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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Sex Basics and Sexual Health » Postponing Menstruation

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Author Topic: Postponing Menstruation
Gumdrop Girl
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Member # 568

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Disclaimer: Don't even think about attempting this without consulting a gynecologist first!

First off, I need to explain the concept of life history and the life history of a Homo sapien female.

Life history is a chronolgy of the biological events that occur during an organism's lifespan. These include birth, development, reproduction, death, and so forth.

Now, according to anthropologists and biologists, the life history of a human female who does not use *any* form of contraception (the so-called "natural" female) is as follows: she is born. she reaches menarche at about age 13. she is infertile for about 1.5 years (menstruation without ovulation). she marries/mates. about a year later, she gives birth. she nurses, during which time she is unable to conceive. she stops nursing after at least two years, she gets pregnant again. the cycle starts over and repeats about 7 times. she might reach menopause depending on how advanced her society is. then she dies.

Notice, in all of that, she does not have time to menstruate. and if she does not menstruate, she does not ovulate.

According to some researchers, nature intended women to NOT menstruate much as modern women do (every month for how many years? that's a lot of ovulations). No, it's not feasible for women to just keep getting pregnant, though.

Instead, what they have proposed is the postponing of ovulation by hormonal treatments. Women who want to postpone ovulations take birth-control pills, but instead of taking the inert pills (placebos), they start on a new pack of active pills.

What purpose does this serve? According to these scientists, cessation of menses can lower your risk for ovarian cancer, reduce endometriosis, alleviate PMS, lower your risk of anemia, and if it weren't reward enough, you won't have to bleed for a week.

What are the risks? Women should not stop their menses for more than 6 months at a time. The endometrial tissue (which you shed when you have your period) can mutate and become cancerous if kept in too long.

there is a counter argument that i read about a few years ago. A female anthropologist claimed that menstruation had its purpose in cleaning out the uterus, expelling bacteria and other wastes, thus maintaining a healthy body.

Anyway, I put that information up for everyone to pore over and give your thoughts on. Again, I'd like to reiterate, do NOT mess with your pills, do NOT try this without consulting your gynecologist first!

i think you're special ... and i don't mean that in a short bus kind of way

Posts: 12677 | From: Los Angeles, CA ... somewhere off the 10 | Registered: Jul 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Member # 554

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There is an article in this weeks TIME magazine, "Who Needs a Period," about a new pill *seasonale* which will "reduce the number of periods a woman experiences to as few as four a year." "historically women have spent most of their fertile years either pregnant or nursing. As a result, they averageed about 150 period between pubert and menopause, compared with 400 in developed countries today." Things like endometriosis are, it is believed, more likely the more cycles a woman goes thru.
There are risks tho, nine extra weeks of estrogen increases risks of blood clots or stroke and possibly breast cancer. Doctors do not know how this will affect fertility.


Knowledge is power, use it wisely

Posts: 62 | From: Georgia, USA | Registered: Jul 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
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Gumdrop Girl is right -- don't do this on your own, not even as an experiment.

This is a THEORY. It's untested, unproven, and has no track record. It's getting a lot of press, and a lot of press means.... absolutely nothing.

Time will tell whether doctors think this is anything more than a temporarily attractive notion that might prove to be convenient for women who don't want to menstruate as often as their bodies otherwise would.

Generally speaking, Miz Scarlet and I are not in favor of doing anything that alters your body and hormonal chemistry unless there's a darned good medical reason to do it. The side effects are too numerous and the chances for unpleasant fallout too high.

We say, if it ain't broke, don't fix it. Normal menstruation is not an illness and does not need to be medically changed.

Hanne Blank
Associate Editor, Scarleteen

"Be Excellent To Each Other" -- Bill and Ted

Posts: 1538 | From: boston, ma, USA | Registered: Jun 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Executive Director & Founder
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I think there are a few things here that got left in the lurch, and I hope Hanne will comment as well.

For starters, comparing medical issues from eons ago to now is dicey because no one studied those women on the same level we can study bodies now.

In addition, some of the things you listed as givens are not as given as most people think. Some women can mesntruate and conceive while still nursing. Some women are fertile from the start of menarche. In addition, the rate of procreation is ALL over the map.

Menstraution does contribute in expelling wastes, and without it, a good many health complications and illnesses can be at play.

All in all, that entire argument doesn't hold a lot of water in my mind, and even if it were so, the benefits don't necessarily outweigh the risks.

It also seems more than a little oxymoronic to say that nature intended one thing and so we must chemically alter ourselves to mimic nature.

Posts: 68290 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
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I'm with Hanne. I also agree that menstruation is a cleansing thing. I feel like there's a cleansing when I'm bleeding. Then again, I'm a freaky menstruation maven.

My menstrual diary
Updated as often as my uterus

Posts: 752 | From: Canada | Registered: Jun 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator

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