A Phenomenological Study of the Menopausal Experience

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)



First Advisor

Constance E. Young


This is a phenomenological research study of the lived experience of four menopausal women. The purpose of the research was to begin to understand the menopausal experience from the perspective of the women experiencing it. The data for analysis was provided by the transcriptions of four interviews. The transcripts were analyzed according to Colaizzi's seven step method of analysis. Three themes emerged from the data. The themes were: (1) "the meaning of change to the individual, (2) "the maladies of menopause" and (3) "invisible, ignored and misunderstood". "The meaning of change to the individual" describes moving on to a new phase in their lives. "The maladies of menopause" includes both the emotional and physical manifestations of menopause. The final theme of "invisible, ignored and misunderstood" describes the relations of the women to their health care providers and their families. The most important implication for advanced nursing practice is that women need to be understood within the context of their lives.


Master's Thesis submitted to the Faculty Sacred Heart University Nursing Program in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the Degree Master of Science in Nursing.