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Year : 2022  |  Volume : 11  |  Issue : 6  |  Page : 253-260

Prevalence and risks of reproductive tract infections among women of urban slums in North India: A cross-sectional study

1 Department of Community Medicine, ESIC Medical College and Hospital, Faridabad, Haryana, India
2 ICMR, National Institute of Cancer Prevention and Research Sector 39, Noida, Gautam Budh Nagar, Uttar Pradesh, India

Correspondence Address:
Ekta Gupta
ICMR, National Institute of Cancer Prevention and Research Sector 39, Noida, Gautam Budh Nagar, Uttar Pradesh
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/2305-0500.361221

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Objective: To identify the prevalence, determinants of reproductive tract infection, and healthcare seeking behavior among ever married women of reproductive age residing in an urban slum of Faridabad, Haryana, North India. Methods: This community based cross-sectional study was conducted among ever married women aged between 15 and 49 years insured under employees state insurance scheme and residing in an urban slum of Faridabad. Simple random sampling technique was used to interview 149 eligible women using a predesigned structured questionnaire. Study variables included sociodemographic profile, family planning methods, menstrual absorbent usage, and symptoms of reproductive tract infection. Binary logistic regression was used to investigate the determinants of reproductive tract infection. Results: Of the women, 46.3% had at least one reproductive tract infection or sexually transmitted infection symptom and 28.9% among them sought treatment for the symptom. Vaginal discharge, itching (14.1%) and lower abdominal pain (30.2%) were the major symptoms reported. Non-usage of condoms as contraceptive was significantly associated with a higher rate of symptoms (50.4% vs. 20.0%). Abortion had a significantly high odds of having reproductive tract infection symptoms (aOR 3.71, 95% CI 1.59-8.62; P<0.01). Less frequent change in absorbent during menstruation was also reported to have a higher rate of symptoms. The majority of those who took treatment sought it from government or employees state insurance dispensary. 2% also went to faith healers. Conclusions: Nearly half of the study population have reproductive tract infection symptom. Abortions and non-usage of condom increase the risk of reproductive tract infection. Menstrual hygiene and condom usage are the significant interventions, which may reduce the prevalence of these symptoms.

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