Prevalence of symptoms suggestive of reproductive tract infections/sexually transmitted infections in women in an urban area of Ludhiana
Philip, P.S.; Benjamin, A.I.; Sengupta, P.
Indian Journal of Sexually Transmitted Diseases and Aids 34(2): 83-88
RTIs/STIs present a huge burden of disease, adversely impact reproductive health, and cause suffering for both men and women with consequences more devastating and widespread among women. These infections often go undiagnosed and untreated. 1) To identify the most common reported symptoms of RTI/STI among married women aged 15-44 years in an urban population of Ludhiana. 2) To identify important risk factors associated with symptoms of RTI/STI in the study population. A cross-sectional study was carried out among married women aged 15-44 years in an urban area in Ludhiana, using the WHO-Syndromic Approach for diagnosis and management of RTIs/STIs. The sample consisted of 260 eligible women obtained by systematic random sampling, from amongst those residing in the population served by one MPHW (F). The prevalence of symptoms suggestive of RTIs/STIs in the study population was found to be 17.3%. The most common symptoms reported by the women sufferers were urinary (dysuria 57.8%, frequent urination 53.3%), followed by dyspareunia (26.7%), unusual vaginal discharge (24.4%) and vaginal itching (22.2%). Age 35-44 years, gravidity >4, education high school/above, joint families, history of abortion, and using ordinary cloth during menstruation were found to be significant risk factors. 64.4% of those with symptoms were untreated, 68.7% of those treated reported partial relief, most of those treated preferred private doctors, and the partners were not treated.