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    755548

    Patterns and perception of vaginal bleeding: a survey of knowledgeable resources in Egypt.

    KHATTAB H

    September 1975. 41 p.

    Information gathered from knowledgeable sources (e.g., obstetricians, family doctors, pharmacists, nurses, family planning workers, and informal social network representatives) indicated the important position that menstrual bleeding, and the social implication related to it, holds in the life of Egyptian women. Menstrual bleeding is a sign of well-being, youth, fertility, and femininity. The majority of knowledgeable sources agreed that a normal cycle length among Eyptian women ranged from 21-32 days, whereas the normal bleeding interval ranged from 3-5 days. Abnormality, however, is a function of personal experience, i.e., a cycle is abnormal when it deviates from the woman's normal pattern. Egyptian women perceive menstrual blood as bad blood that they must lose every month, the retention is thought to result in bodily poisoning. Egyptian women are aware of specific color, smell, and texture of vaginal bleeding, and any change in quality or quantity is alarming. Illiterate women predict and recall their bleeding episodes by using a lunar calender which indicates national or religious ceremonies. Menarch is reported to be an occasion of joy signifying womanhood, whereas menopause is resented and dreaded, associated with drying or shrinking of the uterus. Menstruation is induced by various folk means, because it is believed that retention of blood causes cramping and that blood flow will alleviate that pain. The cleansing ritual after each cycle has both physical and religious importance.
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