Menstrual and premenstrual experiences of women in a developing country Academic Article uri icon


  • The menstrual and premenstrual experiences of black Zimbabwean women were examined. Twenty-five professional women and twenty-five domestic workers were interviewed using semistructured, open-ended interviews designed to explore their experiences. An analysis of consensual data indicated a number of predominant themes, including secrecy associated with menstruation, the negativity surrounding menarche, the breakdown of the traditional family network that passes on information about menstruation, and the acceptance of menstrual cycle experiences by the women. The main differences between the two groups concerned explanations of the functions and purpose of menstruation and the reporting of physical and affective symptoms. These differences are suggestive of the impact of educational level on experiences of menstruation.

publication date

  • November 1997