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Unpublished Paper
Understanding the Impacts of Menstruation on Quality of Life in Young Adults in a University Setting
  • Vera Stephenson, St. Catherine University
  • Catherine Graeve, St. Catherine University
  • Grace Gao, St. Catherine University
Objective:  This study investigates how a sample of young adults’ at one Midwestern University experience menstruation, including the impacts on quality of life.
Design: The study used a mixed methods design including an online survey and focus group.
Setting: Private mid-size university in the Midwest of the United States.
Participants:  Participants included individuals aged 18-25 years who have had a menstrual cycle (n=167).
Methods: A 29-40 branched logic question survey was administered. Three focus groups (n=16) were conducted virtually.
Results: Our survey found that more than half of the respondents described their periods as “moderate” and a quarter described them as “heavy” or “very heavy.” A majority of respondents rated they had slight or moderate pain during menstruation. Respondents reported “somewhat agree” to pain causing embarrassment, irritability, and low mood.  Most answered “neutral” to more than half of the survey questions related to quality of life. Focus group participants reported a poor quality of life based on always thinking about their menstrual cycle. Findings also included participants feeling alone in their struggles and appreciated sharing with others.
Conclusion:  Menstrual symptoms impact the daily lives of young adults, including their ability to work, study, and engage in social activities. The high number of neutral responses may suggest a sense of resignation to negative menstrual experiences and a need to support coping mechanisms. Differences in culture and upbringing were apparent in the way individuals expressed their symptoms, leading researchers to want to expand the research to include a more diverse group.
Keywords: menorrhagia, menstruation, pelvic pain, young adult, quality of life, psychological adaptation
Clinical Implications
●      Results highlight the need for better overall understanding of symptoms that occurs during menstruation and how they impact young adults.
●      Symptoms impact quality of life, mental health, relationships, and success in school and at work.
●      Awareness of these concerns can lead to increased patient comfort in discussing them with providers. 
●      Emphasizes the importance for complementary and multimodal approaches to care for young adults while menstruating. 
Publication Date
Winter 2022
Citation Information
Vera Stephenson, Catherine Graeve and Grace Gao. "Understanding the Impacts of Menstruation on Quality of Life in Young Adults in a University Setting" (2022)
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