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Disturbing and startling findings about average period onset age and duration: Survey

India’s leading feminine hygiene brand, ever teen, has released findings of its ever teen Menstrual Hygiene Survey 2022, where it spoke to nearly 6000 menstruating women between the ages of 18 and 35 from more than 35 cities, including Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Chennai, Patna, Ahmedabad, Vadodara, Surat, Bhopal, Indore, Guwahati, Jaipur, Amritsar, Ludhiana, and Kolkata.

More than half of the women, 53.2 per cent, stated that they do not get enough sleep during the first two days of their periods. 67.5 per cent of women are still concerned about the possibility of spotting while sleeping during their periods. 57.3 per cent of women reported moderate to severe menstrual cramps, while 37.2 per cent reported mild or intermittent menstrual pain. A whopping 62.2 per cent of women admitted to never or only rarely changing a sanitary pad in a public place such as an office, mall, or cinema hall. A whopping 74.6 per cent of women are bothered by the prospect of changing their sanitary pad in a public restroom. 88.3 per cent of women believe that dirty toilets are a source of UTI.

The survey also reveals some disturbing and startling findings about the average period onset age and duration. While the majority of women (79.3 per cent) said they were 12 or older when they got their first period, 63.1 per cent said they knew girls who had just started their periods, with as many as 37.5 per cent girls being 11 or younger. According to the survey, girls are now having their first period at the ages of 8 (3.2 per cent) and 9 (4.8 per cent)!

The survey results also cast doubt on the phrase “those five days,” with less than one-third of women (30.3 per cent) having periods for 5 days per month. At the extremes, 22.8 per cent women had periods that lasted 3 days or less, while 1.8 per cent had periods that lasted more than 8 days per month.

Chirag Pan, CEO, PAN Healthcare, says, “This year’s everteen survey provides clear action items for the research community, industry, and policy makers. The exact extent and cause of menstrual abnormalities especially relating to onset and duration of periods merits in-depth investigation. In our 2021 everteen survey, 41 per cent of women reported unusually irregular gaps in menstrual periods during COVID phase, while 28.8 per cent women noticed unusually high clotting. We would also love to see greater focus in macro-economic policies to set up hygiene benchmarks and audits of public toilets, so that women can use them to change sanitary pads without fear of infection.”

everteen discovered, among other things, that nearly one-third of all menstruating women (69.7 per cent) had moderate to heavy flow and changed one or more pads every 3 hours during period days. 38.9 per cent of women still avoid going out during their periods. Changing sanitary pads (32.2 per cent), menstrual cramps (30 per cent), and staining are the three most common concerns among those who do go out (28.7 per cent). Only 9 per cent of women expressed concern about menstrual odour.

Says Hariom Tyagi, CEO – Wet & Dry Personal Care, the maker of everteen, “Over the years, our surveys have shown that awareness is progressively increasing, and taboos being broken on the subject of menstrual periods. However, our 2022 everteen Menstrual Hygiene Survey shows a very promising development. As many as 22.3 per cent of women are now using panty liners for protection against white discharge during non-period days. This is significant as it indicates that Indian women are finally coming out of traditional cocoons and accepting a complete feminine hygiene regime. As a pioneer in the field, everteen has played a crucial role on the need for a complete feminine hygiene approach. Still, we have a long way to go as a country. 23.5 per cent of women still don’t consult a doctor or even friends and family in case of irregular periods. 26.7 per cent of women are still unaware of methods to prevent white discharge.”

Since 2014, everteen has been conducting annual Menstrual Hygiene Surveys. As a pioneer in complete feminine intimate hygiene, it has also actively promoted feminine and menstrual hygiene awareness through numerous campaigns such as #FixYourPeriods and #SheNeedsPad. everteen is one of nearly 800 global partners of Menstrual Hygiene Day, a platform supported by organisations such as UNICEF and the World Bank to raise awareness about the menstrual hygiene challenges faced by women and girls around the world and highlight solutions to these challenges.

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