Mental Wellbeing and Self-reported Symptoms of Reproductive Tract Infections among Girls

Findings from a Cross-sectional Study in an Indian Slum

  • Sushama A. Khopkar University of Tampere
  • Sangita Kulathinal National Institute for Health and Welfare
  • Suvi M. Virtanen National Institute for Health and Welfare
  • Minna Säävälä Family Federation of Finland, Väestöliitto


This study examined the self-reported mental wellbeing among slum-dwelling adolescents in Western India and asked whether adolescent postmenarcheal girls’ mental wellbeing and self-reported symptoms suggestive of reproductive tract infections (RTIs) were associated. A sub-section of a cross-sectional personal interview survey among unmarried 10–18-year-old adolescents (n= 85) in a slum in the city of Nashik was analyzed. Logistic regression models were used to assess the associations between sociodemographic variables, physical health indicators, and adolescent postmenarcheal girls’ mental wellbeing. Nearly every other postmenarcheal girl reported having experienced symptoms suggestive of RTIs during the last twelve months. Adolescent postmenarcheal girls’ mental health and some aspects of somatic health appear to be closely interrelated. Understanding the relationship between adolescent mental wellbeing and reproductive health in low-income countries requires further investigation. Health service development in growing informal urban agglomerations in India and beyond should provide combined mental and reproductive health services for adolescents.


Keywords: India, reproductive tract infections, adolescents, slums [], mental well-being [], mental wellbeing
Dec 14, 2017
How to Cite
Khopkar, S., Kulathinal, S., Virtanen, S., & Säävälä, M. (2017). Mental Wellbeing and Self-reported Symptoms of Reproductive Tract Infections among Girls. Finnish Yearbook of Population Research, 52, 29-41.