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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2022  |  Volume : 9  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 76-82

How do urban slum women manage excessive vaginal discharge? A community-based cross-sectional study


1 Department of Nursing and Midwifery, Faculty of Allied Health Sciences, University of Sri Jayewardenepura, Nugegoda, Sri Lanka
2 Department of Community Medicine, Faculty of Medical Sciences, University of Sri Jayewardenepura, Nugegoda, Sri Lanka
3 Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Faculty of Medical Sciences, University of Sri Jayewardenepura, Nugegoda, Sri Lanka
4 Department of Biochemistry, Faculty of Medical Sciences, University of Sri Jayewardenepura, Nugegoda, Sri Lanka

Correspondence Address:
Ilankoon Mudiyanselage Prasanthi Sumudrika Ilankoon
Department of Nursing and Midwifery, Faculty of Allied Health Sciences, University of Sri Jayewardenepura, Gangodawila
Sri Lanka
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/cjhr.cjhr_179_20

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Background: Abnormal vaginal discharge (VD), which is a recurring problem for most of the women at reproductive age, is a good predictor for many gynecological morbidities. Many women constantly neglect abnormal VD because of the prevailing “culture of silence.” Women who live in urban slum are vulnerable to many unhealthy practices and have a high prevalence of reproductive tract infection, especially sexually transmitted infections. Hence, this study aimed to describe urban slum women' understanding, attitudes, and related practices for abnormal VD. Materials and Methods: This community-based cross-sectional study was conducted among 550 women living in urban slum in the Colombo Municipal Council area, Colombo District, Sri Lanka, during September 2015–March 2016. A multistage cluster sampling technique was used. A validated, pretested, interviewer-administered questionnaire was used to collect information from females. Data were analyzed using descriptive and relevant inferential statistics (Chi-square test and one-way analysis of variance). Results: The mean age of the women was 32.51 (standard deviation [SD] ±7.94) years. The mean knowledge score was 29.18 (SD ± 8.68). Most of the women (97.1%) had inadequate level of knowledge (<50%). A significant association was observed between the knowledge score levels with the participants' educational level (P = 0.00). Major areas of knowledge deficit include causes for pathological VD and reproductive tract infections. Majority (95.9%) agreed that abnormal VD should be taken seriously but from the women who accepted (78.2%) that VD has ever been a concern to them, only 59% had consulted a general practitioner. There was a significant relationship with having accompanying symptoms such as burning sensation and lower abdominal pain and consulting a general practitioner (P < 0.05). Conclusions: Culture-specific health education intervention measures need to be targeted in order to improve their knowledge, attitudes, and practices toward VD.


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