11
URI: https://archive.lstmed.ac.uk/id/eprint/5457

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