Menstruation is an embodied experience that influences menstruators’ perceptions of the self and body. The stigma surrounding menstruation and its negative representation in popular culture has consequences for women’s sexual and reproductive health. In this study, semi-structured interviews were conducted with forty 18–50 year old participants who used reusable menstrual products to examine their experience of menstruation and how their use of these products shaped their self-body image. Data were analysed using thematic analysis. Participants commonly reported physical, medical and emotional improvement in menstrual experience and improved acceptance of the menstrual body alongside changes in feeling towards menstrual products and related issues. The participants described menstruation, menstrual blood, and the menstrual body more positively than before, reported a high comfort level with and in their bodies, and rejected common representations of menstruation. Findings suggest that using reusable menstrual products can contribute to body appreciation. Given these benefits, further research is needed to assess how knowledge of alternative menstrual products can stimulate positive views about the menstruating body and contribute to menstrual health.
Bibliographical notePublisher Copyright:
© 2023 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.
- menstrual health
- menstrual products
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Health(social science)
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health