Menstrual bleeding: perspective of Brazilian women

Contraception. 2011 Dec;84(6):622-7. doi: 10.1016/j.contraception.2011.03.010. Epub 2011 May 4.


Background: Menstrual patterns, induced amenorrhea and the use of some contraceptive methods which induce non-bleeding are issues under debate among health professionals and women. The objective of the study was to describe perspectives and attitudes of Brazilian women regarding menstruation and its interference in daily activities.

Study design: A semistructured questionnaire was applied to nonpregnant, nonlactating women between 18 and 45 years old, who were menstruating, consulting at public health services for other complaints than gynecological or reproductive health care, and staff members and teachers of public universities in one city of each geographic region of Brazil and the Federal District.

Results: Of the 885 women interviewed, 51.5% were aged 20-29 years, almost 60% reported normal frequency of bleeding, 22% and 43% reported interference of menstruation in their school activities and in the relationship with their partner, respectively. The value attributed to each interference (<5; ≥ 5; in a scale up to 10) was >5 for more than 60% of the women in all evaluated domains. The most common reason for disliking menstruation was inconvenient and/or discomfort, and for liking menstruation were feeling healthy and confirmation of not being pregnant. The variables associated to liking menstruation were attending <8 years of school and low economic class, having more than one child and no history of premenstrual tension.

Conclusion: A great proportion of the interviewed women disliked having menstruation even when they did not present menstrual-related problems. However, some women still preferred monthly menstruation because they felt healthy and it was a free pregnancy test.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Activities of Daily Living
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Brazil / epidemiology
  • Contraception Behavior / ethnology
  • Contraception Behavior / psychology
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Educational Status
  • Female
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice* / ethnology
  • Humans
  • Interpersonal Relations
  • Menstruation / ethnology
  • Menstruation / psychology*
  • Menstruation Disturbances / epidemiology
  • Menstruation Disturbances / ethnology
  • Menstruation Disturbances / psychology
  • Middle Aged
  • Premenstrual Syndrome / epidemiology
  • Premenstrual Syndrome / ethnology
  • Premenstrual Syndrome / psychology
  • Sexual Partners
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Women's Health* / ethnology
  • Young Adult