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Can the use of menstrual cups improve the schooling experience for young women?

Teresa V. Saliku, African Population and Health Research Center (APHRC)
Benta A. Abuya, African Population and Health Research Center (APHRC)
Jean-Christophe Fotso, African Population and Health Research Center (APHRC)
Nancy Luke, Brown University

Schooling is the norm for many girls in Kenya comprising a large part of their childhood and adolescent life. During this period girls’ bodies grow and develop marking a transition from childhood into adolescence. One of the most common characteristic of this period is the onset of menstruation. During schooling all children inclusive, menstruating girls are expected to enjoy the maximum opportunities through learning experiences, and interaction in both academic and extracurricular activities; yet studies show this is not so for some girls during menstruation. This paper uses qualitative and quantitative data from a menstrual cup trial study to explore the perceived benefits of using menstrual cups. Participants in this study share their experiences during menstruation; and use of menstrual cups which highlight the issues of self esteem and social confidence, better school attendance, increased participation in school activities and improved interpersonal relations with other schoolmates thereby creating a positive environment and schooling experience.

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Presented in Poster Session 2