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Illinois Wesleyan University

Publication Date

Fall 2015

Abstract

Despite recent incorporation of quality of life assessments into goal setting, menstrual ailments are still left out of public health initiatives in developing countries. Due to lack of studies on perceptions of menstruation and treatment options for menstrual ailments, the specific health needs of Tibetan women are not met. The present study seeks to determine how Tibetan women are influenced by societal views of menstruation and to explore access to treatment for menstrual problems in McLeod Ganj, Himachal Pradesh. A total of thirty-seven semi-structured interviews were conducted among Tibetan doctors at Men-Tsee-Khang (Tibetan Medical and Astronomy Institute) and Tibetan women in McLeod Ganj as the primary research method. Data collected from the interviews indicates that the majority of Tibetan women have experienced menstrual problems, yet only half of the women received treatment. Western medicine was more frequently preferred over Tibetan medicine due to its rapid response. Negative perceptions and silence surrounding menstruation leave some Tibetan women hesitant to receive care for menstrual problems. Tibetan women face less social and religious restrictions relating to menstruation than Indian women do and even draw empowerment from their cultural norms, yet still carry the burden of sin according to Tibetan Buddhist ideologies.

Disciplines

Health Services Research | Obstetrics and Gynecology | Public Health | Women's Health | Women's Studies

 

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