Avni, an India-based menstrual hygiene startup has today revealed the findings from a menstrual awareness survey conducted to understand real-life facts related to women and menstrual hygiene practices in India.
The survey was conducted with a sample of 1,000 individuals across India.
According to the new report over 33 % of women said that they did not know about periods before experiencing their first menstruation. While 35 % of women had little idea about the phenomenon. Whereas, over 47.4% of women experienced severe abdominal pain on their first menstruation.
Dealing with menstruation for the first time, and having no knowledge highlights the wide persistent gap in the society, the report stated, “Over 88 % of women said that their mother was the first person they reached out to discuss their first period. While 8.2% of women sought help from their friend first.”
“28% of women said they were put in isolation during their periods. The survey revealed that 32.6% of women have at some point in their life deliberately made excuses to avoid admitting that they are menstruating,” the report added.
Speaking on the report Sujata Pawar- Co-Founder, Avni- Conscious menstrual said, “The survey has brought a lot of existing concerns of the society related to menstruation. We are in 2022 and women have still advised isolation instead of care during their periods. More importantly, the majority of the women were left hung out to dry when they experienced their first menstruation when they had no clue about what their body was going through. Needless to say, they were still at their tender age. Proper knowledge would have helped them prepare mentally and physically. The situation demands an accelerated approach towards the wider spread of information and social evolution.”
Further highlighting the physical challenges that women face beyond cramps during periods the report stated, “Around 50% of the women said they face skin challenges including rashes, and irritation using the regular chemical-based sanitary pads. While 49.9 % of women tried over 3 different sanitary pad brands before settling for their current.”
Following the foray of new-age organic healthcare products, the survey brought to light the scenario wherein women have tried eco-friendly menstrual products- over 58.9 % of women tried organic cotton pads, over 19.2 % of women tried menstrual cups, 16.3 % of women respondents said that they tried antimicrobial reusable cloth-based pads. 45.8 % of the respondents expressed interest in permanently switching to eco-friendly menstrual products.