BS (Social Sciences & Liberal Arts)

Faculty / School

School of Economics and Social Sciences (SESS)


Department of Social Sciences & Liberal Arts

Date of Award

Spring 2023

Date of Submission



Amna Tufail, Visiting Faculty, Department of Social Sciences


Habiba Zaheer, Visiting Faculty, Department of Social Sciences

Project Type

SSLA Culminating Experience

Access Type

Restricted Access


Although menstruation has been well-established by prior literature as a social taboo, there is limited research on the psychological, emotional, and social consequences of menstruating, as experienced by adult females from relatively middle-to-higher socioeconomic classes in urban areas of Pakistan. This research explores information as well as misinformation regarding menstruation around the time of “menarche”, i.e., "the first menstrual period in a female adolescent” (Lacroix et al., 2023). “Information” is defined by the presence (Group 2) or absence (Group 1) of knowledge about menstruation prior to the time of menarche. “Misinformation” constitutes myths or false information regarding menstruation which women believed in their adolescence, or still currently believe in the present day. This study’s mixed-method approach quantitatively surveys adult females in Karachi, Pakistan (aged 18+ years), and conducts qualitative semi-structured interviews with 9 selected respondents (female undergraduate students, aged 18–23 years) from the survey population. An autoethnography providing an in-depth reflection of my personal menstrual experiences accompanies the aforementioned methods. Results from thematic analyses revealed that a significant majority of women have little to no information about menstruation before they experience menarche. A variety of menstrual misinformation related to myths about dietary changes, personal hygiene, and pain management surfaced, and themes of discomfort and secrecy were critically assessed, among others. This research can serve as motivation for parents and teachers of adolescent girls to take initiatives for menstrual education, and thereby attempt to diminish the stigmatization around menstruation by holding space for constructive conversations around it.


VIII, 126

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