UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Experiences and perceptions of menstruation among women living in Central Uganda McCabe, Sarah


This research amplifies the voices of ten Ugandan women as they speak to their experiences of menstruation and menstruation education. This study involved the use of a feminist standpoint lens and an asset-based approach to analyze interviews undertaken with ten Ugandan women. Data analysis revealed the strategies, complexities, and challenges the research participants have encountered in relation to their experiences of menstruation. This study revealed that the participants’ knowledge of menstruation when they were girls exists along a spectrum and that their knowledge and understanding about menstruation varied from person to person. Among these ten women, the study also found a spectrum of experiences in relation to their feeling prepared. Interestingly, some of the participants, while having some knowledge of menstruation still felt unprepared when the event occurred for the first time. Relationships between menstruation and its effects on everyday life were also explored. A key finding was the impact of menstruation on their daily lives, including being unprepared, dealing with pain, and teasing and bullying. However, menstruation was not a key factor that led to them missing school; this finding stands in contrast to other studies pointing to how many young women miss school because of menstruation. What were influential factors on school attainment, for the research participants, included pregnancy and insufficient funds to pay school fees. In relation to menstruation education, this study found that these young women learned from many sources, including family, friends, peers, and teachers. This information can inform future research and educational programs pertaining to menstrual health in Uganda that preserves the dignity and diversity of Ugandan women and girls. A key recommendation is to ensure menstruation education in schools and communities is timely and grounded in an approach that enables girls to learn about menstruation holistically.

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