Menstruation during a lifespan: A qualitative study of women's experiences

Health Care Women Int. 2014;35(6):600-16. doi: 10.1080/07399332.2013.868465. Epub 2014 Jan 30.


Menstruation is a natural phenomenon for women during their reproductive years. Our aim was to describe women's experiences of menstruation across the lifespan. Qualitative interviews with a narrative approach were conducted with 12 women between 18 and 48 years of age in Sweden. Using thematic analysis, we found menstruation to be a complex phenomenon that binds women together. It is perceived as an intimate and private matter, which makes women want to conceal the occurrence of menstrual bleeding. Over time, menstruation becomes a natural part of women's lives and gender identity. Health professionals play a central role supporting women to deal with menstruation.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Attitude to Health*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Interpersonal Relations
  • Interviews as Topic
  • Menstruation / psychology*
  • Middle Aged
  • Narration
  • Qualitative Research
  • Sexual Partners
  • Sweden
  • Women's Health*
  • Young Adult