GW4 Menstrual and Mental Health Research Community

GENERATOR FUND

Awarded: 2021

GW4 community leads
University of Bath: Melanie Channon
University of Bristol: Gemma Sharp (PI)
Cardiff University: Arianna Di Florio
University of Exeter: Anna Murray

Project overview

This research community will explore how the menstrual cycle interacts with mental health.

Twitter:

@GW4mmhrc

@ammegandchips

Website: gw4mmhrc.blogs.bristol.ac.uk

Background

Menstrual disorders, such as heavy/prolonged bleeding, painful periods, irregular cycles and severe premenstrual symptoms, are associated with lower quality of life and wellbeing, non-attendance at school and work, and higher rates of mental health disorders. Could menstrual health partly explain why women are nearly three times more likely than men to suffer from common mental health disorders, and this risk is highest during their reproductive years?

The association between menstrual and mental health is likely to be extremely complex and multidirectional, involving interactions between genetics, reproductive hormones and other physiological processes, but also environmental factors including lifestyle and social, political and structural influences on health and wellbeing. Associations are likely to vary within and between different global settings. Across the world, menstrual health and taboos can affect women’s quality of life and act to widen gender inequalities.

Project summary

The GW4 Menstrual and Mental Health Research Community brings together researchers from the South West of the UK to identify and address important areas of investigation using an interdisciplinary approach.

We will hold workshops to 1) share academic expertise and experience to brainstorm collaborative research ideas; 2) identify and engage with non-academic stakeholders to help prioritise and develop the most impactful ideas; 3) collaborate on research grant proposals. We will also establish an online presence and produce an infographic and animation to communicate our ideas more widely via accessible formats.

Community site (GW4 Portal)