Jump to content
The Hidden Fortress

Period: The End of Menstruation?


jana
 Share

Recommended Posts

excerpts from an article available here in the new york times (you might need to register to read the whole thing).

 

"It's not an easy decision for a woman to give up her monthly menses," said Ronny Gal, an analyst at Sanford C. Bernstein & Company.

 

But if the new pill, called Lybrel, is approved, Mr. Gal predicts an onslaught of advertising meant to persuade women to do just that.

 

...

 

The company's research shows that nearly two-thirds of women it surveyed expressed an interest in giving up their periods. That dovetails with the findings of similar research conducted by Linda C. Andrist, a professor at MGH Institute of Health Professions in Boston.

 

"We don't want to confront our bodily functions anymore," Ms. Andrist said. “We're too busy.” Doctors say they know of no medical reason women taking birth control pills need to have a period. The monthly bleeding that women on pills experience is not a real period, in fact.

 

...

 

Ms. Hitchcock, a director of the organization (Society for Menstrual Cycle Research), said that although some research has been comforting, she remained concerned that medical science did not fully understand the long-term implications of interrupting women’s periods. The same hormones that work on the menstrual cycles act in the brain, bones and the skin, she said.

 

...

 

Eliminating menstruation is not a completely new concept. Women who take any kind of oral contraceptive do not have real periods.

 

Because the hormones in pills stop the monthly release of an egg and the buildup of the uterine lining, there is no need for the lining to shed — as occurs during true menstruation.

 

Still, since the advent of oral contraceptives in 1960, birth control pills typically have been designed to mimic the natural 28-day menstrual cycle to assure women using the pill that their bodies were functioning normally.

 

...

 

"We don’t have any long-term studies for what happens if you stop periods for years and years and years," said Dr. Maria Bustillo, a reproductive endocrinologist in Miami. Dr. Bustillo said there was probably no increased risk over traditional birth control regimens, but added that the "jury is still out" on whether breast cancer risk might be increased.

 

Although studies are conflicting, some have shown that the birth control pill may increase that risk. According to the National Cancer Institute, research indicates that the pill increases the risk of liver cancer in otherwise low-risk women while decreasing the risk of cancers of the ovary and the endometrium — the lining of the uterus.

 

With Barr's Seasonale and Seasonique, the biggest medical problem so far — one that has also cropped up in tests of Wyeth's Lybrel — is that users can have unpredictable and irregular bleeding or “spotting” that is worse than with regular birth control pills.

 

so, how many of you would, if given the chance, have opted for no periods?

 

i'm surprised to find - even as i bleed copiously while reading the article - that i'm a little dodgy about getting rid of periods altogether. it sounds ideal, i know, but i can't help wondering whether there aren't side effects that we aren't aware of. plus at a more personal level, i do believe that the healthy body functions in a particular way and maintains a balance this way. can't help wondering if this isn't tampering with that balance. :dunno:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

i'm surprised to find - even as i bleed copiously while reading the article - that i'm a little dodgy about getting rid of periods altogether. it sounds ideal, i know, but i can't help wondering whether there aren't side effects that we aren't aware of. plus at a more personal level, i do believe that the healthy body functions in a particular way and maintains a balance this way. can't help wondering if this isn't tampering with that balance. :dunno:

 

:neutral:

 

okay, i always found it quite a pain someplace or other, but i think tampering with all that cannot be good. the trend to mess around with stuff we do not really know enough about is scary, and i bet this will have nasty side effects for every woman who tries it. i think we know close to nothing about how things are connected, and this is a really big thing to change.

 

i guess it is a tough one to accept that in the end we are just biologically functioning organisms, but i think we are. and maybe just accepting that would help a little :wink:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

well i know some people who did go for this pill that made women have "fake periods" just four times a year. hellkitty, for example. she was over the moon with it.

 

i just can't convince myself that it's ... natural. which, of course, it isn't. see, when they came up with cures for the common cold, who knew that a quarter of these combinations would make people more prone to stroke? similarly, i can't help wondering if there aren't hidden demons in this.

 

or maybe i'm just a wus and i want to cling to the only symbol of fertility a woman has, as one of the fruitier professors in the article said. :roll:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

well i know some people who did go for this pill that made women have "fake periods" just four times a year. hellkitty, for example. she was over the moon with it.
i have been taking the "normal" pill for a long time (14 years or so) and had no problems, but i know a lot of women who had.

 

depression, weight problems, loss of libido ...

 

i shudder to think what problems even more radical interruptins of normal body functins will have.

 

and actually, if i still had the choice :p i would leave it all alone.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

hmm. difficult one.

 

As one who has had heavy, painful periods all my life until recently, (as they 'tail off' with the onset of the menopause :joy: roll on the end zone!) there have been times when i would have jumped at the chance of never having another encounter with Auntie Flo.

 

i have no hang-ups about the fertility thing, never having had a maternal atom in my body, and no intention of ever breeding!

 

BUT - i hate the idea of 'messing about' with a working system, (i don't even like taking aspirin unless it's needed to get me thruogh a meeting or real problem..) so to do it by drugs, even for the convenience, money saving (why DO we have to pay VAT???) or sheer personal pain-relief.... :no:

 

...plus given the current reports about HRT upping the chances of ovarian cancer, the side effects of having the whole lot taken away - osteoporosis being only one - i kinda think it's all best left alone.

 

which is annoying, when faced with Auntie, yet again.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

which is annoying, when faced with Auntie, yet again.

that it is. but then, better the Auntie you know ...

 

also, a thought i just had while pottering tín the garden - imagine this becoming wide-spread. we might face at one point demands to prove you are taking medication like that so that your employer can be sure you have no time-outs due to menstrual problems ... the world being as perverted as it is, it is not impossible.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

:nodsgrimly: particularly with jobs like fighter pilot. They (apparently) had to sign up not to get pregnant before they'd recouped their training costs...... some of me can see the point of this, but it smacks too much of someone else taking control of something that should be an individual and personal matter.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

mad, i have to say even if i do have my share of maternal atoms (ask mackie :p ), i doubt the reason they thrive is my copious bleeding. like you, i'm terribly averse to drugs unless it's absolutely inevitable, like with something like blood pressure. i saw my father being healed from comatose to keep-me-on-my-toes with minimal drugs because as his neurologist said, "trust the brain. there's a reason it's called the brain." :lol: so i do have a lot of faith in the body functioning normally.

 

at the same time, it is SO bloody tempting to think no blood, no cramps... dear god, my knees feel weak already. :lol: i'm sure people froke out at penicillin when it first came out. :lol:

 

what i find interesting is that the divide becomes between left and right-wing thoughts, rather than it's utilitarian value and possible after-effects.

 

the possibility of employers insisting women use this is, of course, entirely possible. and frightening as an option. :s

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest Girl from Mars

Never had any problems with my period, I get it like two days every four weeks or so and it's very light and the pain is minimal. So I don't really know what it's like to have bad period pains or heavy bleeding. Anyway, I was on the pill since I was 14 or so and did not like it at all. But what can you do? The additional hormones, I don't now, it's not natural.

 

So to be on a pill that gives you hormones and makes the period go away, no thanks. I prefer not to mess with the hormone balance anymore since I got my tubes fused. (Mad, I had to laugh so hard about your description: Not a maternal atom in me either :lol:)

 

I do understand that women who have horrible periods want to get rid of it tho. You must just understand at what price, I think. Because additional hormones are not good for your body, at least that's what I think. :huh:

 

Ehm, rambling incoherent post again, but this is kinda how my mind works. :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I never had really painful periods for the most part so they were just a minor inconvenience most of the time. I once saw a tv show, the old series Thirty Somthing, in which one of the characters had to havea hysterectomy. She was saying she never thought in a million years that she'd "miss" her periods but she did. She missed the rhythm of it. The little "high" you get at the end when your energy swings up, the cruising along part mid-cycle, maybe noticing mittelschmertz, the slower pace as your period approaches again and the release and sloughing off. I'm not describing it very well at all, but I remember that speech and agree.

 

I wouldn't have wanted to do away with it at all, but am glad of the modern advances that make it so much easier. Tampons instead of pads & the godawful belts.

Better pain relief. Just feeling free to talk about it more.

 

Having said all that, I'd like to add that as long as it has chosen to end it's preformance in my body, I wish it would leave already. It is like Inspector Columbo. It's always "Um, just one more thing, Maam....."

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Having said all that, I'd like to add that as long as it has chosen to end it's preformance in my body, I wish it would leave already. It is like Inspector Columbo. It's always "Um, just one more thing, Maam....."

YES!!! :roflmao:

 

:smooch:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

the contention in the article seemed to be that most women are nervous about giving up periods altogether because having this monthly trauma is almost integral to the idea of what a woman is. i wonder about that. i mean, there's so much i can explain away with "PMS" that it's deeply delightful. :manic: but the moment we're given a chance to give up the thing we gripe about so much, do we feel like we've lost a part of ourselves? you know, i have to admit, there might be some truth to that.

 

i think what i would really like is for periods to become stress-free. once a month, let it all get sucked out in one big whoosh (no mess, no discomfort), rather than lingering over days, causing cramps et al. i think i would be ok with that. the best of both worlds. a sort of sci-fi menstruation. :manic:

 

jude, i'll have you know, we still don't have tampons in india. well, we do but the local ones are really crap. not ... ahem... user-friendly. or so i'm told by those who are tampon-devotees (most of them actually buy mahussive boxes of the stuff whenever they go abroad. :lol: ).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest Girl from Mars

No tampons? Eeek! Never used pads but I hear they can be uncomfy.

Yes and to be able to say "PMS" when being an unrational Berserker is quite handy. And mostly also the reason for the berserker-ness, I think. On the other hand I am quite certain that even without a period women might have mood swings. And no easy way to explain it. Look at men. Men have mood swings and with no period and pms in sight they must just shut up about them :lol:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Interesting article, Ducky.

 

Funnily enough, I read somewhere that female government employees in India were having to give details of their monthly cycle to ensure they didn't take too much time off :neutral:

 

My periods have steadily got heavier and far more painful over the years, but I certainly wouldn't stop them :no: I'd rather have 2-3 days of cramps than stuff myself full of tablets :yes:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Please sign in to comment

You will be able to leave a comment after signing in



Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...