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Menstrual and menarche experience among pubescent female students in Taiwan: implications for health education and promotion practice

Chang, Yu-Ting; Chen, Yueh-Chih; Hayter, Mark; Lin, Mei-Ling


Yu-Ting Chang

Yueh-Chih Chen

Mark Hayter

Mei-Ling Lin


Aims and objectives.  This study aimed to explore the menarche and menstruation experiences of young females aged 10–12 years in elementary education in Taiwan.

Background.  Menarche is a significant milestone in a woman’s life and for female adolescents it is a sharply defined biological event that can be a traumatic and uncomfortable time. If used, school nurses can make a significant contribution in educating young people and help to ameliorate these problems. Understanding how young women feel about menstruation is a central element to sexual health education practice.

Design.  A qualitative research design was employed using focus groups.

Methods.  Data were collected from 20 female students, aged between 10–12 years. Focus groups were recorded, transcribed and subject to a thematic analysis.

Results.  Three themes emerged from the data analysis reflecting the menstrual experience of participants. These were: ‘Changing bodies: the physical effects of menarche and menstruation’, ‘Emotional issues: the psychological impact of menarche and menstruation’ and ‘Social dimensions of the menarche and menstruation’.

Conclusion.  Our findings show that young females can experience significant physical and emotional difficulties around menstruation – many of which stem from poor information and the reactions of their peer group to menstrual activity. The potential for school nurses to contribute to this education is significant and schools should explore the manner in which nurses can contribute to this area of health education.

Relevance to clinical practice.  Nurses involved in health education work with young people and ensure that menstruation education addresses the social and psychological impact of the menarche as well as the physical elements of menstruation. Boys should not be absent from this education and the impact of their attitudes towards menstruation upon their female peers should be addressed in health education work.


Chang, Y., Chen, Y., Hayter, M., & Lin, M. (2009). Menstrual and menarche experience among pubescent female students in Taiwan: implications for health education and promotion practice. Journal of clinical nursing, 18(14), 2040-2048.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jun 24, 2008
Online Publication Date Jan 15, 2009
Publication Date 2009-07
Journal Journal of Clinical Nursing
Print ISSN 0962-1067
Electronic ISSN 1365-2702
Publisher Wiley
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 18
Issue 14
Pages 2040-2048
Keywords General Nursing; General Medicine
Public URL
Publisher URL