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PREVALENCE OF SELF-REPORTED SYMPTOMS OF REPRODUCTIVE TRACT INFECTIONS AMONG RECENTLY PREGNANT WOMEN IN UTTAR PRADESH, INDIA
KUHU MAITRA a1, JOSEPH DEGRAFT-JOHNSON a2, KAUSHALENDRA K. SINGH a3andAMY O. TSUI a1a4 a1 Population Council, India a2 Save the Children Federation, USA a3 Department of Statistics, Banaras Hindu University a4 Department of Maternal and Child Health and the Carolina Population Center, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, USA
This study examines the prevalence of self-reported reproductive tract infections (RTIs) and treatment seeking among married, recently pregnant women in Uttar Pradesh state, India. Associations between RTI symptom reporting and background characteristics are examined in a population-based sample of 18,506 married women with a pregnancy in the 3 years prior to a 1995 statewide survey. Logistic regression analyses are used to assess the effects of sociodemographic covariates on the probability of reporting an RTI symptom. Nearly one out of four women reports experiencing at least one RTI symptom, with the most common symptoms being abnormal vaginal discharge and pain during urination. Reporting of RTI symptoms significantly increases if the woman’s last pregnancy did not end in a live birth or if she has low economic status. Symptom reports also increase with age and decrease with parity. Only one-third of women reporting an RTI symptom sought treatment. The results indicate that survey interviews can be a cost-effective option for measuring the magnitude of RTI symptoms experienced and identifying sociodemographic influences. The findings suggest the need for improved RTI screening procedures and treatment at health facilities in this populous state of northern India.