In South Asia, many girls and women experience period poverty which is defined to be a lack of access to or affordability of menstrual hygiene products, washing facilities, and disposal methods. There is also a lack of education and conversation that surrounds menstruation, leading to there being stigma and taboo. With an absence of Wash, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WASH) facilities, women and girls in South Asia are unable to change their pads safely and privately, have access to clean water, and successfully manage their hygiene and health. Apart from the lack of education and WASH facilities, there are also unfair behavioral expectations and practices that are expected from menstruating women. These include the inability of women to eat certain foods, cook, live in the house, touch household members, and participate in religious activities. Because there is a gap in literature when it comes to exploring the emotional aspect of menstruating, this rapid systematic review aims to explore the emotional well-being of menstruating women in South Asia. After a de-duplication process and an abstract screening, 6 out of the 1,041 articles retrieved from Scopus and PubMed were included in this study. All the 6 studies discussed the negative emotional well-being of menstruating women as many of these women experienced fear, shame, stress, anxiety, and frustration when they were on their period. Additionally, all 6 articles talked about the unfair behavioral expectations that were implemented, such as not being able to go to school, eat certain foods, and take part in religious actives. Future implications would include increasing the education that surrounds menstruation and the decreasing stigma and taboo.
Patel, Payal, "The Emotional Well-Being of Menstruating Women in South Asia: A Rapid Systematic Review" (2022). Master of Public Health Capstone Presentations. Presentation 470.
Poster attached as supplemental file below