The lived experience of perimenopause and menopause

Contemp Nurse. 2011 Feb;37(2):229-40. doi: 10.5172/conu.2011.37.2.229.


Menopause is a universal life experience, and yet there is a paucity of qualitative research giving voice to women who actually live this important life transition. Historically, menopause has been conceived as a pathological condition, and therefore, medicalized by healthcare providers. The purpose of the study was to give voice to the menopausal experiences of women. The research question was: What has your experience been with perimenopause and/or menopause? Thirteen women, meeting inclusion criteria and obtained through snowball effect, were interviewed. Data were collected through semi-structured interviews and drawings. The women interviewed repeatedly had questions and concerns regarding perimenopause, and often reported receiving conflicting and confusing information. The transition theory (Meleis, 2010) was used to understand the thematic results. Three major themes emerged: My Body, Sharing with Others: Not My Mother and Going on with Life.

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological*
  • Aged
  • Female
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Humans
  • Menopause* / physiology
  • Menopause* / psychology
  • Middle Aged
  • Perimenopause* / physiology
  • Perimenopause* / psychology
  • United States