From menarche to menopause: A population-based assessment of water, sanitation, and hygiene risk factors for reproductive tract infection symptoms over life stages in rural girls and women in India
This study by Baker et al. (2017) published in PLOS ONE found that women face greater challenges than men in accessing WASH resources to address their daily needs, and may respond to these challenges by adopting unsafe practices that increase the risk of reproductive tract infections (RTIs). WASH practices may change as women transition through socially-defined life stage experiences, like marriage and pregnancy. Thus, the relationship between WASH practices and RTIs might vary across female reproductive life stages. This cross-sectional study conducted by Baker et al. assessed the relationship between WASH exposures and self-reported RTI symptoms in 3,952 girls and women from two rural districts in India, and tested whether social exposures represented by reproductive life stage was an effect modifier of associations.