12. ULUSLARARASI İSTANBUL BİLİMSEL ARAŞTIRMALAR KONGRELERİ, Ankara, Turkey, 21 - 23 January 2023, pp.38
OF FERTILITY AWARENESS AND GENITAL HYGIENE
BEHAVIORS BETWEEN PRISON AND NON-PRISONED
Sevilay Tosun 1* , Lect. See. Merve Meşedüzü 2 , Merve Çakmak 3 , Senanur Köse 4 , Rabia
Aytekin 5 , Derya Yavuz 6 , Şevval Bingül 7
ORCID CODE: 0000-0001-9987-0302
* 1 Bezmialem Vakif University, Faculty of Health Sciences, Department of Nursing Istanbul, TURKEY.
2 Bezmialem Vakif University, Faculty of Health Sciences, Department of Nursing Istanbul, TURKEY.
3 Bezmialem Vakif University, Faculty of Health Sciences, Department of Nursing Istanbul, TURKEY.
4 Bezmialem Vakif University, Faculty of Health Sciences, Department of Nursing Istanbul, TURKEY.
5 Bezmialem Vakif University, Faculty of Health Sciences, Department of Nursing Istanbul, TURKEY.
6 Bezmialem Vakif University, Faculty of Health Sciences, Department of Nursing Istanbul, TURKEY.
7 Bezmialem Vakif University, Faculty of Health Sciences, Department of Nursing Istanbul, TURKEY.
The 15-49 age period, when women reach sexual maturity and reproductive functions are realized, is
also a risky period in which genital infections increase. Genital infections that may develop during this
period can be prevented by the correct application of genital hygiene practices by women (Demirbağ
2000; Ege and Eryılmaz 2005).
In this study, it was aimed to determine the fertility awareness and genital hygiene behaviors among
women who are in prison and who are not.
hygiene; health protection practices. Hygiene practices begin with the education we receive from our
family and continue to develop throughout life. Genital hygiene has an important place in maintaining
the health of the female reproductive system . genital hygiene; It can be defined as keeping the genital
area clean and protecting it from infections. Due to the anatomical structure of the reproductive system,
women can easily become infected. This is because the urethra, vagina and anus are very close to each
other. The most important way to prevent these infections is to pay attention to the hygiene of that area.
Another factor is contacting the genital areas without adequate hand hygiene. When the genital area is
touched without providing hand hygiene, the germs on our hands are transferred to the perineum area
and can cause infection of that area. People who do not have enough knowledge about genital hygiene
are also more likely to get genital infection. This situation highlights the importance of women receiving
education about genital hygiene.
Fertility awareness is a woman’s knowing and telling when her fertile period is between the
beginning and the end of her menstrual cycle . Although each woman’s menses /menstrual process
has different characteristics, it basically has a repetitive pattern. It is important for fertility awareness
for women to distinguish the differences (consistency, color, smell, amount) of vaginal discharge in
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a month. When you discover your own pattern, you can understand which days you are fertile and
manage your sexual relationship accordingly. That’s why you need to understand the menstrual cycle
are an environment that can negatively affect women’s health habits, genital hygiene practices and
genital health ( Zaitzow 1999; Barlett 2007; Palas and Karaçam 2013). The shared toilet and shower
areas of women in prison affect their genital hygiene status and behaviors. It is known that women
in prison have limitations compared to women who are not in prison, such as benefiting from health
services, accessing technological tools and health books to obtain information, and benefiting from
the social environment. The fact that they are not able to benefit from health services adequately in the
problems they experience and that they are not aware of the genital hygiene behaviors they do wrong
cause health problems. The fact that the fertility awareness of women in prison has not been investigated
before and the access to information is limited compared to women who are not in prison, suggest that
there will be a significant difference when comparing the two groups.
historical roots of research studies on genital hygiene go back to 2005 (Ege, E. Ve Eryılmaz, G.
2005). Genital Hygiene Behaviors Inventory (GHDE) Atatürk University Nursing School Journal, 8,
67-75). Initial studies were mostly conducted on women in family health centers, gynecology outpatient
clinics and women of childbearing age, and the results of genital hygiene behaviors were determined
by socioeconomic status (Ilgaz, Sevinç, & Uzun, 2015), sexual quality of life (Sevinç, Korkut & Oral,
2021), vaginal infection ( Dalbudak ). and Bilgili, 2013), women’s health (Orak and Canuygur, 2014),
genetic infection incidence [( Cangöl and Tokuç, 2013), (Ergün et al., 2020)] and knowledge levels
about genetic hygiene (Durmuş and Zengin, 2020) ) were found to be associated with
In the literature review, the genital hygiene behavior scores of women were found to be low (Sevinç,
Korkut, & Oral, 2021). Low genital hygiene behaviors score was found to be significant with a moderate
sexual life quality score. In another study, in the hygiene habits of women, “monitoring the genital area
for signs of disease”, “paying attention to the cleanliness of the genital area”, “type of underwear and
the frequency of changing it”, “going to the doctor when there is pain, pain or bleeding during sexual
intercourse”, “not changing the pad and It has been determined that genital hygiene behaviors such
as “hand washing before going to the toilet” are effective in the development of vaginal infections
[(p<0,05), ( Dalbudak & Bilgili, 2013)].
Considering the studies on female prisoners, genital hygiene behaviors were evaluated in terms of
being in prison (Özkan and Kulakaç , 2011) and genital organ infections (Palas and Karaçam, 2013).
As a result of the researches, although one third of the women have genital discharge, genital hygiene
behaviors were found to be appropriate in general. Although the results were found to be close to the
desired level, various suggestions were presented since the rates of showing wrong hygiene, which is
common in the society, are high (Özkan and Kulakaç , 2011). In another study, it was determined that
being in a detention center negatively affects women’s knowledge of the characteristics of normal vaginal
discharge, experiencing abnormal discharge, applying to a physician in case of abnormal discharge,
frequency and form of drying the genital area, vaginal douching and showering during menstruation
(Palas and Karaçam, 2013). ).
genital hygiene behaviors of women who have been in prison before . It has been seen in previous
studies that women in prison have disadvantages such as benefiting from health services, accessing
information, and hygienic conditions compared to women who are not. However, since there has not
been any study related to the latest situation on this subject in recent years and the awareness of fertility
has never been examined on women in prison, it was thought that research on this subject should be
Keywords: genital hygiene, fertility awareness, prison, women.
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