T O P I C R E V I E W
Member # 31324
posted 11-01-2006 06:40 PM
I HATE getting my period. I hate I know every woman has to get it and it's supposed to be some mysterious connection to nature and to each other or whatever, but I just cannot deal with it.
I can't go swimming on it as I use pads only (yes I know that using a tampon will not make you lose your virginity but I still see it as a violation). When people point out that I'm bringing my backpack to the bathroom, it makes me want to cry. I know it's normal to have periods and stuff, but I don't care. I feel like it's an unwanted reminder: yes, woman, now you can get a decent job and vote and keep your last name, but you still have to bleed out your vagina for entire days at a time and have absolutely no control over your own body. I am considering taking the pill in such a way that will allow me to not have any periods at all. (I am not currently, nor have I ever, taken the pill in any way at all.) I am not sexually active, nor do I intend to be until I'm much older, so that's no factor in taking the pill. The physical side effects listed I can deal with, but here's my question: Will the addition hormones make my brain develop differently, so I will have different (even just a little) personality then I otherwise would have had? I am physically immature. When I was thirteen, I had a scan taken of my bones and I was physically eleven, and I had my first period on my fifteenth birthday (which made me hella mad, BTW.) I'm 16 now, so I guess I'm about, biologically, 13.5 years old. I want to stop getting my period, but NOT at the cost of messing with my brain. My dad told me that messing with your hormones when you're still developing is not a good idea. I don't care if there's an increased risk of infertility, or if I'll sprout hairs on my chin, or anything physical like that. But if there's even a 1% chance that my personality would be different because of this, I wouldn't want to do it; a different personality means I'm a different person. So does anyone know anything about this? ANYTHING at all would be greatly appreciated.
Member # 1207
posted 11-01-2006 08:42 PM
You do not NEED to stop your periods. You need to get used to them, b/c unless you're okay w/ taking hormones until you hit menopause, you're going to keep having them.
I feel like it's an unwanted reminder: yes, woman, now you can get a decent job and vote and keep your last name, but you still have to bleed out your vagina for entire days at a time and have absolutely no control over your own body. What makes you think men have more control over their bodies than women do? We get posts upon posts from young men wondering what they can do about getting erections at the most inopportune times. I don't really think we're at a huge disadvantage for having periods. There are many other things about our bodies that we cannot control too ... We require a certain amount of sleep, food for fuel, and oxygen ... ! These are all definites that we get used to because we have to. Why should a period be any different? As for your question ... It's unlikely that the pill would permanently mess with your brain/personality. This is something you can discuss with your doctor though when you go to him/her for a prescription.
Member # 31324
posted 11-01-2006 10:30 PM
<<You do not NEED to stop your periods. You need to get used to them, b/c unless you're okay w/ taking hormones until you hit menopause, you're going to keep having them.>
That's where you're wrong. I am willing to take hormones, just like any other medicine, in order to eliminate a problem that ruins a good portion of my life. I shouldn't have to get used to having periods. Whenever possible, I control my body; it does not control me. I shouldn't have to play victim to this biologically-mandated hell when modern medicine has offered me a way out. This is the same as taking cough medicine: yes, without modern medicine, you would have to just deal with it. It's not natural to ingest cough syrup to stop the nuisance, but nobody except a Christian Scientist would chastise a person for taking it. Just because my problem afflicts only females does not mean I should have to deal with it. The average woman is not willing to stop her period through hormonal treatment. But that's irrelevant to me. This is my body and I call the shots. <<What makes you think men have more control over their bodies than women do? We get posts upon posts from young men wondering what they can do about getting erections at the most inopportune times.> So many people say that having a period is somehow analogous to having an erection/orgasm. But they're NOT the same. Erections and orgasms are about the male sexual response (which in favorable circumstances bring pleasure), whereas periods are about reproduction and have no aspect of pleasure to them. I'll bet that at least 99% of the boys who complain about spontaneous erections masturbate or experience orgasm with a partner. Girls, on the other hand, do not complain about the incessant bleeding and then privately enjoy the pleasures of having fertilized eggs latch onto their insides. At least, not most of them. It's not just about a lack of control. It's about WHAT I cannot control. <<There are many other things about our bodies that we cannot control too ... We require a certain amount of sleep, food for fuel, and oxygen ... ! These are all definites that we get used to because we have to. Why should a period be any different?> The things you listed are requirements that we must meet in order to live. We get used to them because we need them, not because they are inevitable nuisances of life. Unless you cannot get food, eating is not a burden. Eating can, in fact, be very pleasurable. Oxygen is all around us and unless you have some sort of medical problem, breathing is not a burden. The need for sleep can be annoying if you're busy, but our society is structured so that we may meet this need, and sleep itself is not unpleasant. We are expected to sleep (save for med students), and there can certainly be an aspect of pleasure to it. Sleep keeps our organs running properly, whereas having periods does nothing of the sort. There is even evidence to suggest that having monthly periods leads to certain cancers. Periods are not necessary for survival. A period is just the consequence of not getting knocked up. Endometrial tissue exists for a fertilized egg to attach to; the tissue and blood do not build up for the purpose of being shed. I have no desire to reproduce, and I have no need for reproductive wastes. (Yes, that's all the tissue and blood are: reproductive waste.) <<As for your question ... It's unlikely that the pill would permanently mess with your brain/personality. This is something you can discuss with your doctor though when you go to him/her for a prescription.> Thank you very much for that.
Member # 22471
posted 11-02-2006 01:54 AM
Just as an fyi, hon, menstrual periods actually ARE more than just "reproductive waste" - the vagina is self-cleaning, and periods actually do help minimize your risks of getting bacterial or yeast infections. So, it may be sound that when speaking to your doctor you discuss the pros and cons of long-term hormonal birth control, and maybe discuss trying out one of the three-four month methods so you'll still have a couple periods a year, but you'll understand when they would come/etc. and you'd probably be safer in terms of vaginal health - there just haven't been enough studies done on the long-term effects of ceasing menstruation, nor on the effects of taking hormonal birth control for more than 5 or so plus years, to get reliable results on whether full cesation/long term H.B.C use can be detrimental to your health.
If you wouldn't mind, could you cite this: There is even evidence to suggest that having monthly periods leads to certain cancers. So we can have a soruce for our own knowledge and for reference for this topic? And remember, too, on that point? While newer prescriptions are improving, there have been many studies and a lot of evidence showing hormonal birth control use (especially prolonged use) can increase your risk of breast cancer. Also? Please try and cut some of your tone and attitude while you're on the boards, alright? Sure, this is a seirous issue to you, but there's no reason to be rash or snippy. Smurf is an RN, she knows what's she talking about. And just a final reminder: we really do not tolerate discrimination or offhand comments of ANY kind here, even if said in jest or not intended to be offensive. We understand it's often difficult to communicate intention through the internet, but it's best to just drop any possibly offensive comments all together. We need to respect people of all religions here. Cool? [ 11-02-2006, 02:29 AM: Message edited by: dailicious ]
Member # 8067
posted 11-02-2006 04:56 AM
This is my body and I call the shots. Except that you're not calling the shots at all if you're passively accepting social standards that associate biological femaleness with being weak, "violated", out-of-control, etc. Ultimately, it's some blood and maybe some cramps. If you're not buying the "it's a deep mystic connection to nature" stuff (and you don't have to), there's no reason why you should buy the "female biology is shameful and dirty" stuff either. Sometimes periods can be stressful if they feel like the final evidence that you're stuck in a "female" role which you're not comfortable with. But you get to reconfigure what that means for you; you don't have to accept the symbolism that society is trying to impose. Sleep keeps our organs running properly, whereas having periods does nothing of the sort. Actually, as dailicious pointed out, there's a fair amount of evidence that they do just that. Even if they're just dumping of wastes, that can be a pretty crucial function - urination is "just" dumping the body's wastes, but I wouldn't advise trying to avoid ever urinating again ... I'm wondering if you're dealing with any other body image issues - for example, sometimes this sort of extreme reaction to menstruation is associated with eating disorders or being transgendered. Does any of that ring a bell with you?
Member # 31324
posted 01-30-2007 03:45 PM
Ok, I apologize if I said anything offensive. I can't see any religions I've even mentioned, though, except Christan Science, and if I'm not mistaken, many modern medicines violate its teachings. I didn't mean that as disrespect against Christian Science though, or any people who practice or believe in it.
<<Except that you're not calling the shots at all if you're passively accepting social standards that associate biological femaleness with being weak, "violated", out-of-control, etc.> I don't think I'm violated simply by being female. I think using a tampon is a violation of my body, not from thinking I won't be "clean" or good enough anymore, but because I've using tampons and they hurt and feel really intrusive. And I do think that biologically, females are weak. But that's a scientifically proven fact, less testosterone, etc. <<Ultimately, it's some blood and maybe some cramps.> Bleeding is uncomfortable and is something I would rather not deal with if given the choice. I hate having to wash the blood out of my underwear. Also, I'm taking a lifeguard training class and have no idea what I'm going to do about my periods. This problem is running a large portion of my life. It might just seem like some blood but it puts significant limitations on what I can do. I had to stay home today because my cramps were so bad I could hardly move. Now I have to make up the missed schoolwork, and considering that my teachers give at least 45 minutes of HW each per night, there's going to be a lot of it. I'm sick of this running at least a fifth of my days. <<there's no reason why you should buy the "female biology is shameful and dirty" stuff either.> I don't buy that. I don't think menstruation is shameful or dirty; I think it's a huge nuisance and physically painful. <<I'm wondering if you're dealing with any other body image issues - for example, sometimes this sort of extreme reaction to menstruation is associated with eating disorders or being transgendered. Does any of that ring a bell with you?> I've never had an eating disorder (never even dieted) and my doctor says I'm at a healthy weight. And I'm not transgendered. Honestly, I think I'd rather have been born male because they enjoy better positions in society, don't have to go through the pains of labor to have their biological children, are stronger, and don't have to have periods. But I've never felt that I AM male, or would change from being female if given the choice. <<Even if they're just dumping of wastes, that can be a pretty crucial function - urination is "just" dumping the body's wastes, but I wouldn't advise trying to avoid ever urinating again ...> People urinate because they require an intake of liquids in order to survive, and they eventually need to dispose of the wastes incurred by this intake. Women menstruate because their bodies make tissue so men can impregnate them, and when they are not impregnated, this tissue has to go somewhere. But this buildup of tissue is only necessary if a woman wants to become pregnant. I don't want to become pregnant so I don't need this function of my reproductive system right now. If I stop eating and drinking I would die; if I stop making endometrial tissue I would survive. Peeing and bleeding are two very different things, IMO.
Member # 3
posted 01-30-2007 04:54 PM
I'm going to sidestep some the internalized misogyny that's here as well as some of the other stuff being said just because flatly, I don't have patience for the negativity today. Know I do fully recognize that some of the attitudes you're voicing here are hardly things you personally invented, and nobody holds you responsible for negative attitudes about women and our bodies that've been perpetuated for eons. It's tough stuff to counter and unlearn.
While it's likely that your attitudes about menstruation and women's bodies are probably not going to help you in your life and likely something you should probably address eventually in a constructive way, it doesn't really matter why you want to do this per information we can give you on how this could effect you physically and how it all works. So, let's get practical instead. Menstruation does serve several purposes, including being part of the self-cleaning of the vagina (and a decent part of our moods and mood patterns have to do with our natural fertility cycles: ask any menopausal woman about that if you're curious). So, while it's clear you've convinced yourself they serve only one purpose, that simply isn't the case, so there's no need to go on about it ad nauseum. If in doubt, and you are curious, just pick up any basic OB/GYN reference, or look at reliable gynecological sources like this: http://www.cemcor.ubc.ca/ Otherwise, this stuff just isn't helpful: it doesn't help you, and we know better, so. Waste of everyone's time, and not relevant anyway, okay? As of right now, as a concensus, doctors have only okayed -- per everyone's health -- a minimum of four menstrual periods per year for those adult women who want to suppress menstruation, and that can be acheived via oral contraceptives (Depo-Provera and the Mirena IUD also sometimes suppress menstruation, but that's not a given: sometimes they do the opposite, which is to cause contstant bleeding or spotting, and there's no way to know in advance who will have what effects). Seasonale is the one BCP expressly designed to work expressly that way, but others can be used that way. No periods or bleeding at all isn't an option. Even if you went against doctors orders and took all your pill packs back to back for years (which would be seriously inadviseable, and your doctor can explain more of why if you like, or we can), you'd find yourself spotting or bleeding totally unpredictably now and then: use of BCPs does not completely inhibit the growth of the endometirum, no matter how you take them. And even if there were not serious health risks, I don't imagine it'd be more convenient for you to have no idea when you're going to bleed than it is to have a good idea of when. The jury is still out on use of this by women still in puberty per bone mass, endometriosis and endometrial overgrwoth risks, cerdiovascular risks, breast and reproductive cancer risks (both in terms of regular use of BCPs, but all the more so with that added week of use each month), and by no means could you take OCPs for all of your reproductive life healthfully (again, per those and other risks), so there's that for you to also bear in mind (in a word, that you cannot not menstruate at all, and you likely won't be able to do that four period minimum a year forever, so will have to likely deal with regular periods at some point). Too, mood changes are a very common side effect with BCPs and other hormonal methods, so if you don't want to risk that, this won't be doable for you. But ultimately, the person to talk to about this is your OB/GYN. He or she can look at your health history and make an assessment (and also make sure that if you're having high levels of pain, that isn't stemming from another issues, like PCOS which needs treatment, or related to the physical developmental delays you're reporting) per if this is something okay for you to do or not, and you can aks all the questions in the world about it from someone with the specifics of your health history and issues at hand. If you don't have an OB/GYN yet, you should have started that annual care by now anyway, so now's the time to go, especially since if menstrual suppression (again, you still have four times a year to deal with) via BCPs is something you want to do, that'll be the person to write the prescription for you and make sure hormonal contraceptives are even okay for you to take, period (no pun intended). [ 01-30-2007, 05:26 PM: Message edited by: Heather ]
Member # 27418
posted 02-05-2007 05:44 AM
[Edit: Oops, I'm a dork. I got here via clicking on a "most recent" link on the front page and didn't realize what section it was in. :*( Feel free to delete this post if that's the appropriate thing to do.]
This may seem a little off topic, but have you considered a menstrual cup for your swimming days? You say that you find tampons invasive and painful, which was my assessment as well, but I did not experience discomfort with my DivaCup. It sits low in the vagina, unlike a tampon, and it is smooth rather than dry, so it goes in more easily once you get the hang of folding it--especially with a touch of lubrication. It would be an experimental investment, as it doesn't maintain its "lock" for all women during such rigorous exercise (it doesn't for me), but I have also spoken with gals on alternative menstrual boards who reported zero problems wearing their cups in the pool. It might just be something for you to consider. http://luckyvitamin.com/ sells the DivaCup and the Keeper (just do a search on the left sidebar). That said, it is of course 100% your call what you choose to do with your own body. However, I personally would wish to persuade you towards seeking other alternatives, because from where I am standing, it just looks as though your chosen path of action (and mentality) has a great potential to be harmful. Physically, it's no small business to crunch your periods down to four per year (which is, as Heather mentioned, the most extreme form of suppression available on the market). There is a very low understanding thus far of the long-term effects that BC hormones have on the body, though we suspect it in relation to cancer, reduced bone-mass, decreased fertility, and KNOW it to be related to blood-clot dangers. (In fact, after being on the market for as long as it has, "the Patch" is starting to suffer under law suits because it was found to cause an unreasonably high risk for blood clots.) Emotionally, though, it doesn't feel very cozy to put myself in the shoes of wanting to alter a natural part of my body because I have intensely negative feelings towards it. This is just my view here, but having such vicious thoughts about your reproductive system is no less harmful than hating a facial feature, big hips, dark areolas, long labia, etc., to name a few common complaints. It's just plain a bad relationship with your body, which equals stress and unhappiness, and almost always based on prejudiced societal perspectives. Your period isn't a SICKNESS--you aren't ill. You are wanting to take medication to halt a natural, healthy bodily rhythm. Lastly, interfering with your hormones CAN have consiquences on your "personality". Mood and emotional thresholds effect how we act and develop. While some women don't notice any emotional effects, others have reactions that range from moderate to downright dramatic. In my own personal experience, the pill made me so self-destructive and suicidal that I had to stop because I was fearing for my safety. I also had zero emotional reserve for coping with stress and consiquently was a much angrier, nasty person at that time. Whatever you decide, please review all of the risks carefully and without prejudice. Consider your motivations for wanting to suppress your period and keep your mental health in mind. Don't allow yourself to be rushed into something like this because of negative emotions. Give it one hell of a try to work through those emotions first before you consider altering your body. [ 02-05-2007, 05:49 AM: Message edited by: RedGoddess ]