Background: Many adolescent girls in Ethiopia attain menarche without adequate knowledge and preparation which could have a distressing negative impact on their psychosocial, physical, and emotional wellbeing. This study aimed to assess pre-menarche adolescent girls’ menstrual knowledge and preparedness to menstruation and associated factors in the North Shewa Zone of the Amhara region.
Methods: A school-based cross-sectional study was conducted on participants selected through a multi-stage sampling technique. Data collected through a self-administered questionnaire were entered into Epi Data and exported to SPSS for analysis. Bi-variable and multivariable logistic regressions were computed to identify factors associated with the good menstrual knowledge and preparedness to menarche. An odds ratio with 95%CI was computed to measure the magnitude of the association. Variables with a p-value of <0.05 on multivariable analysis were considered statistically significant factors associated with the outcome variable.
Results: From a total of 424 pre-menarche adolescent girls included in the study, 166(39.2%) had good menstrual knowledge and about a quarter 110(25.9%) had good preparedness towards menarche. An increase in the school grade level of adolescent girls, the educational status of the mother, and occupation of the father (government employment) were positively associated with good menstrual knowledge. Having good menstrual knowledge increased the preparedness of pre-menarche girls to menarche by over 13-fold than poorly knowledgeable girls.
Conclusions: Menstrual knowledge and preparedness to menarche of pre-menarche adolescent girls were low in the North Shewa Zone of the Amhara region. The level of preparedness to menarche was also highly dependent on girls' menstrual knowledge. Thus, the school's health program and teachers should address the problem by delivering age-appropriate menstrual information to equip adolescent girls with accurate and adequate menstrual knowledge before the onset of menarche.