Projects

The Adolescent Menstrual Experiences and Health Cohort (AMEHC) Study in Bangladesh

What?

We aim to understand adolescent girls' changing menstrual health experiences and needs throughout their adolescent years and test the impacts of menstrual health on girls’ lives. The study will quantify the effects of early menstrual experiences and sustained unmet menstrual health needs in adolescence on education, physical health, mental health, and sexual and reproductive health outcomes.

Why?

This study will build essential evidence to understand adolescent menstrual health needs and their impacts over the life-course. While qualitative studies have described consequences of unmet menstrual health needs for health and education, studies have yet to document the extent to which menstrual health impacts these outcomes to prompt commensurate and sustained investment. A longitudinal cohort is best placed to estimate these effects. Menstruation is a frequent, repeated experience, and the impacts of unmet needs are likely to be the result of ongoing exposure rather than a single challenging menstrual period. Longitudinal studies also allow us to explore the relationships between early life events and later outcomes, and to understand the timing of experiences so that we can draw stronger causal inferences about the impacts of menstrual health.

How?

The AMEHC study will follow a cohort of 2,000 adolescent girls from 12 years of age, around the time of menarche, through to later adolescence. Yearly surveys will document changing menstrual health experiences and needs and track their impacts girls’ lives. Embedded sub-studies will implement more intensive (2 month) follow ups among sub-sets of the cohort to understand the variability in experiences over shorter time spans. Before the cohort, a preliminary phase of work will serve to develop, adapt, and test measures for use in the cohort study.

Collaborators

  • BRAC James P Grant School of Public Health (JPGSPH) BRAC University
  • WaterAid Bangladesh

Funding

  • NHMRC
  • Reckitt Global Hygiene Institute

Contact Details

For any general enquiries relating to this project, please contact:

Doctor Julie Hennegan

Research Fellow

Email

julie.hennegan@burnet.edu.au