'Grin and bear it.' Socio-cultural constructions of endometriosis.

Apenteng, Patricia, Denny, Elaine, Culley, Lorraine, Papadopoulos, Irena ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-6291-4332 and Mann, Christopher (2009) 'Grin and bear it.' Socio-cultural constructions of endometriosis. In: BSA Medical Sociology Group Annual Conference, 3-5 September 2009, University of Manchester. . [Conference or Workshop Item]


Women from minority ethnic communities with reproductive health conditions represent diverse conceptions of health, disease
and healing practices. They also experience physical, emotional and spiritual needs that require consideration in their care
planning. This paper is based on findings from focus group discussions with women from minority ethnic groups, conducted as
the first phase of a qualitative study that seeks to explore endometriosis (a debilitating condition affecting women’s reproductive
system) and cultural diversity.
Five focus groups were carried out with women from each of the minority ethnic groups being recruited to the main study (n=42).
These are women of Greek, African-Caribbean, Indian, Pakistani, and Chinese origin. The discussions aimed to understand the
socio-cultural context of women from these groups and explored cultural meanings of menstruation, reproduction, sexuality,
awareness of endometriosis and access to health services. Findings reveal cultural constructions and taboos around
menstruation, and fertility appeared to be of particular significance to the women who participated in these focus groups. The
focus groups also inform of a limited awareness of endometriosis and a tendency to normalise menstrual pain, a common
symptom of endometriosis.
This paper examines the main themes identified in the focus groups and suggests that in order to provide culturally sensitive care
there is a need to take into account specific issues around sexuality and reproduction which may constitute barriers to care for
women from particular ethnic groups with endometriosis.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Research Areas: A. > School of Health and Education > Mental Health, Social Work and Interprofessional Learning
Item ID: 6296
Useful Links:
Depositing User: Rena Papadopoulos
Date Deposited: 19 Jul 2010 07:17
Last Modified: 03 Aug 2019 15:58
URI: https://eprints.mdx.ac.uk/id/eprint/6296

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