The state of adolescent menstrual health in low- and middle-income countries and suggestions for future action and research

Plesons, Marina; Patkar, Archana; Babb, Jenelle; Balapitiya, Asanthi; Carson, Flo; Caruso, Bethany A.; Franco, Margarita; Hansen, Maja M.; Haver, Jacquelyn; Jahangir, Andisheh; Kabiru, Caroline W.; Kisangala, Ephraim; Phillips-Howard, Penelope; Sharma, Aditi; Sommer, Marni; Chandra-Mouli, Venkatraman

In recognition of the opportunity created by the increasing attention to menstrual health at global, regional, and national levels, the World Health Organization’s Department of Sexual and Reproductive Health and Research and the UNDP-UNFPA-UNICEF-WHO-World Bank Special Programme of Research, Development and Research Training in Human Reproduction convened a global research collaborative meeting on menstrual health in adolescents in August 2018. Experts considered nine domains of menstrual health (awareness and understanding; stigma, norms, and socio-cultural practices; menstrual products; water and sanitation; disposal; empathy and support; clinical care; integration with other programmes; and financing) and answered the following five questions: (1) What is the current situation? (2) What are the factors contributing to this situation? (3) What should the status of this domain of adolescent menstrual health be in 10 years? (4) What actions are needed to achieve these goals? (5) What research is needed to achieve these goals? This commentary summarizes the consensus reached in relation to these questions during the expert consultation. In doing so, it describes the state of adolescent menstrual health in low- and middle-income countries and sets out suggestions for action and research that could contribute to meeting the holistic menstrual health needs of adolescent girls and others who menstruate worldwide.

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Reproductive Health

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September 22, 2023


Menstruation, Menstrual health, Menstrual hygiene, Menstrual hygiene management, Adolescent health, Adolescent sexual and reproductive health