The Experience of Menarche

  • J. Weisgarber University of Alberta
  • J.W. Osborne University of Alberta


Four Canadian females, whose respective ages were 15, 17, 37 and 65 years, were interviewed in order to obtain a phenomenologically based descriptive profile of the experience of menarche. The shared partem of menarcheal experience was characterized under six thematic categories: Orientation and preparation, initial trauma, cultural context, the body, social relationships, and self image. The data suggested that positive aspects of menarche are lost in continuing taboos and avoidance. The treatment of menarche as an unfortunate intrusion into a woman's life has negative effects upon her social and personality development. The opportunity to situate menarche positively as part of initiation into womanhood is missed.
Original Research