There has been growing recognition of menstrual hygiene management (MHM) as a significant public health issue. However, research has predominately focused on the experiences of adolescent girls in school settings. The purpose of this research is to examine detailed accounts of menstruation for women in rural Odisha, India at various life stages with a view toward improving international monitoring of MHM. Focus group discussions and in-depth interviews were conducted to understand women’s experiences of menstruation across four life stages (unmarried women, recently married women, married women, and older women). Thematic analysis was used to identify menstruation-related challenges and needs. We found women voiced needs that aligned with those captured by the WHO/UNICEF Joint Monitoring Programme for Water Supply, Sanitation and Hygiene (JMP) definition for MHM: access to clean materials, privacy for changing materials, soap and water for bathing, and disposal facilities for materials. However, we also found women require materials that are not only clean but comfortable and reliable; soap and water for more than bathing; privacy for the full spectrum of menstruation-related practices, not just when changing; and disposal facilities that are private and safe, not just accessible. Additionally, we identified needs that extend beyond the existing definition: pain management, social support, and an enabling sociocultural environment. Overall, women representing all life stages discussed menstruation challenges, including bathing, pain, and washing, drying, and storing cloth materials. Cloth management challenges were most acute for unmarried and recently married women, who were concerned that practices could reveal their menstrual status and harm their reputations, thus informing their preference for disposable materials, if attainable. We propose a revised definition of adequate MHM for this population that more comprehensively captures their needs. This definition may also prove useful for other populations, future research, creating measures of assessment, and guiding interventions and program priorities.