Communicating knowledge and embodied experiences of personal menstrual cup use through YouTube

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Abstract

Background: Despite being a normal part of life for many, menstruation is often stigmatized resulting in reduced knowledge of reusable products such as menstrual cups. YouTube videos can raise awareness of menstrual cups and challenge stigma, but little is known about the content creators or what content is communicated in the videos.
Aim: Firstly, to examine vlogger characteristics and the content of videos sharing personal experiences of cup use. Secondly, to evaluate the potential of these videos as a way of communicating about menstrual health.
Methods: A content analysis of the 100 most popular menstrual cup videos on YouTube followed by a qualitative thematic analysis of 50 videos containing personal experiences.Results:The content of the videos was captured in four themes: embodied knowledge; technology enabled intimacies; persuasive narratives and a collective sense of community.
Discussion: Vloggers communicated knowledge and embodied experiences of personal cup use. This represents a step towards destigmatizing menstruation and menstruants’ bodies, but issues around the complexities of vloggers’ motivations and the situatedness of vloggers remain.
Conclusions: Given the paucity of information on menstruation and reusable menstrual products, YouTube videos provide a potentially valuable resource for health communication and education especially for younger menstruants.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)58-72
Number of pages19
JournalQualitative Health Communication
Volume2
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 30 Jan 2023

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