An analysis of freely available menstrual education in Australia

Year: 2019

Author: Blackmore, Bianca, Moran, Claire, Hall, Nina, Wigginton, Britta

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

Sexual and reproductive health education is central to both global and national public health policy and priority action areas. However, menstruation education remains peripheral in both policy and school curricula – particularly in the Australian context.

This presentation explores the extent and depth of menstruation education. An inductive content analysis was conducted of publicly available Australian sexual and reproductive health educational resources, which at least mentioned menstruation.

Resources from 11 organisations were identified with a total of 33 resources subject to conventional content analysis. An inductive coding process focussed on the extent and depth of menstruation content. This presentation examines the main content areas that reflect the extent within the resources including discussions of pads and tampons, menarche, period pains, when to see a doctor and pre-menstrual syndrome. In addition, three key concepts are explored that reflect the depth within the resources: the holistic nature of menstruation, normalising menstruation, and comprehensive menstrual product education.

This presentation makes a number of recommendations for organisations and schools developing or improving their menstruation resources, and offers avenues for the improvement of sexual and reproductive health policy and education in Australia to be inclusive of menstruation.