Menstruation and amenorrhea: opinion of Brazilian women

Contraception. 2005 Aug;72(2):157-61. doi: 10.1016/j.contraception.2005.02.013.


Contemporary women experience more menstrual cycles than their predecessors, and their menstrual patterns are modified by contraceptives. Amenorrhea is one side effect that has recently been advocated as desirable. This qualitative study investigated Brazilian women's views regarding the suppression of menstruation using hormones. Data were collected through eight focus groups, following a semistructured guideline. Sixty-four women, 21-51 years old, all menstruating regularly and all of whom had already initiated sexual activity and had no perceived infertility participated. Discussions were recorded, transcribed and entered into the computer, using the Ethnograph V 5.0 software to aggregate similar patterns. Thematic content analysis revealed that menstruation and amenorrhea were both seen with ambiguity. Although regarded as a nuisance, menstruation was associated with femaleness, youth, fertility and health. Most women, although they would like to be free from menstruation, feared negative consequences of induced amenorrhea and even regarded the proposition as a male intrusion into what they consider a natural female condition.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Amenorrhea / chemically induced*
  • Amenorrhea / psychology*
  • Brazil
  • Female
  • Focus Groups
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
  • Humans
  • Interviews as Topic
  • Menstrual Cycle / drug effects
  • Menstruation / psychology*
  • Middle Aged