Aim and background: Prevention and management of reproductive tract infections (RTI)/sexually transmitted infections (STI) is a proven and cost-effective strategy to reduce reproductive morbidity and chronic complications among the sexually active population. This study was conducted to find the prevalence, common symptoms, and determinants of RTI/STI.
Materials and methods: This cross-sectional study was conducted among 112 married women of reproductive age group attending the outpatient department (OPD) of an urban health training center (UHTC) of Ghaziabad, Uttar Pradesh, India, after taking informed consent using a pretested structured questionnaire. The results were analyzed by the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) software. Chi-squared and Fischer exact tests were used as tests of statistical significance, and significant predictor variables were subjected to binary logistic regression analysis.
Results: Half of the study population belonged to the 26–35 years age group. Approximately 90% of women were using sanitary pads, and 30% were facing menstrual problems. We found that 82.1% had heard of RTI/STI, and >50% of the women had symptoms of RTI/STI. The most common symptom of RTI/STI was low backache followed by vaginal discharge, lower abdominal pain, and genital itching, and the least common was vulval/inguinal ulcer/swelling. Education (below graduation), living in a joint family, parity, suffering from menstrual problems, intrauterine contraceptive device (IUCD) use, and not using condoms were found to be significantly associated with RTI/STI symptoms, but after binary logistic regression analysis, only education, menstrual problems, and condom use were found to be the significant predictor variables of RTI/STI.
Conclusion: More than half of the study participants had symptoms of RTI/STI. Hence, opportunistic screening for early diagnosis and management is recommended.
Clinical significance: Opportunistic screening of the symptoms of RTI/STI and its syndromic management, along with partner management, can help in reducing the burden of RTI/STI.
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