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Women Health. 2007;46(1):57-78.

"Nobody told me nothin": communication about menstruation among low-income African-American women.

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The Office for Health Promotion, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA 16802, USA.


The purpose of this study was to explore communication about menstruation among low-income African American women and the impact of this communication on their understanding of and attitudes toward the menstrual events that will occur throughout their lives. This is of particular importance since minority women disproportionately face greater menstrual problems than those experienced by majority women in the United States. A grounded theory design was used for this study. Seventeen African American women from a public housing project were interviewed. The core theme that emerged from the qualitative data was the avoidance or negative discussion of menstrual events throughout the women's lives. The women had few sources of and very limited menstrual learning from school, their mothers, and other women. This led to confusion and inaccurate beliefs about and negative attitudes toward menstruation, menopause, and menstrual-related health conditions. While these women desired to have better communication, their history of avoidance of and negative discussions surrounding menstruation will likely continue to make it difficult for them to have positive and informative discussions with others in the future unless some type of educational intervention occurs.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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