Menstrual Blood-Derived Mesenchymal Stem Cells: Women's Attitudes, Willingness, and Barriers to Donation of Menstrual Blood

J Womens Health (Larchmt). 2019 Dec;28(12):1688-1697. doi: 10.1089/jwh.2019.7745. Epub 2019 Aug 9.


Background: Menstrual blood contains mesenchymal stem cells (MenSC), considered a potential "off-the-shelf" treatment for a range of diseases and medical conditions. Samples of menstrual blood can be collected painlessly, inexpensively, and as frequently as every month for cell therapy. While there has been considerable previous research into the clinical advantages of MenSC, there is currently little understanding of potential donors' attitudes regarding menstrual blood donation and MenSC. Methods: One hundred women 18 years of age or over were surveyed to understand attitudes and potential barriers to menstrual blood donation. The questionnaire assessed participant age and brief medical history (giving birth, donating blood, donating stem cells), menstrual experience (period rating, preferred menstrual hygiene products), and whether participants would donate MenSC or accept MenSC therapy. Results: MenSC was met with a generally positive response, with 78% of menstruating women willing to donate menstrual blood. No significant relationship was recognized between willingness to donate menstrual blood with age, history of childbirth or blood donation, menstruation perception, and preferred menstrual hygiene product. Women rated their period experience better after being made aware of the ability to donate menstrual blood, meaning MenSC therapy can be beneficial for donors as well as patients. Conclusions: Considering women's attitudes to MenSC and donation of menstrual blood, the future of MenSC therapy is positive; women are generally willing to donate menstrual blood, independent of age, perception of periods, and history of childbirth and blood donation.

Keywords: donation; human factors; menstrual blood; menstrual blood-derived mesenchymal stem cells; menstruation; stem cells.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Female
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Humans
  • Menstrual Hygiene Products
  • Menstruation / blood*
  • Mesenchymal Stem Cell Transplantation / psychology
  • Mesenchymal Stem Cells*
  • Middle Aged
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Young Adult