Publication: Attitudes and feelings towards menstruation and womanhood in girls at menarche

Attitudes and feelings towards menstruation and womanhood in girls at menarche.
Sudbury Canada: Second international ISTAR Conference, Sudbury Canada, June 18-21 2015: Journey to adulthood: physical, emotional, mental and spiritual pathways.; 2015.


Oral presentation. Theme: Emotional transitions from childhood to adolescence, impact of societal and familial attitudes/perspectives. Aim: To elucidate early adolescent girls’ attitudes, thoughts and feelings towards menstruation and their bodies. Methods: 309 12-y-old girls answered a questionnaire. One part of the questionnaire dealt with thoughts and feelings towards menstruation. The other part dealt with thoughts and feelings towards menstruation, sex and ability to communicate on aspects of womanhood. Results: Postmenarcheal girls were less positive towards menstruation than premenarcheal girls (p=1x 10_6). Many girls (43%) did not reaffirm the statement ‘‘I like my body’’ and almost one quarter stated being teased for their appearance. Many of the girls claimed that they had been called ‘‘cunt’’ (38%) or ‘‘whore’’ (46%). If called ‘‘cunt’’ or ‘‘whore’’, 17% stated that they felt alone, 76% felt anger and 50% were offended. Girls could most easily ‘‘chat’’ about their period with their mothers. Sixty-seven per cent received information about menstruation from school nurses. Conclusion: Wanting to be an adult and liking that their body develops seem to be associated with a more positive feeling towards menstruation. Furthermore, mothers’ timing and ability to communicate attitudes towards menstruation and the body are as important as peers and others in a girl’s immediate environment.

, from FoU-centrum för primärvård och folktandvård Södra Älvsborg