Male perception about the inconveniences associated with monthly bleeding for their partner – an international survey

Iñaki Lete, Paloma Lobo, Rossella E. Nappi, Axelle Pintiaux, Christian Fiala, Günther Häusler, Nathalie Chabbert-Buffet

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: To assess men’s perceptions about monthly bleeding and associated inconveniences for their partner, as well as men’s attitudes regarding the desired menstruation frequency for their partner and knowledge about hormonal contraceptives. Methods: A 15 min quantitative online survey was conducted among 5044 men aged 18–45 years, who had been in a relationship for more than 6 months, across 13 European countries (Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, The Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Spain and Switzerland). Responses were compared to those obtained in a similar study among European women. Results: Most men perceived that their partner considered her menstrual flow as moderate, lasting an average of 5.2 d, slightly longer than previously reported by women. Almost all men reported that their partners experience menstruation-related symptoms. However, prevalence of mood-related symptoms was perceived to be more frequent and physical symptoms less frequent, relative to women’s self-reported symptoms. Given the option, 71% of men would choose longer intervals between their partner’s periods. Maintaining the couple’s sex life, social life and relationship quality were key factors cited in their preference. Overall, 42% of respondents stated that women taking hormonal contraceptives needed to have monthly periods. Conclusions: Men’s perception regarding their partner’s periods was generally consistent with that previously reported by women. Most men would prefer less frequent bleeding episodes for their partners. Although, the present data suggest that couples are discussing periods, knowledge about contraception could be improved. Health care professionals should intensify counselling to better inform both partners about their contraceptive options.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages11
JournalEuropean Journal of Contraception and Reproductive Health Care
Publication statusAccepted/In press - Jan 22 2018


  • Contraception
  • knowledge
  • male
  • menstrual symptoms
  • menstruation
  • preferences

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Reproductive Medicine
  • Obstetrics and Gynaecology
  • Pharmacology (medical)

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