|Women’s Knowledge and Experience of Abnormal Vaginal Discharge Living in Estates in Colombo District, Sri Lanka|
|Mudiyanselage Prasanthi Sumudrika Ilankoon1, Christine Sampatha Evangeline Goonewardena2, Rukshan Cleophas Fernandopulle3, Poruthotage Pradeep Rasika Perera4|
|1Department of Allied Health Sciences, Faculty of Medical Sciences, University of Sri Jayewardenepura, Gangodawila, Nugegoda, Sri Lanka
2Department of Community Medicine, Faculty of Medical Sciences, University of Sri Jayewardenepura, Gangodawila, Nugegoda, Sri Lanka
3Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Faculty of Medical Sciences, University of Sri Jayawardenapura, Gangodawila, Nugegoda, Sri Lanka
4Department of Biochemistry, Faculty of Medical Sciences, University of Sri Jayewardenepura, Gangodawila, Nugegoda, Sri Lanka
IJWHR 2017; 5: 090-096
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Keywords : Health, Knowledge, Vaginal discharge
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Objectives: Awareness about the causes for excessive vaginal discharge is very important to detect pathological entities from physiological forms in early stages to prevent associated complications. This study was aimed to describe knowledge and experience related to vaginal discharge among females aged 18 to 49 years living in estate communities in the Colombo District, Sri Lanka.
Materials and Methods: This was a community based cross-sectional study of 550 females using an interviewer-administered questionnaire. Both descriptive and chi square analysis were used for data analysis.
Results: Nearly 78% of the participants were Tamil (n = 428) and the mean age was 33.8 (SD: ±8.15) years. For the knowledge on vaginal discharge, 98.5% had obtained <50% and only 8 (1.5%) had a score between 50%-75%. A significant difference in knowledge score was observed with respect to the family type (P = 0.031). Main cause for excessive vaginal discharge was high body temperature (64.7%). Fifty-four percent reported that they have experienced excessive vaginal discharge and only 30% had sought medical advice (n = 165). Those who had other accompanying symptoms such as itchiness and scratching, lower abdominal pain, burning sensation and pain during intercourse had sought treatment from a general practitioner (P < 0.05). There was poor treatment seeking behavior among the females aged below 35 years (P = 0.027). Main reason for not seeking medical advice was feeling uncomfortable in discussing the issue with a male doctor (87.8%).
Conclusion: Majority of the study participants had poor knowledge on vaginal discharge displaying the inability to differentiate normal from abnormal. It is recommended to increase awareness to improve health seeking behaviour towards excessive vaginal discharge.
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