Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Show Summary Details
More options …

International Journal of Adolescent Medicine and Health

Editor-in-Chief: Merrick, Joav

Editorial Board: Birch, Diana ML / Blum, Robert W. / Greydanus, MD, Dr. HC (Athens), Donald E. / Hardoff, Daniel / Kerr, Mike / Levy, Howard B / Morad, Mohammed / Omar, Hatim A. / de Paul, Joaquin / Rydelius, Per-Anders / Shek, Daniel T.L. / Sher, Leo / Silber, Tomas J. / Towns, Susan / Urkin, Jacob / Verhofstadt-Deneve, Leni / Zeltzer, Lonnie / Tenenbaum, Ariel


CiteScore 2018: 0.79

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2018: 0.350
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2018: 0.476

Online
ISSN
2191-0278
See all formats and pricing
More options …
Ahead of print

Issues

Unpreparedness, impurity and paradoxical feeling: menstruation narratives of Iranian women

Afsaneh Sadat Seyed Hosseini
Published Online: 2018-10-20 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/ijamh-2018-0008

Abstract

Background

Menstruation is universally experienced by all healthy females from menarche to menopause, although the cognitive and emotional dimension of this experience may differ across time and place.

Objective

This qualitative study was conducted to explore the menstruation experiences of Iranian women.

Methods

Eight Iranian university students, aged between 21 and 25 years, who were resident in Tehran, were interviewed and data were analyzed using an interpretive phenomenological analysis approach.

Results

Two main themes of the participant narratives were identified: “The menarche” and “women’s perception of menstruation”. Each of these elements comprised a number of sub-themes. The menarche experience was related to “inadequate preparation”, “fear and horror” and “the mother”. Women perceived menstruation as “shameful and secret”, “sickness and impurity”, “bothersome and painful”, accompanied with “paradoxical feelings” and “irregularity and unpredictability”.

Discussion

The results of this study revealed that menarche experience for most of the women was a negative experience. Feelings of being fearful, shocked or worried could be influenced by inadequate preparation for menstruation. They reveived insufficient information from school or their friends and their mothers, specifically. Menstruation is shameful, kept secret and is usually hidden from men. Most of them experienced menstruation as a sickness and considered menstruating women as impure who must obey religious rules. Some of them had symptoms of premenstrual syndrome. For some women menstruation was both painful and pleasing and its irregularity and unpredictability made women anxious. The findings of this study highlight the effect of sociocultural factors on the menstruation experience.

Keywords: experience; Iranian women; menarche; menstruation; qualitative

References

  • [1]

    Anjum F, Zehra N, Haider G, Rani S, Siddique AA, Munir AA. Attitudes towards menstruation among young women. Pak J Med Sci. 2010;26(3):619–22.Google Scholar

  • [2]

    Severy LJ, Thapa S, Askew I, Glor J. Menstrual experiences and beliefs: a multicountry study of relationships with fertility and fertility regulating methods. Women Health. 1993;20(2):1–20.CrossrefPubMedGoogle Scholar

  • [3]

    Silbermann I. A contribution to the psychology of menstruation. Int J Psycho Anal. 1950;31:258–67.Google Scholar

  • [4]

    Zarlaki SH. Women, Dashtan and monthly madness. 3rd ed. Tehran: Charkh; 2014.Google Scholar

  • [5]

    Mehrdad B. A research on Persian mythology. 3rd ed. Tehran: Agah; 1999.Google Scholar

  • [6]

    Adegbayi A. Blood, joy and tears: menarche narratives of undergraduate females in a selected in Nigeria Private University. Int J Adolesc Med Health. 2017;2191–0278.Google Scholar

  • [7]

    Smith JA, Osborn M. Interpretative phenomenological analysis. In: Smith JA, editor. Qualitative psychology: a practical guide to methods. 2nd ed. London: Sage; 2008. p. 53–80.Google Scholar

  • [8]

    Chang YT, Chen YC. Study of menstrual attitudes and distress among postmenarcheal female students in Hualien County. J Nurs Res. 2009;17(1):20–9.Web of SciencePubMedCrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • [9]

    Uskul AK. Women’s menarche stories from a multicultural sample. Soc Sci Med. 2004;59(4):667–79.CrossrefPubMedGoogle Scholar

  • [10]

    Britton CJ. Learning about “the curse”: an anthropological perspective on experiences of menstruation. Women’s Stud Int Forum. 1996;19(6):645–53.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • [11]

    Beausang CC, Razor AG. Young Western women’s experiences of menarche and menstruation. Health Care Women Int. 2000;21(6):517–28.PubMedCrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • [12]

    Tang CS, Yeung DY, Lee AM. Psychosocial correlates of emotional responses to menarche among Chinese adolescent girls. J Adolesc Health. 2003;33(3):193–201.PubMedCrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • [13]

    Lee J. “A Kotex and a smile”: mothers and daughters at menarche. J Fam Issues. 2008;29(10):1325–47.Web of ScienceCrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • [14]

    Do Amaral MC, Hardy E, Hebling EM. Menarche among Brazilian women: memories of experiences. Midwifery. 2011;27(2):203–8.Web of SciencePubMedCrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • [15]

    Marvan ML, Morales C, Cortes-Iniestra S. Emotional reactions to menarche among Mexican women of different generations. Sex Roles. 2006;54(5):323–30.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • [16]

    Ozdemir F, Nazik E, Pasinlioglu T. Determination of the motherly reactions to adolescents’ experience of menarche II. J Pediatr Adolesc Gynecol. 2011;24(1):21–4.PubMedCrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • [17]

    Rembeck GI, Meoller M, Gunnarsson RK. Attitudes and feelings towards menstruation and womanhood in girls at menarche. Acta Paediatr. 2006;95(6):707–14.CrossrefPubMedGoogle Scholar

  • [18]

    Marvan M, Molina-Abolnik M. Mexican adolescents’ experience of menarche and attitudes toward menstruation: role of communication between mothers and daughters. J Pediatr Adolesc Gynecol. 2012;25(6):358–63.Web of SciencePubMedCrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • [19]

    Sooki Z, Shariati M, Chaman R, Khosravi A, Effatpanah M, Keramati A. The role of mother in informing girls about puberty: a meta-analysis study. Nurs Midwifery Stud. 2016;5(1):e30360.Web of SciencePubMedGoogle Scholar

  • [20]

    Silva Brêtas JR, Tadini AC, Freitas MJ, Goellner MB. Meaning of menarche according to adolescents. Acta Paul Enferm. 2012;25(2):e1982–0194.Google Scholar

  • [21]

    Costos D, Ackerman R, Paradis L. Recollections of menarche: communication between mothers and daughters regarding menstruation. Sex Roles. 2002;46(1):49–59.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • [22]

    Calogero RM, Pina A. Body guilt: preliminary evidence for a further subjective experience of self-objectification. Psychol women Q. 2011;35(3):428–40.Web of ScienceCrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • [23]

    Fingerson L. Agency and the body in adolescent menstrual talk. Childhood. 2005;12(1):91–110.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • [24]

    Jackson TE, Falmagne RJ. Women wearing white: discourses of menstruation and the experience of menarche. Fem Psychol. 2013;23(3):379–98.CrossrefWeb of ScienceGoogle Scholar

  • [25]

    Stubbs ML. Cultural perceptions and practices around menarche and adolescent menstruation in the United States. Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2008;1135:58–66.Web of ScienceCrossrefPubMedGoogle Scholar

  • [26]

    Jamhoori F, Yaghoobi H, Nematizadeh N. Compare the quality of life, personality and marital status in students with and without premenstrual syndrome. Qpr. 2010;2:41–54.Google Scholar

  • [27]

    Eslamlou HR, Nabilou B, Oshnouei S, Akbari E. The prevalence of premenstrual syndrome and its associated factors among medical students of Urmia. J Urmia Univ Med Sci. 2013;24(9):702–10.Google Scholar

  • [28]

    Barron ML, Flick LH, Cook CA, Homan SM, Campbell C. associations between psychiatric disorders and menstrual cycle characteristics. Arch Psychiatr Nurs. 2008;22(5):254–65.PubMedWeb of ScienceCrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • [29]

    Jung EK, Kim SW, Ock SM, Jung KI, Song CH. Prevalence and related factors of irregular menstrual cycles in Korean women: the 5th Korean National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (KNHANES-V, 2010–2012). J Psychosom Obstet Gynaecol. 2017;4:1–7.Google Scholar

About the article

Received: 2018-01-09

Accepted: 2018-05-27

Published Online: 2018-10-20


Citation Information: International Journal of Adolescent Medicine and Health, 20180008, ISSN (Online) 2191-0278, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/ijamh-2018-0008.

Export Citation

©2018 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Boston.Get Permission

Comments (0)

Please log in or register to comment.
Log in