See also Words and expressions for menstruation.

Would you stop menstruating if you could? (scroll down for readers' responses, 267 on this page by my count)
Add YOUR comments!

November 2005: A new pill is making its way through Food and Drug Administration approval, one that will stop periods indefinitely, not just allowing them four times a year. The Canadian magazine Maclean's published a story about it here in December, 2005.
In March and April, 2000, several articles and comments appeared (including in the New Yorker magazine - read that whole article for free - The Lancet medical journal, and the Guardian newspaper, and in many places since then) about the benefits of stopping menstruation. The inspiration was mainly the book Is Menstruation Obsolete? (read some excerpts), by Brazilian Dr. Elsimar Coutinho, with Dr. Sheldon Segal (Oxford University Press, 1999), which argued that the benefits far outweigh any problems. (Kathleen O'Grady reviews the book.) The work of Beverly Strassmann, of the University of Michigan [U.S.A.], who has studied the menstrual customs of the Dogon people of Africa for years - they use menstrual huts - also supports the argument for fewer periods. (Click on for a variety of sources of information about stopping periods.)
More recently (February 2002), Prof. Patricia Sulak, M.D., a gynecologist at Texas A&M University, e-mailed me to explain her support (read her message) for stopping menstruation, including an announcement of a relevant study to be in American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology (June 2002).
Another Brazilian physician, Dr. Nelson Soucasaux, opposes uninterrupted use of hormonal contraceptives for menstrual suppression (July 2001).
In August 2000 Barr Laboratories announced that it was trying to get approval for Seasonale, birth-control pills packaged to take for 90 days at a time, so a woman would menstruate only once every three months. A year later, in the journal Human Reproduction, a study reported that rhesus macaque monkeys stopped menstruating after their progesterone receptors were blocked, and started up again when the blocker-drug was no longer given (see MUM news for 26 August 2001). The Food and Drug Administration approved Seasonale and the company announced it will be available by November 2002. It's now available. Read its press release at the bottom of the news page. Read more.
And in March, 2001, a play in New York City, Even the Queen, treats this theme (see the MUM news for 11 March 2001).
After the conference of The Society for Menstrual Cycle Research (Society Web site), June 2003, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (U.S.A.), the menstrual suppression panel of the conference issued a press release (here) which states, in part, "[W]e do not believe that continuous oral contraceptive use should be prescribed to all menstruating women out of a rejection of a normal, healthy menstrual cycle." Read an article in the Pittsburgh newspaper Post-Gazette about the conference. (The article ends with a quote from one of your letters, below!)
The New York Times quoted from your e-mail below for an article on menstrual suppression in the 14 October 2003 edition, Science Times section (online here).
What do YOU think? Would you stop menstruating indefinitely - for years, maybe - if you could start up again easily if you wanted a child? Put your comments with the ones below. No need to add your name or address, but writing your age might give a hint of generational differences, and it would be informative to give your nationality or part of the country. (Some writers, below, have allowed their names, etc., to be included.)

Don't worry if your English is not perfect; I sometimes correct grammar and spelling, but I don't change the meaning of your comments.

Below are your e-mail comments, June 2004 - November 2002 (I count 267 on this page). Add YOUR comments!

DIRECTORY of all topics (See also the SEARCH ENGINE, bottom of page.)

LINKS to this site BELOW

Leer la versión en español de los siguientes temas: Anticoncepción y religión, Breve reseña - Olor - Religión y menstruación - Seguridad de productos para la menstruación.

Comic strip: A conservative American family visits the (future) Museum of Menstruation

CONTRIBUTE to Humor, Words and expressions about menstruation and Would you stop menstruating if you could?
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She never entered a bathroom in junior high school

I remember vividly being *pissed off* as a preteen when I learned that there was no medical reason for using tampons, pads, etc., that the only issue was keeping me from bleeding all over my clothes (which I did anyway, never entered a bathroom in junior high, too dangerous).

Thanks for your wonderful site. The humor page is great - loved the tampons as SCUD missiles.

June 2004

"Until the day that I scrape up money and courage to remove my uterus, I have a few more hints for that time of month."

I noticed that a New Zealand woman updated her answer to the "Would you stop menstruation" question. My answer has changed a lot since I first answered it on 6/20/2001 (31-year-old American), so here's my update.

About six months after I wrote my first opinion I had a vomiting-because-of-waist-elastic episode and something in my brain just snapped. "That's IT, I'm SICK of it, I don't want to use it anyway, I want it OUT!" Ever since then (2.5 years) I've been longing to retire my uterus. Alas, I'm a coward about blades and needles, and I'm poor, so the chances of this happening are slim.

I'm also fed up with fertility. I don't want children and never have, and watching my friends have kids just reinforces that inclination. Every birth control method is unsatisfactory - I don't want to tinker with my well-behaved hormones, IUDs creep me out, latex feels like, well, latex, and rhythm doesn't allow for sex when I really want it. This doesn't make for a happy sex life.

Until the day that I scrape up money and courage to remove my uterus, I have a few more hints for that time of month.

CHIROPRACTORS are my favorite people. A quick adjustment in the week before my period prevents a lot of cramps and backaches. (I don't have insurance, I just shell out for it - oh, so worth it!)

Sleep naked on old/dark towels, and if needed, put under your old sheets a vinyl tablecloth (the kind that are flocked on the underside) to protect the mattress.

Wear really low slung panties and no clothes with waistbands - even slight elastic or other pressure around my waist causes nausea & vomiting.

Herbs like the Dong Quai and Red Raspberry Leaf tincture from Zand seem to help reduce cramps.

Eating food during the first day or so gives me a stomach ache, so now I just nibble on crackers and drink juice.

Hit the library or video rental shop. If I'm absorbed in a story I'm less aware of my pain. Distraction is great! I survived a really bad period by watching all the Twin Peaks episodes in two days.

Since I've started the chiropractor, movie-day, free-waist regimen, I don't think I've taken any ibuprofen.

Diarrhea is still a problem though. Fate often takes me to Indian restaurants on the day before my period, and bananas never seem to be in the house at the right time.

Stats: lifetime pad user, regular cycle, medium flow, no pregnancies.

Pennsylvania, 34 years old.

P.S. Harry, I think should have a page just for hints on dealing with menstruation. [Good idea; I'm starting it today with your remedies.]

June 2004

Zimbabwe woman: "So bring those tablets on"

Damn yes, I would. I have a one-old year baby and since I got a Norplant inserted, I haven't had my period and have never been happier. I would give anything to feel like this forever. I agree with a lot of the respondents here, I don't need to bleed for five days to feel like a woman. So bring those tablets on; I am sure women here in Zimbabwe would be happy for that kind of liberation.

May 2004


No way! I am 27 and have two children who I have exclusively breast fed; with my first I was on Depo-Provera while she was between 6 and 18 months, so no periods 'til after I was off the Depo. This little guy is 12 months and still nursing strong. I'm not on anything but don't know when I'll get my periods back. I am looking forward to them - my period makes me feel alive and powerful and any of the "undesirables"- cranky hormones, cramping and bloating cause me to slow down and take stock of my life. Besides all that, I have always found that contraceptives like The Pill and Depo KILL my sex life!!

May 2004

Not now, but she did before

At age 43 now, when I was 12 and started up through my early 30's, I would have said a definite yes, but now, I am thankful and grateful for this time in my life, and a little scared to see the end. Granted there are times when the pain and discomfort of this is overwhelming, but maybe if it is God's will, I may actually have an opportunity to do what I have never had an opportunity to do, and that is to conceive.

May 2004

She delays her menstruation with birth control pills

I'd rather my name not be used, but I have been practicing delayed menstruation for several years. I take the three active weeks in the pill pack, then start the next three week cycle without so much as a day off. Every 12 weeks, I have a small, light, short period by taking the sugar pills at the end of the fourth pack. I have had problems in the past with cramping, extremely heavy cycles and uterine growths. Since I have been practicing delayed menstruation, these problems, along with the mood swings, have all but disappeared.

I just turned 40 last month, am Caucasian, and have two children.

May 2004

"I will gladly give you both my period and my uterus. Take the tubes, too."

To those who think menstruation is a "gift" or a "beauty": I will gladly give you both my period and my uterus. Take the tubes, too. Then you will be free to bask in the beauty of my uterus and its accompanying period. I, on the other hand, will be hiking up a mountain on my way to a huge kegger with all my other friends who have donated their uteruses (uteri?) [uteri].

To those who think it makes them feel healthy: I'm happy for you. I, on the other hand, feel just fine and dandy without a period, and I don't need to bleed 12 weeks a year to know that I'm not dying.

I have no interest in children, and I fully agree with the woman from New York who commented in March '04. I, too, grow tired of getting the "Oh, you'll change your mind when you're older," or the "Sure you do, honey, you just haven't found the right man yet" speeches. (As though getting older and finding the "right" man will somehow start a revolution in my brain that will cause me to just forget all the reasons I chose not to have children in the first place.) Everyone congratulates the pregnant woman, but because I chose not to inflict my genetic code on the populace at large, I'm somehow a lesser person and should be chided for my actions. How does that work?

For the record, there is a long list of mental illness, drug and alcohol addiction, and a myriad of health problems that run through both sides of my family. My parents had NO business having children, as it's not so much "When will I die?" as much as it is "Which fatal family disease will get to me first and kill me?" Even though I have explained this several times to people who are aghast at my decision, they still look at me and say "Well, you should at least try it though." as if I were dining at a restaurant with strange cuisine or gambling on the progressive slots jackpot at Circus Circus. I'm sorry, but I don't think it wise to take "chances" with the lives of innocent humans!

I am 26 now and started my period when I was 11. I can't take the pill, and condoms irritate my vagina. I can't have sex when I'm ovulating and I can't have it during or the week before my period, as the pain is too great. That leaves me with one week I can actually have sex and enjoy it. For all these reasons, I say "HELL, YES!".

P.S. If they could find a way for me to donate my uterus and tubes (like we currently do with kidneys and parts of livers) to an infertile woman, I would be the first one to sign up.


May 2004

"I would, in a heartbeat - provided, of course, that studies showed minimal side effects. "


I stumbled onto your site via Cruel Site Of The Day, and I am definitely looking forward to cruising the rest of it! I love the section with reader comments on whether they'd stop menstruation if they could.

My two cents:

I would, in a heartbeat - provided, of course, that studies showed minimal side effects.

It's a real annoyance, bleeding for days every month. The worst part: if I have to take anything that interferes with my birth control pills (antibiotics, for example), my periods are a NIGHTMARE. The last time it happened, I was so sick I turned white and was racked with cramps, nausea, the works. I get horrible mood swings the day or two before my periods, especially at times like that. I used to bleed for over a week every time - thank God that changed with my bc pills, but still. 5-6 days of moderate bleeding is still a pain. It means I have to carry tampons/pads everywhere. I have to make special preparations to have sex. It's just generally a real freaking annoying time.

At least the birth control pills let me know *exactly* when it's coming - unlike before, when I was fairly irregular.

Anyway, great site! I'm definitely bookmarking it.

May 2004

Yes. "[T]he SMELL, oh God, the smell!"

Yes, yes, yes, a thousand times yes!

I don't know what it is that causes people to think periods are "beautiful" or any such comparisons. In my opinion it is no more appealing than urinating or vomiting or any other bodily function -- and one tends to have better control over the others! Even if it meant I'd be infertile forever I'd still do it. I hate the cramps, the ruined bed sheets, the unpredictable starting times, the dripping all over the bathroom, and the SMELL, oh God, the smell! Yes, it is something that only happens to women, just like butt cheese is something which only happens to men. That does not mean it is something to be celebrated. Likewise having babies is natural and feminine and all that, yet few people these days raise objections over taking pills to prevent those from occurring at inconvenient times. I am all for these pills being released, and would probably start taking them the instant they were within my reach.

age 21, USA


"Without the right to criticize, what's the point of giving praise? It's only trivial men that are afraid of trivial words." - Beaumarchais, The Marriage of Figaro

May 2004

"As far as I'm concerned, an extra 20 pounds is a small price to pay for not having a period."

I am 34 and I live in Seattle, Washington. I have stopped menstruating with Depo-Provera and it's one of the best decisions I ever made!!

I started getting my period at age nine and from the very beginning it was pure hell. I was quite a tomboy and it really cramped my style, so to speak. That's the least of it, though. I had severe bleeding for a good five days every cycle. My mom wouldn't let me use tampons, so I had to use two super maxi pads lined up to provide full coverage, front to back, because I was sitting down in school all day. I can't tell you how many pairs of underwear and sets of sheets I ruined. Maybe things have changed, but in those days, young girls didn't carry purses, so discreetly getting my supplies to the bathroom every hour or so (that's how often they needed to be changed!) was problematic. Oh, and I had to go pretty often anyway due to persistent diarrhea.

As I got older, I began to realize just how devastating my periods were. I started using tampons and got the bleeding issue more or less under control - mornings were still a bit dicey, though. There was also cramping so major that I lived on more ibuprofen than was good for me for a few weeks every month. PMS lasted for approximately 10 days. Between the PMS and the actual period, I took at least one day a month off work or school. I never took all the time I really needed.

Finally, and worst of all, was the anger, depression, and anxiety. I've had trouble with these all my life, but when PMS-ing, I swung wildly between wanting to kill myself and wanting to kill others. I was utterly strung out for weeks each month.

I have never had any desire to have children, so I don't need a period! I tried taking The Pill to help regulate my periods, but that made my moodiness even worse. Finally, over five years ago, I was told about Depo-Provera. I've heard about lots of people who have had all kinds of terrible side effects, but luckily for me, the only side effect I had from it was gaining weight. As far as I'm concerned, an extra 20 pounds is a small price to pay for not having a period. That's how bad it was. I don't consider having a period an inconvenience. I wouldn't put myself through this weight gain for a mere inconvenience.

May 2004

No. "[H]istory is the best predictor of the future. Do your research."

Wasn't there also a time when the first birth control pill ever developed was considered safe? Working in the pharmaceutical industry myself (and experiencing extreme pain with every period as well), all I can say to those women eager to jump on the no-period bandwagon, history is the best predictor of the future. Do your research.

May 2004

No. "I say keep menstruation and get rid of everything that negates the beauty of menstruation."

I think menstruation is a gift that has been given to the female species. Menstruation has been abused and misused, slandered and blamed for pain and depression. I say keep menstruation and get rid of everything that negates the beauty of menstruation.

April 2004

"What I really would like to say is that, to the women who say bleeding is a part of being a woman and it is beautiful to bleed: FUCK YOU."

I am only 18 and to those of an older age, just a child. But I swear to you I have had just as many if not more traumatic life experiences all related to my menstrual cycle. I was slow to hit puberty, first getting my period when I was 14. I remember thinking that I may never get it, but on the day that I first did I can remember more clearly than anything how angry I was. I have a phobia of blood. You see, to me, blood is a symbol of life. Without blood, we would die. Bleeding is a sign of dying. It's hard for me to read about articles discussing the menstrual cycle without feeling nauseous. Thinking about bleeding really makes me sick. On top of the fact that I have to deal with my "fear" of blood once a month; I become a monster when I bleed. I get so unbelievably emotional, so incredibly irritable, and so amazingly bitchy - it's unfathomable. When it gets to be that time of the month, I think about killing myself I get so depressed. I tear apart my relationship with my boyfriend, I dunno why he puts up with me. I break my mother's heart, I am an absolute brat. The thing is, I know that I am a monster, but no matter how hard I try I can't not overcome what these hormones in my body make me do. What I really would like to say is that, to the women who say bleeding is a part of being a woman and it is beautiful to bleed: FUCK YOU. And, perhaps go to hell while you're at it. I want to live. I want my goddamn life back. There is no reason for me to have to live like this. It's not right, I am not me, I have lost myself. If there is anyway that I can get your pills that stop the bleeding I would be in a euphoria. I feel blessed just to know that there's something like that out there. If one day I am lucky enough to be a consumer of your pills, I will then from that day on out consider myself the luckiest person alive. [They're not my pills! Barr labs makes Seasonale. I just ask questions and print answers.] You are a genius. Thank you for your time.

April 2004

From Zimbabwe: "If there are any trial pills that can stop periods until one wants to fall pregnant, you are guaranteed of this volunteer!!"

Would I stop menstruating? Would I stop menstruating? You bet I would, I would stop so fast, I would even forget what it's like to know that every month I have to set aside a week in which I must be extra careful what I wear and what I do. I am like the one lady who wrote before who suffers from diarrhea on the one end and constipation on the other extreme, it is absolutely awful! I go on for five days and it's hell. I also cannot use tampons - I just can't insert them, it's too damn painful. I don't know whether it will be easier once I have sex, but for now I have to use pads.

I work in a open pool office with three other women and eight men and that means I can't be carrying my handbag every time I go to the ladies during "the week,", so I have to ensure that I wear trousers with pockets or I fit the pad in my skirt waist band under the table!

If there are any trial pills that can stop periods until one wants to fall pregnant, you are guaranteed of this volunteer!!

**** (25), Zimbabwe

April 2004

"I wouldn't stop menstruating if I could, but not because of the fertility angle. Simply because it reminds me that I am alive and a woman, and that is a nice thing to remember."

I have always had mixed ideas about my period. I started when I was in 3rd grade, 8 or 9 years old and a week before we discussed it in class. I had no idea what was going on with my body and I thought I was dying (all that blood!). Everyone kept congratulating me on "becoming a woman." At 8 (or 9, I can't remember which exactly). I hated it, hated being the only girl in my class who had it that early, hated the cramps, the pain, the complete and utter unreliability. I missed swim parties and trips to amusement parks because of it. I was fertile at a stupid age and I HATED IT.

In my teens it was annoying and irregular but as I as not sexually active, it was just pain and suffering and I would have gladly ended it then.

When in college I got very depressed and stopped eating. My period stopped for about 8 months. And to my surprise, I hated it! I felt so out of sorts and was permanently PMSing. It was like my body shut down on me, I was so emotional and out of touch with myself, it was hell.

When I was 22, I went on birth control pills. The regularity was a first, and I actually found that I enjoyed getting my period. I don't mean I celebrated or anything, but with the first twinge of cramps and the blood, I felt alive and healthy, like my body was working again. Going off the pills, my body continued to work and I felt a lot better.

Now, at 26, I am married and not interested in having kids, so the pills continue. I find that I prefer my body's natural cycles, I enjoy that they follow the moon. But because I don't wish to get pregnant, I take my pills like a good girl and find myself actually missing my normal body cycles in that regard. I wouldn't stop menstruating if I could, but not because of the fertility angle. Simply because it reminds me that I am alive and a woman, and that is a nice thing to remember.

****, originally from California, now in the United Kingdom

She added at the bottom:

settle. you said settle.

settle for anything and you're doomed.

my biggest fear in life is being mediocre.

we must make it extraordinary.

never settle for anything less than extraordinary or else . . . life will suck.

well, it might suck anyway but it's better to suck with integrity, right?

- frankie to trent in dream for an insomniac

April 2004

"Happily donating her period to those less fortunate, ****"

I'm 22 going on 42. I have had much hardship and problems in my life and I know that I would give up my period permanently if possible. I do not want to have kids and if I did I would rather adopt/foster to give the kids we already have better lives. I would sign up RIGHT NOW if they would take my ovaries out because I find my period to be a horrible hassle and of no use to me. I have to spend at least $30 a month to be sterilized, not to mention condoms for STD protection, and I do not understand why doctors insist that I keep my period when I have been set for years against biological children.

Also, as a feminist, I do NOT believe that a period makes you a woman. I believe that your state of mind, your intelligence, and your attitude/understanding of women's issues/oppression makes you a woman. Giving women the right to choose what to do with their bodies is something we need to support not challenge. It's bad enough we have such limited choices already. Stopping one's period isn't right for everyone, but, like abortion, we should support all of our sister's rights to call their own shots.

Happily donating her period to those less fortunate,


April 2004

"Stopping it via chemicals must surely be harmful -- I'll bet they won't find out how harmful for a while."

No. I'm 27, and had my first period at 12. Before my son was born, my periods were very painful, and the cramping was awful. They aren't anymore. While I don't enjoy dealing with the blood, and certainly don't look forward to it, I also don't hate it.

Stopping it via chemicals must surely be harmful -- I'll bet they won't find out how harmful for a while. Our bodies do everything for a reason, and shutting things down like that will surely have its effect, though it's not apparent right away.

April 2004


I would stop menstruation if I could without side effects such as insomnia, bone loss, etc.

I hate my periods because I get cramps a week or more before, I am uncomfortable, and the cramps throughout the period and very heavy flows that basically wipe me out and make me housebound for fear of a gush of mess saturating a new pad and not being able to absorb it - having a flood over in public.

It interferes with my life way too much and I resent it. I am 40 and do not intend to have children, and I want to do without menstruation as long as I can without side effects mentioned above.

April 2004

Transgendered: "I want nothing to do with the whole affair."

I don't see a lot of transgendered (born female but with the mind and spirit of a male) people commenting on the site, but I assure you, being able to stop the so-called "natural" cycle (natural for girls maybe) would be a blessing for me and a lot of others in my situation!

I want nothing to do with the whole affair. It seems wrong and improper for me to have a woman's period (much less give birth!), and it's a humiliating and depressing reminder of my biology. I'd sign up immediately if there was some other way to become permanently cycle-free than to have to undergo a hysterectomy at 23!

Thank you for your time and service, and take care!


April 2004


I'm 40, and have been menstruating since just before my 12th birthday. I am sick for a week beforehand, I have diarrhea for the whole period, and each month it is longer and heavier, with huge clots. The first two days are so heavy that I can't go to work. I have had my children, my tubes are tied, and I would love to have a hysterectomy. My femininity is not defined by whether or not I bleed for a certain amount of time each month.

April 2004

"Pharmaceutical corporations are very happy to tell me that my period is gross and disgusting and they will be happy to stop mine and everybody else's, in order to make millions regardless of our health and regardless of if it puts the future of humanity in jeopardy."

All you girls who are thinking of stopping your menstruations have regretfully bought into the male-dominant medical mentality that is so rampant in our culture today. Those of you who want to stop it for the smell or because is is "dirty and disgusting" have bought into a mentality more archaic than cavemen.

Why would I want to take a pill or a shot for my fertility? I refuse to brand my fertility, which is normal and a gift, as a disease. Pharmaceutical corporations are very happy to tell me that my period is gross and disgusting and they will be happy to stop mine and everybody else's, in order to make millions regardless of our health and regardless of if it puts the future of humanity in jeopardy.

For you girls that suffer from bloating, cramps, or irregular or excessive bleeding, there are other options available, in my case seeing a naturopath, exercising and eating right have solved these problems and herbologists, homeopathy and acupuncture are all relatively inexpensive, respect the body, and yield results without making you sick.

The same goes for birth control. Abstinence is the only sure way, but the new natural method is just as effective as the birth control pill.

April 2004

"Absolutely not."

Absolutely not. Granted, it's a pain, (I'm 16 and my senior prom is in a month. My "visitor" will be with me during that time) and it's inconvenient, but why would you? I've had the opportunity to take Depo-Provera just to stop my periods, but if I do, how else can I ensure that I'm healthy? I have horrible cramps and cysts, so I can completely relate, but your menses are simply the insurance that everything's ok in your body. Without it, how do you know? Particularly teens who are sexually active, I cannot fathom wanting to stop it. Everyone knows that no birth control is 100 percent effective, so how else are you going to know if you're pregnant or something is wrong? Against the urging of both my doctor and my best friend, I refuse to go on birth control or attempt to stop my periods. I'm not sexually active, so why would I want to? In addition, for those of you who are complaining of horrible cramps, I've found a cure for PMS. Being Straight Edge I do not take medications of any sort unless I absolutely have to, but my mother and I have discovered Soy. Revival soy is what we use, but the soy supplement (taken in shakes, bars, or any number of other ways) prevents cramps and helps ease PMS symptoms.

April 2004

Yes. "Now I have been diagnosed and take medication so strong that I sleep for almost the whole time I have my period."

I would have to say yes, the pain of cramps has always been very terrible for me. Before my parents figured out that my cramps were unusually heightened, I would literally not be able to get of bed for a week (my dad would have to carry me, even to use the restroom) and the whole time I would get almost no sleep (except for the relief of passing out for 20 minutes or so). Now I have been diagnosed and take medication so strong that I sleep for almost the whole time I have my period.

But now that I am in college that means that I miss a lot of classes, and while my professors have been very understanding, I am losing important class time and am in constant danger of falling behind rather badly. I have to spend almost all of my free time in tutorials just to keep up.

So to be completely honest, if there were a safe way to get rid of my period, I would be all over it!

March 2004

Yes. "My husband is rarely ever in the mood so when he is I hope it's not when I'm [menstruating]."

After 29 years of this stuff, I'm ready to be done with it! I have two healthy boys and I do not want to go through another nightmare pregnancy. I did that twice, I LOVE my boys. I'm done.

Believe it or not my menstrual cycle is a bane in my marriage. My husband is rarely ever in the mood so when he is I hope it's not when I'm on. Otherwise he has other methods and then I have to wait till he's ready again that could be a week to over a month.

Without it I can be spontaneous and not have to worry "Is it that time?" Plus, I hate the feel and the smell. Oh, God, the smell like raw meat makes my stomach turn just to think of it. And it turns my stomach when I'm on. My husband can smell it, too, no matter how many times I change, so he's less affectionate during that time. On top of it all, my periods are 7-8 days and are VERY heavy - I have to wear bulky over-night pads and change 3-4 times a day minimum. it's so bad. I hate it! Hate it! Hate it!

I don't want to bleed at all, not even three times a year. I tried Depo, but by one-and-a-half months I started to bleed and I bled for two months straight!

Anyhow, that's my opinion. I am done with Aunt Flow!


March 2004

"Careful what you wish for"

At age 30 I lost my uterus. Today at 34 I would give my right arm to have it back again. Not only would I love to be able to have more children but the truth is - I feel as though my body failed me. My husband had a vasectomy six months after our last child so I knew I would not have any more children but I also felt as though HE was the one that was unable. I was not the one who had been "fixed." Unfortunately after bleeding for 362 days with no break I had a hysterectomy and on day 363 I bled for the last time. I still to this day wish that this was not the case. My word of advice: don't wish it away!

You never know what the future holds.

****, Connecticut, USA

March 2004

"No. I think that's what make me special."

I'm 24 years old, having started my menstruation one month short of my 11th birthday. It lasted for two weeks, the longest I have had. I always have dysmenorrhea, the type that actually woke me up from my sleep. I can't really move much the first few hours. Would I have it stopped? No. I think that's what make me special. It's a privilege that I'll definitely take full advantage of. I'm eagerly waiting for the day where I'll be happily married, pregnant and form a beautiful family with by hubby-to-be. Cheers!

March 2004

Construction worker wants to find a cure

If there was a way to stop I most certainly would. I find my problem is the work force. I work construction twelve-or-fifteen-hour shifts and on those hot summer days it is not a lot of fun. There are times when there is no washroom close by so just imagine. So I would love to find a cure or to help lessen it. If there's any help out there please let me know.

March 2004


YES I would stop my period indefinitely if I safely could. I am 27 and I am done having children; my husband has had a vasectomy. So I have no use for or desire for Aunt Flo to come around any longer.

March 2003

"I just wish there was some way to stop now."

I am 38 years old, have one child (all I ever wanted), tied my tubes five years ago and would gladly be rid of my period. I obviously don't plan on having any more kids and feel it's unnecessary to continue having it. I just wish there was some way to stop now. I actually stumbled across this when searching the net for ways to stop my period, so if anyone has any suggestions, feel free to let me know!

March 2004

"[D]on't gripe about what you don't understand!!!"

I have polycystic ovaries syndrome and endometriosis. When it is THAT TIME I have so much pain that I can't walk - I am bed bound and can't go to work. On top of that I want to be a mother. I'm only 26. I'm looking at a hysterectomy but I just want to stop long enough till it is time for us to start trying for a baby again. Every month it just gets worse. I have to take narcotics to mask the pain. That is something that I really don't like to do. It makes me sick to my tummy. I would give anything to stop having a period for six months till we move and can start trying to have a baby again. All of you that criticize those of us that want to stop having a period don't gripe about what you don't understand!!!

March 2004

No. "[A]s a woman with ordinary periods, I see no reason to mess around with a healthy body."

I would NOT stop my periods without good reason. I started menstruating just before I turned twelve. Now I'm nearly 40, very active and fit. I travel all over the globe, exercise fairly intensively, and lead a busy life. I have no children and no intention to have them. My cycle has never been precisely regular, but it averages around 30 days. I do get cramps, feelings of overwhelming fatigue, hungry cravings (especially for chocolate and cheese!), and fluctuating emotions around the time of my period, but these, too, do not regularly occur with each cycle: The whole experience is quite variable from month to month, but on the whole "normal."

When I menstruate, I feel healthy, alive, and female. In the days leading up to my period, when my body feels full and self-aware, I feel sexy. Good or bad, the experience reconnects me to my body, to my sexuality, and even a conscious awareness of my internal emotional fluctuations. It helps me stay balanced in my life because I am always reminded of the strength and vulnerability inherent in being a biological being, and it reminds me that I am a healthy, functioning woman. It's not exactly a "spiritual" experience, but I do feel more connected to the earth and the world of life. I feel that though I may choose never to have children, I am blessed with the power of procreation; I have the choice.

Sure it's a bit of a nuisance to have to plan on taking sanitary supplies when you want to hike, or snorkel, or ski, or run, or whatever (so I'm going to try a menstrual cup). And I can certainly see that if I had extremely painful periods, I might weigh things differently. But as a woman with ordinary periods, I see no reason to mess around with a healthy body. I love being a woman, and menstruating is a fundamental sign of my femaleness.

I'm in the San Francisco Bay Area of California, USA.

March 2004


I'm a 15-year-old from Kentucky, and not having a period would be the greatest thing ever. I started my period early, I was about nine years old, and ever since then I've had problems. The pain is so intense not even the strongest pain pills help, blood clots are huge and thick and worse than ever, my periods last for months, sometimes even weeks more than normally should, and I had/have ovarian cysts. I've been on several brands of birth control pills, and now I'm on the Ortha patch. Nothing helps. I would like to try DepoProvera but I don't want to gain any weight (I'm 118), but if the shot takes away my period I guess i could just exercise more and take diet pills or go back to my habits. It's worth it to take this pain from hell away.

March 2004

"I have, and I would not do it again!!!"

Mr. Finley,

After a friend told me about your site I thought I would answer your question! Here is my answer;

I have, and I would not do it again!!!

I started my menses at 11, and that seems like a popular age to do so (after reading other letters I have come to this conclusion). Like most teenagers I hated my period. I could not care less if I had it or not. I thought I'd never have kids, but as we all know, time changes everything, and what you want when you are 16 isn't always what you want as an adult.

I got married and had a child after all (can you believe I changed my mind?). After I had my son I went on birth control, first the Pill, then the shot. I successfully stopped my periods for two years. My doctor never told me the consequences.

Stopping your periods is not always a good thing. In fact I have never spoken to another woman who didn't experience some problems from it. I developed headaches on a regular basis, and the hormones made me depressed. I wasn't exactly a pleasant person to be around. At that time I did not consider that hormones could do such a thing - hey, after all, my doctor was for it, and he actually said it was safe. Who would have known?

One day I just said to myself, enough of this. I stopped my pills. After the birth control was out of my system I wasn't depressed anymore (at one point in those two years I even considered going on anti-depressants!). Slowly as my cycles returned to normal the headaches became less frequent. I still have them but I don't need two bottles of Motrin per month anymore, what a shocker!

And wow, who could have known stopping for period could be so painful?

Before women stop it they should consider what it could do to them. I didn't even mention all of the problems I was lucky enough not to experience!

Women have been menstruating since the first woman walked the Earth. I don't look down on women who want to stop for medical reasons, in fact, bless their hearts that they even need to. However, women who want to stop for convenience need to check themselves. Why are they so uncomfortable in their own body? Maybe some women just need more education before they understand themselves and their menses. Maybe if we are lucky your site will provide that to them.

March 2004

"You betcha!"

Okay, here goes. I've been reading some of the e-mails regarding the blissful idea of ceasing our periods. Would I? You betcha!

I have never wanted children, have chosen the child-free life and am happy - except for the constant interference of a monthly cycle. It started when I was nine - yep, 4th grade. What a shock!

Pain? Cramps? Hardly. Seems I'm one of the lucky ones regarding that. Would I stop it forever anyway? Definitely and without second thought. Why would I want the mess, discomfort, mood swings and fatigue to continue if I could stop it? Someone on the board suggested taking supplements to ease the symptoms rather than take the 'ridiculous' route to stop menstruation. If that works for her, terrific. If stopping it works for others, than NOT doing so is ridiculous. No one should decide for someone else what is right or wrong.

So many people have given me pity-eyes when I say I don't have children. When I explain that it is by choice, their shock and despair is tangible. Many people wind up angry, sometimes even asking me if I've seen a professional about my views. Never have I said to a pregnant woman, "Oh, you poor thing, have you considered termination? Should you speak to a therapist to be sure this is what you want?" Instead I ask if she's happy and if so, I congratulate her and wish her the best - then I remind her not to call me to baby sit.

To the young lady who said in her note (from December 2003) that she can neither have children nor periods, and felt her friends were insensitive to her situation, I am truly sorry for your feelings of loss. However, it is natural for someone who is stuck with something they do not want to feel envious of the one who is "lucky enough" to be without. Quite frankly, is that not how you feel about women WITH periods and childbearing abilities?

Here's to popping that first Seasonale and dumping all those dummy pills!

--New York

Snuggle up with a romance tonight.

March 2004

"ABSO-BLOODY-LUTELY TELL ME HOW!!!!" reads the e-mail subject line

I am 20 and I've never liked having my period. I have a passion for water sports and like being active. I feel bound and trapped by my cycle and every time, I wish I could end my period. I am not maternal and I never want the hassle of children since I love activities and could never give them up. I'm discontent to live in a rut and would kill to go through early menopause or stop them forever somehow. If anyone can work me a miracle, I'd really be interested!

By ****, England

March 2004

"For some reason I don't think I would be comfortable stopping it unnaturally"

Would I stop menstruating if I could? I don't really think so. My period isn't a spiritual experience for me nor is it some horrendous monthly battle but for some reason I don't think I would be comfortable stopping it unnaturally. I started when I was nine and now, at 26, my periods aren't much different. I admit I've been lucky in that regard, with little cramping, only a slight increase in my emotional sensitivity and two days of relatively light bleeding but, even if it were worse, I still wouldn't change it.

I remember when I was about to get married, I set an appointment for a birth control consultation because my husband and I had already decided we didn't want any children. My doctor went down the list of options - I was looking for something permanent - and I was more than a little concerned with the injections and dermal inserts and with the concept of a slumbering uterus. I can't really explain the trepidation in any way other than it spoke to something instinctual in me. Besides, I'm sure that, when I reach menopause, my menstruating years will not feel as agonizingly long as they sometimes do now.

February 2004

"Yes! A resounding 'Yes!'"

If there were a way to stop it forever, even if it meant never having children of my own, I would do it in a heartbeat. My periods are not overly painful, nor overly long. They are probably quite normal.

Nevertheless, I am noticeably depressed every week before my period, and then for another week I have to deal with the mess and the cramps (even though the latter can be handled with 2-3 Advil, nothing atrocious). Add it up, and that basically means I spend half of my adult life upset and/or dealing with annoying and disgusting bodily functions. To *not* stop it seems crazy.

I don't think it would "lessen" my womanhood. I do think, however, it would help increase my "personhood" by freeing me from meaningless, hormone-induced dysphoria and frequent trips to the bathroom.

February 2004

"It's not in the cards for me, I guess."

I e-mailed you a couple of years ago about this. My answer then was "Heck, yes, I'd stop!" Since then I've gotten onto the Pill and of course heard about skipping periods. So I changed to a single-dose Pill (you can't do it on the ones that change through the month) and tried it. Unfortunately, I seem to be one of those women who can't; about midway through the second month I started spotting like crazy and by the middle of the third (which was as long as I was going to go) I had breakthrough bleeding going on. So I went ahead and quit taking them and had a period and all is well now, except that I apparently can't go more than about six weeks at a time between periods. That still affords me much more flexibility than I had before, however, so I'm not complaining too loudly.

I would LOVE LOVE LOVE to have periods only four times a year, but it's not in the cards for me, I guess.

February 2004

Italian: "I think that, even if it is an unjustified curse, we should keep our period because it is natural and because it is the only way to know if accidentally we get pregnant."

I'm an Italian 21-year-old girl.

Since my first menstruation, when aged 11, I've suffered from painful periods.

Since 2001 I've been taking anti-birth pills (I hope you understand my English) in order to stop pains.

Even if my period pains are lowered, I have a great deal of other problems: headache, weakness, my ears sometimes stop working properly, I'm less interested in sexual intercourse. Last but not least I'm stocking fat! So when the week before my period comes and I'm to stop taking pills for seven days I feel good. It may be a psychological sensation, or a real effect: I don't know! What I know is that if I avoid stopping my pills in order to avoid my period I feel worse.

I think that, even if it is an unjustified curse, we should keep our period because it is natural and because it is the only way to know if accidentally we get pregnant.

Best wishes to all my female sisters. Men are lucky, but cannot experience the strength of life in their body!

February 2004

"No" from Northern Ireland: "Isn't stopping a natural process dangerous?"

I think the idea of never having a period again is like a wonderful dream world! ^_^

But I would be concerned - isn't stopping a natural process dangerous? I wouldn't like to think what damage it would be doing to my body, or what side effects it has. I have not read all the links on your Web page yet - I'll be sure to get through them all soon. But no matter how much reassurance you could give me, I'd still be paranoid. Never menstruating again should just be left in your dreams. I doubt it'll really work out in real life!


Northern Ireland

February 2004

NO WAY: "About six months was enough of a vacation for me. I feel like I'm at sea. My whole sense of time is off."

There was a time when I would have said yes. That was before I went off the Pill, and experienced a prolonged amenorrhea. I am 26, and began birth control pills when I was 19. I stopped taking it nearly a year ago, and haven't had a period since. At first it wasn't bad - I found out it was normal after going off, so I wasn't too worried. I didn't have to spend any $ on sanitary products, or devote any thought or attention to the process. About six months was enough of a vacation for me. I feel like I'm at sea. My whole sense of time is off - I'm having a harder time gaging how many months have passed, and my normal working/creating/resting/socializing/lovemaking rhythms are gone. I can still detect some cyclical bodily changes, but lacking the sanguine evidence, I haven't any sure indicator of where I am in my cycle. I can just fuck and work all the time now. It's weird. And I have no indicator as to whether or not I could be pregnant - I have to shell out for a test whenever I'm suddenly (rationally or irrationally) seized with worry at the possibility. My doctor recently prescribed me some hormones to "kick start" it, so we'll see what happens. But after having had it both ways - my answer is a resounding NO WAY. I think we need to think more about changing a society that so arrogantly ignores Nature than changing our biology.

-Originally from the East Coast, currently living in Europe

-Would just like to add thanks for the site, and keep up the great work, Harry!

February 2004

Yes. "I do not miss feeling like I've been hit by a bus on a regular basis."

I would, and I have stopped menstruating. I live in Britain where we can get DepoProvera, a contraceptive injection every three months. It's time released and it stops periods. I've been lucky I've had no side effects from it. I'm 44, no kids, no intention of having kids. My periods were hell. PMS that either had me sobbing uncontrollably, having panic attacks or throwing tantrums; cramps so bad I was eating Ibuprofen like candy just to keep from writhing on the floor in agony; very heavy flow (used the largest tampons available and had to change them constantly), back pain, joint pain, violent headaches, overwhelming fatigue, digestive chaos and bloating so bad I had to wear clothes that were bigger than usual. And this happened every four weeks like clockwork and got worse every year. I was pretty useless for about three days each time. Yes, at first I missed the sign that everything was still working. But on the other hand I do not miss feeling like I've been hit by a bus on a regular basis. If I had a nice, quiet, "normal" period I might have a different opinion. But frankly, I'd rather have my teeth pulled without anesthetic than go through that again.

February 2004

"I want it to go away."

Tampons hurt, pads are hot and sticky (and smelly!), and the cramps are hellacious. I want it to go away. And I've found a safer way than the birth control pills. It's called the Mirena coil, and I hope to be getting it soon. Here's a good (three-page) article I found on it:,,180650_185074,00.html [The coil releases a small amount of a form of progesterone, reducing heavy periods and acting as a contraceptive, according to the Web site. A doctor inserts the coil into the uterus and removes it after five years.]

January 2004

"It makes me feel dirty and disgusting"

My answer is a most definite, "Hell, yes!" I started when I was ten years old and it's been nothing but pain and disgust ever since. I'm twenty-eight now and I despise those five to six days of the month. It makes me feel dirty and disgusting and the pain makes me miss out on work and/or school or any other activities I may have had planned.

I will never have children - I hate the squalling, useless brats - so I have no need of this horrible cycle. I can't afford a hysterectomy, the solution I'd prefer, but if there was another, less invasive way that was safe for my body, I'd take it in an instant.

January 2004

From an Army wife: "periods are as natural as the changing seasons" and "the ultimate shame of being a woman was receiving a package with an unmistakable brand label."

Of course not. To me these days its as natural as breathing. Lately I don't mind my cycle. I suppose that years of being taught that periods are unclean and shameful it's about time that I came to my senses.

When I was about 11 I got my period, and in my family it was more a ritual to be embarrassed beyond your wildest dreams into womanhood. No celebration here! When we girls started my mom and aunts said we "joined the maxipad fan club" and usually a sample box of pads and tampons from one of the usual assorted brands arrived at the door shortly there after. The ultimate shame of being a woman was receiving a package with an unmistakable brand label.

Anyway, after years of being mislead by ingenious marketing and misleading adds from feminine hygiene companies I have decided that periods are as natural as the changing seasons. After I had my son two years ago I tried Depo, and successfully stopped my periods. When I did that my migraines got worse, and I never really felt good. Not to mention it robbed my body of needed estrogen to produce more bone growth and to have normal sexual function. I was never in the mood.

After a year of wondering why I was never in the mood I went off the shot, and tried the Pill. I was always tired, and never felt quite healthy.

Two months after that I gave up on all types of hormonal birth control having tried Depo, The Patch, Ortho, Low Estron in the past. I decided, What is one period a month in comparison to having good health?

Now I just have a good natural flow every month. I know that my body is working the way that it was meant to, and I feel better about myself, and my cycle. I also recently went against the grain and began using a menstrual cup, and ordered Lunapads (reusable organic pads). It turns out along with my cycle coming back the tampons where causing me irritation, and I kept having recurrent UTI's [urinary tract infections] and even a staphylococcus infection that lasted several months. Since I began using my cup I have felt much better, and the pain and bleeding are less.

I don't mind my period much at all now. I suppose that choosing to or not to have a period is a very personal decision. Knowing now what I didn't know then I would not recommend stopping menstruation unless you have a health condition that requires you to do so. I spent a year after the birth of my first child less than happy due to the problems stopping my cycle caused, and certainly what affected me also affected my husband.

For me now it's just a natural period. No artificial hormones to contend with. I am a much happier mother, and wife, and I respect myself even more.

~~Name withheld~~

23 years old, U.S. Army wife, three years married, mom of two-year-old wild boy !

The Push Behind the Force is usually the Wife!!!

January 2004

"[F]or me it is a very spiritual experience."

Though I try to not judge other women on their reactions to menstruation, for me it is a very spiritual experience. I see cycles in the natural world (the seasons, the moon, plant and animal life, etc) and in the human world (growing and dying, creating ideas, releasing them and creating more, etc.). My menstrual cycle is a real link for me between the cycles of the moon, of my body and my mind. I wouldn't give up that link for anything, despite the inconvenience it causes. My period reminds me to look at the moon and feel the connection. The synchrony of my period with that of other women in my home reminds me to think of them and feel the connection. It is a time of inward thinking and of connection. No, I wouldn't give that up. In fact, I cultivate it.

January 2004

"I can't wait to break out the old tampons again!"

Would I give up my period? NO!

But I didn't realize that until Nature started doing it for me. I was very young - just turned 11 - when I got my period for the first time. I remember feeling shamed, horrified, embarrassed. It was not empowering, to say the least. And it was painful. Up until my mid-20s, my periods were accompanied by agonizing pain that included cold sweats and vomiting.

Pamprin was a joke! I used to get Motrin by prescription - the heavy-duty milligram dosage. The day it became over-the-counter, I cheered. Over time, though, my symptoms eased and my period became a dependable nuisance every month. Then, at age 36, after going through a disastrous, childless first marriage, I married again and got pregnant almost right away. What a surprise! However, after that pregnancy, my dependable, right-on-time, 28-day "friend" changed. Became completely undependable.

Twenty-three days, 35 days, skipped a month. Things got worse after my second pregnancy. Today, at 42, I haven't had my period for three months . . . and I'm actually sorry! I feel out of whack, physically and emotionally. I'm not pregnant, so if this is the beginning of "the change," I'm not ready for it! I saw my doctor and he gave me a prescription to get it going again.

I can't wait to break out the old tampons again!

January 2004

"[T]hat was enough to tell me not to mess with my body's cycles [but] I've heard of far more women who have had no problems (so far) skipping periods."

When I first heard about skipping one's period's by using birth control pills, I was taking the Pill myself, so I decided to try it. Well, that backfired. My body rebelled and I got my period anyway, albeit two days late, and had the worst cramps I'd had in quite a while. Maybe the brand I was using wasn't strong enough, but that was enough to tell me not to mess with my body's cycles. Each woman is different though and I've heard of far more women who have had no problems (so far) skipping periods.

****, San Francisco, California

January 2004


I definitely would. I am 16, but I am already fed up with it. And I have no problem with not having children of my own, as I am much more interested in adoption or foster care. With all of the things that come with menstruation, I'd willingly give it up to be able to go snowboarding or rock climbing or biking or anything, without having to worry about whether I needed to remember supplies.

January 2004

A New Zealander updates her opinion she sent in 2000 - but it's still Yes

I stumbled across your Web site by accident (not that I regretted it) and I remembered that a number of years ago I emailed you my opinion about whether or not I'd like to keep my period (which was a big fat no). I don't know if you'd want to include this on your site but I thought I'd update my opinion.

Below my more updated (yet still the same) opinion, is my original email I sent you back in 2000.
I emailed the Webmaster my opinion on this topic back in 2000 and am emailing him once again to reiterate my reasons for wanting my periods to be stopped (or at least postponed for child bearing reasons).

I'm 25 years old, I started menstruating when I was 11. I was one of the first girls to start menstruating in my class. In my group of friends it was never talked about. It (my periods) were a hassle then (when I was 11) and a hassle now.

Back in 2001 I was diagnosed with Crohn's disease. Due to where the inflammation from the Crohn's disease is I get really bad stomach pains in the exact same spot as my period cramps. So I never know whether it's the Crohn's or my periods causing the pain until a few days later, when Aunt Flo decides to rear her ugly head or not. I've always had bad period cramps and now thanks to the Crohn's Disease I am very limited on what pills I can take to relieve the pain. I'm not allowed any NSAIDs or anything containing aspirin. Most other OTC pain killers aren't strong enough for me. Another thing I've got the Crohn's disease to thank for is having to change from the normal birth control pill (I took it as a form of birth control as a way of some what controlling my periods) to the mini pill. Now my cycle is all over the place. I never know when it's going to strike because the mini pill has no sugar pills, you just continually take the pill. I should explain why I had to change. I suppose it's not really the disease's fault, it was the darn Prednisone that I had to take to try to control my disease. The Prednisone made me gain a hell of a lot of weight and therefore it was too dangerous for me to remain on the normal birth control pill. Crohn's itself can affect your periods though.

So yes, please take my periods away. File them some where nice and safe and give them back to me when I want to conceive a child, then after that, take them away and destroy them.


[Here's her e-mail from 2000]

"Well, yes, please," writes a New Zealander,

I started menstruating when I was eleven-years-and-one-month old and I am now twenty-two. As I've got older (I'm not writing myself off as being over the hill at 22, but how else do you describe it?) cramps have gotten so much worse, it's now to the point where the pain is that bad that I'm nearly doubling over in pain. I have medication to take if need be but I have trouble swallowing pills so I normally see if I can go without it.

Yes, I definitely wouldn't miss extra washing, the expense of menstruation products (pads/tampons), and the ick feeling I normally experience whilst having my period. It would be one less excuse that I could use to my partner when he wants to have sex (not that it always stops us), but I'm sure I could handle that. I've used the Pill as contraception and just loved the fact that I could pick and choose when I wanted my period to start. I tried not to delay it too many months as I could sometimes get break-through bleeding. I don't know how many brands of the Pill I've been on to help reduce the amount of bleeding and cramping; I've had very heavy periods since day one. I've considered having the injection [Depo-Provera] but I've heard some quite evil things about it and as I'm hoping to have children one day I'd rather not risk it. I live in New Zealand.

January 2004

"[I]f there was a suppression method that would not put my health or sanity at risk, I would be knocking at my doctor's door today."

If I knew there would be no negative health risks and/or negative hormonal side-effects, I'd be all over it in a heart beat. My menses began at age 11, and I began the long journey of excruciatingly painful and very heavy periods. At school I would have cold sweats, get clammy hands, and sometimes vomit. My mom used to say, "These aren't the old days when women would stay home and stay in bed. Just deal with it." I doubt she ever had cramps so bad she would have to resort to Lamaze breathing in between them. I remember years later when someone offered me a Midol. What??? You mean I could actually take something for this??? Why didn't anyone ever tell me? Thank goodness for ibuprofen.

When I started taking the pill for contraceptive purposes, I was pleasantly surprised by the affect it had on my period. Cramps weren't so bad. Bleeding not as heavy or for as many days. Cool!

After I had a baby (planned pregnancy - no difficulties getting pregnant after years of Pill-taking) I waited quite awhile before going back on. Mostly because I was nursing. When I finally did, I ran into a myriad of problems. The first Pill I tried (recommended by my doctor) made me absolutely psychotic. After four months of "waiting for everything to even out" I took myself off. I couldn't stand the way I was treating my family and how short tempered I was with my two-year-old. I tried a different one and quickly put on a lot of weight, even while on an exercise regimen. The next one gave me mood swings bigger than the Grand Canyon. So now I'm back to using condoms, afraid to reintroduce the hormone-packed little pills back into my system.

That said, if there was a suppression method that would not put my health or sanity at risk, I would be knocking at my doctor's door today.

29, from Upstate New York

January 2004


I notice most of the women who answered Yes have an extremely heavy period. It sounds like they bleed 27 days of the month, their pain scale begins with intolerable, they need two tampons on the lightest day, and they started at the age of seven. A few have a light period but think it's a virtue to suppress the natural. Our country has a problem with female puberty beginning earlier and earlier.* A few girls are going through puberty when they're barely out of infancy. After reading MUM's info on menstrual cups, I searched Web sites that told of the health hazards of tampons. The bleach used on tampons leaves dioxin, which increases your menstrual flow, causing a need for more tampons, exposing you to more dioxin. Very clever, CEOs. All to make it white. Who ever thought that white meant clean? There are many estrogen-mimicking chemicals in our environment. Certain plastics when heated and soy foods are two pervasive sources of them. I think we need to solve that problem rather than fixing it for a few with Seasonale. Pollutants are hampering the development of boys.

I'm in the U.S.A.

*To clarify, I think this is also making menstrual flow heavier.

January 2004

"STOP the cycle"

My answer without a doubt my answer would be yes - STOP the cycle. I am a mother. I have had my tubes tied. I am very athletic and participate in a lot of strenuous outdoor activities. I have a 21 day cycle which means that I only truly have two good weeks every month. I started my periods at 11. They have always been long, heavy and painful. As the years have passed, it has only gotten worse. I am only 35 now. Yet, the first two days of my period drain me so badly sometimes it is all I can do to get through the day. My increased difficulty with menstruation hurts productivity in my life in many ways. I would love to stop suffering PMS and MS two weeks of every month. I really dislike the emotional and physical roller coaster that my period puts me through each month.

January 2004

NO!: "Almost anything that is manufactured and initially supposed to be good for you turns out in the long run to be bad."

I think the idea of stopping your period before nature intends is ridiculous.

I am a 31-year-old woman who has been having periods since the age of 11. As I age, my periods get progressively worse. The cramping at times is so bad that it causes vomiting - still, I would not trade my monthly cycle. It lets me know each month that I am still functioning normally. I believe it has a purpose or we would not have it as regularly as we do.

Our society has gotten absolutely pill crazy. Everyone wants a quick fix. "Periods are inconvenient" - people, life is inconvenient. Deal with it.

There are a lot of things you can do naturally to ease the symptoms of periods. Calcium supplements, which most women need anyway, help to ease cramping. Exercise, which most people need more of, also helps. Stop whining, start paying closer attention to your body so you can read what it's telling you, and stop putting foreign drugs into your system for no good reason.

Almost anything that is manufactured and initially supposed to be good for you turns out in the long run to be bad. No drug manufacturer will convince me otherwise. It happens not only with drugs but with food products, Nutrasweet, margarine, etc. Eat naturally, live naturally, and stop looking for the easy way out of everything.

December 2003

No - I think

No - as icky as it sometimes is, I . . . hmm. Wait. Now I'm thinking. It's not that I think that there's anything "wrong" with it, or that people should be fretful about it, but I suppose it is the sort of thing that makes you think "Why is is just "I" have to do this?" (rudely presuming one is in a non-queer relationship.) It is kind of bogus - a design flaw. Maybe if I never had cramps, I'd go back to my original view, that is, as icky as it can be, it's still OK. Even then, it's still leaky & bleah sometimes.

December 2003

"Being a woman is not defined by a monthly cycle - it is believing in who you are, be it the mother, the friend, the wife, showing that you are beautiful no matter what you do."

I am a 30-year-old mother of four and started my cycle at the age of 12. When I was younger my cycles were light and lasted 4-5 days, but by the time I hit 19 I was diagnosed with dysmenorrhea, basically painful periods. The doctor told me that it would go away when I started having children. Well, it didn't work - my cycles just seemed to get worse. The pain now felt like someone was stabbing me with an ice pick. After my fourth child, I contemplated having a hysterectomy. However, I chose to get an IUD (Mirena, which releases progesterone to reduce bleeding) [IUD: intrauterine device, a small object put into the uterus to prevent pregnancy; read more] instead. I have had the IUD now for a year and for the past four months I have had no cycle and I love it. However, some months I do have some cramping but nothing compared to what I had before.

Every one of us women are different - our bodies react differently to different methods. Being a woman is not defined by a monthly cycle, it is believing in who you are, be it the mother, the friend, the wife, showing that you are beautiful no matter what you do.

I am a woman - hear me roar.

Wife, and mother of four, Nevada

December 2003

Mexican-American happy to have stopped

Yeah, stop menstruation - actually what I did. I am 48 years old, I have two kids 29 and 27, so I am done! I always had a very heavy bleed, and now as I am getting more mature, it turned to be very painful because I have a lot of fibroids in the uterus, so with my doctor's advice I started to take a pill and within three months - where most of my time I was spotting constantly - finally my period stopped completely. So can you say that I induced menopause? I have less pain, and hopefully the pain will disappear since the fibroids will be reducing their size. We don't need to bleed every month and especially at my age! I am Mexican and very happy to be "period-less." Thanks. *** San Francisco, California


[At the bottom of the e-mail:]

"You have the ability to choose what you think about. If you choose to think about past hurts, you'll continue to feel bad."

"While it's true that you can't change the effect past influences had on you, you can change their effect on you now."

"Those who bring sunshine to the lives of others can not keep it from themselves."

December 2003

A German writes, "Every woman should decide on her own, but I think that if she decides 'pro' Pill, there's no difference in 'naturalness' whether she keeps bleeding every month or not."

I think that all this discussion about naturalness should not be based on whether it is natural to bleed every four weeks or not. The question is rather whether it is natural to take contraceptive pills or not. It is certainly not. However, it's a question of every woman if she likes to do so or not. I admit it's convenient, of course.

Now, it is also proven by studies on the subject that there is no such thing as a natural cycle of 28 days. Of course, the major amount of women's cycles is somewhere AROUND 28 days. But there are women which have 23-day cycles or 35-day cycles when there is no external hormonal influence (like by taking the Pill). Some women have, in a "natural" state, a different length of their cycle every month. According to one study I read it is even quite improbable to have two subsequent cycles with exactly the same length. That means, for me, that to take contraceptive pills for 21 days and then seven fake pills (or have a seven days' pause) which let you bleed in the meanwhile is not really natural. How do you know if your natural cycle would be one of 28 days? Anyway, the bleeding during the seven days' break isn't like a real period for the body. Regarding the hormonal actions which take place at this time in our body, it's rather like having been pregnant for three weeks and then loosing the child. That's what the pills suggest to our body, not a natural hormonal action which let you bleed because you have not become pregnant in this time.

That's why I'd say if you take contraceptive pills anyway, you could easily skip this period if you find it's bothering you. During hormonal contraception, you will not live more "naturally" if you bleed every 4 weeks. Now, if you're not taking hormones up to now and get along with it well, I'd still not recommend to start taking them just for getting rid of your period.

You never know which side-effects you'll expect. Some women suffer serious decrease of their libido when taking the Pill. Now, imagine you want to stop your period in order to be able to have sex more often, because you (or your boy-fried or husband) didn't want to have sex during the period before. You start taking the pills and you realize that you don't feel like having sex at all anymore. That wouldn't be sensible. Or you start to get huge headaches. That happened to women I know during the Pill, too. Wouldn't be worth it, don't you think so? And, talking about the woman who said she stopped taking it and got pregnant the next cycle when she wanted to - she was lucky, anyway. It appears that I also ovulated the cycle directly following the month I stopped the Pill. But I know there are also women who stop to take the contraceptives and have to wait for half a year or more before they ovulate for the first time. That's annoying if you want to get pregnant. It's also annoying if you don't want to get pregnant because you wait anxiously for your period and it doesn't come at the time you expect it. It's another side-effect of the Pill. It's just to be considered, before deciding to take them.

Concerning my own, I'd definitely not stop having my period. First of all, it's rather weak, even if I have it quite long - it's not really bothering me. Even less since I have a menstrual cup - really convenient thing, by the way. Actually, I just got rid of my contraceptive pills and I'm trying another method of contraception. So I'm really exploring natural cycles for the first time in 10 years and I find it very exciting. I realized I'm less hungry some days of the month and much more hungry at some other days - isn't this amazing? And there are so many interesting things happening with my body, which were completely suppressed when I took the Pill. It's so interesting and I see even my period in a different way; it's a new experience to have a natural period instead of the one induced by the Pill's break. Anyway, I doubt that it would work for me. When I used to take contraceptive pills, I always had bleedings at the time when I wasn't supposed to, like in the middle of the cycle. For some reason they don't appear to reliably stop my body bleeding.

But I'm not judging against contraceptive pills. I used them for a long while and they used to be okay for me. Now I don't like them anymore and it is okay for me, too. Every woman should decide on her own, but I think that if she decides "pro" Pill, there's no difference in "naturalness" whether she keeps bleeding every month or not.

I'm 27 years old and I come from Germany.

December 2003

"Friends call me menstrual girl"

I LOVE my moon. Friends call me menstrual girl cuz I'm constantly talking about my cycle or asking about others'. The cycle of internal focus during my period and external focus doing my most fertile time keeps me balanced. Sympathy to those who experience excessive pain with their uterine cleansing. I am greatly concerned with the amount of "shame" and "secrecy" expressed by women responding to this question. My cramps and discomfort decrease the more comfortable and open I am about my period. Could work for other women, too.

I was appropriately embarrassed about my period until college when my roommate showed my her sea sponge tampons and explained that she soaks them and waters her house plants with the water. Now I make my own rags that are beautiful because I believe a woman should bleed in style. I didn't get my period for seven months senior year in college due to stress. Now I know that lots of fresh air and exercise, no coffee and watch the sugar, lots of sleep that week after my fertile time, all keep my moon regular.

I wouldn't give up that horny shiny happy ovulating time, and my period is an integral part of that same cycle.

I'm a Jewish white northeastern United Statesian with no children who wouldn't give up her shiny giddy ovulating time or her brooding thoughtful bleeding time.

December 2003

"I have Rokitansky Syndrome . . . . Please think about others who are unable to bear children and it hurts me to see women writing on the boards complaining about the cramps and bloating they get when people like me would do anything to get our periods (bearing children)."

I'm 15 years old and I think you women out there are taking having your periods and the ability to conceive children for granted.

I found out about a year ago that I have Rokitansky Syndrome [read about it] which is that I have the absence of a uterus (womb), therefore unable to conceive children, let alone have my periods. When I found this out, I was devastated, but my doctor informed me of other ways of attaining children, either adoption or surrogacy.

When some of my close friends found out, they were sooo insensitive; their first comment was OH, MY GOD, YOU ARE SO LUCKY YOU DON'T GET YOUR PERIODS!! That hurt deep to know that's all they think this is about. If I had a choice I would give anything to have my periods and be able to have my own children.

You know, you women are lucky you can bring your own children into the world naturally and bringing beautiful beings into the world yourselves. I think all this bores down to the saying "you never know what you have got till it's gone" and I think this is an example of one of those things. With every miracle, in this case having to bear children, there are always bad sides, (bloating, cramps, etc.) but think about this in a broader view and you will know that these side affects are a small price to pay. Please think about others who are unable to bear children and it hurts me to see women writing on the boards complaining about the cramps and bloating they get when people like me would do anything to get our periods (bearing children).

I understand if some of you still think periods are a pain, I guess I can't really say I've been through the side effects, but all I wanted to say was to think in a broader perspective and focus on the better things in life.

Thanx for reading, Anonymous

December 2003

"Where does it say that being a woman means having a period and having babies?"

I am so happy that I visited your Web site! I had no idea that a birth control pill could stop my cycle.

I would definitely take the Pill. I am almost 19 and I've had my period since I was about 10 or 11 and I completely HATE IT!!! Unlike most people I don't get cramps, sore breasts, bloating, or any of the "perks" of menstruation, but I do get a very heavy cycle and at times it lasts for about a week and a half to two weeks. I am also irregular so I never know when it's coming and at times it doesn't come for months, which is absolutely great! I hate having to go through all the mess and the inconvenience. I feel completely useless. For me, It's a great solution because I don't plan to have any children and if my mind were to change someday I would just stop taking the Pill.

I don't see why would anyone think that a woman not having her period would make her less of a woman. Where does it say that being a woman means having a period and having babies? I would certainly feel better about myself if I didn't have the constant hassle that menstruation is for me.

December 2003

Two Chinese ways - allegedly - to treat symptoms, regulate and stop menstruation, information that a reader sent:

Woman Heal Thyself, by Jeanne Elizabeth Blum 1995, Charles E. Tuttle Co., Inc. [Available through]

This book contains a description of a series of Chinese medicine-based acupuncture point manipulations for controlling menstrual symptoms and regulating period length.

Thanks for your site, ***

P.S. The discussion of eliminating periods was interesting [on this page]. Have you much information about the "Cutting off the red dragon" chi gung practice of period elimination? [None at all!] This may be what some of the women were looking for: a non-artificial-drug method of reducing periods. I have heard the practice described in vague terms, such as that it involved massage of the nipples, and this seems as though it would be an effective process for some, as certain women can induce lactation by nipple stimulation. [And lactation - producing milk from the breasts - usually stops menstruation.]

December 2003

"If there was a way to stop periods safely, I would be all for it."

Would I stop menstruating? You bet I would, although I have never really had any serious problems with it, it is highly inconvenient, and the way I look at it, quite pointless. What is the whole idea behind wasting energy to make the endometrium only to shed it every month? I have always wondered why our bodies don't reabsorb the lining instead of sloughing it off. but then again. I am 24 and hope to have kids someday. So, no, I wouldn't go in for a hysterectomy right now. And I wouldn't go on hormone therapy either for the simple reason that we don't know what the long term effects could be, and I am not one to play with my body. If there was a way to stop periods safely, I would be all for it.

December 2003

Yes: "I don't think that any woman should tell any other woman that they are whining because all periods are different, all women, all bodies, all cycles, all problems are all different."

I am 24 years old I have been having my period half of my life because I started at 12. I love, by the way, how an 11-year-old girl is trying to tell everybody to stop whining and deal with it. Maybe just breathing in and out works for you but in big-girl world it's a little different. I remember what my periods were like when I first got them. Bleeding was all that happened.

After kids it is worse. I started getting the Depro Provera shot so that I wouldn't have to worry about pregnancy or periods but I went from a size 5 to 13 and didn't even change my eating habits. I know that it was nice not having blood drip out of me for seven out of 31 days in my cycle. Stomach cramps is also not all every one deals with. I know just for me I get diarrhea and constipation at the same time and headaches.

I don't think that any woman should tell any other woman that they are whining because all periods are different, all women, all bodies, all cycles, all problems are all different.


24 years old

Las Vegas, Nevada

December 2003

No, from Italy

I would not give up to my menstruation because of the memories and the very deep feelings linked to them. I began having them at the age of 12 and when I showed to my mother what I suspected to be a spot of blood, her reaction was a happy laugh and a big hug.

Then after one year of very regular periods, I began to have them every two months. A medical visit told me that I have too much testosterone and could risk amenorrhea, so that the prospect of getting pregnant would be a bit difficult. I actually look like a woman! but I am a bit more hairy than the current aesthetic code dictates - it is really nothing abnormal, but you can imagine a teenager. I am also very sensitive to stressful situation and I do not have periods when I am working too much. So seeing that periods still come sounds to me like as an assurance, and I even enjoy the light back-ache that oblige me to some hours of rest. It's as if my body asked for its time, to be listened to. I think Western women tend to forget that.

I can detect how close my periods are, following the different thoughts coming to my mind, out of my control. I am sexually "hot" some 10-15 days before, I would bite everybody during the 3-4 days "before," I feel heavenly "during" them, and like babies far more than men just after. I have read that women who are sensitive to their unconscious part, their "animal" part, can know when they get pregnant and even feel if it is a boy or a girl. This actually happened to my mother with the birth of my sister and me. I really like this sort of "sixth sense."

What I don't like is the morbid curiosity of male teenagers and some childish men (but I guess it is normal), and their belief that a woman is by nature inconsistent at work due to this monthly "handicap." However, in the almost totality of cases, I have always found a lot of respect by men.

*** (Italy) [the writer contributed Avere visite, Essere indisposte, Xe rivài i Venesiani and many others to the Italian section of words and expressions for menstruation.]

December 2003

"I don't know who even came up with the silly notion that women aren't women without a period, but whoever it was needs a good slap in the face."

I am 21 years old, and have been dealing with a period since I was around 12 years old.

I would like to know why some people (women AND men) think that to be a woman means to bleed on a regular basis. Please. Spare me. If I really wanted to be a "natural woman" as you so define, I would be giving birth to babies non-stop. That is what the female body is designed for. To reproduce. By not getting pregnant all the time, I am defying the natural process of what it means to be a female. So screw your closed-minded view of what a woman is. A woman is someone who was born with a vagina, and she still becomes a woman even if there is a complication that prevents her from having a period. Maturing into a woman (or a man, for that matter) is based on age, maturity, and by how much one has grown mentally, not by ovulating, or being able to ejaculate!

I am a woman, and I have chosen to take Seasonale, which will trick my body into thinking it's pregnant, like the natural order wants my body to do anyway. It is actually healthier for me to let my body think it's pregnant because that's what nature truly intended my body to be used as! But I am not currently mentally and financially ready to have kids, so I'm not. In the meantime, I'm not going to put myself through a lot of painful and unnatural suffering. This does not make me any less of a woman, or a person for that matter.

If you want to bleed because it empowers you and makes you feel normal, then by all means go ahead. I have no desire to convince you or make you stop otherwise. But it's really upsetting to us who don't want it anymore to be called less of a person because of it. I am not any less of a woman for not having a period. I don't know who even came up with the silly notion that women aren't women without a period, but whoever it was needs a good slap in the face.

I choose to remain anonymous, please, because I know a lot of women would try to burn me at the stake for making a valid point. :-)

November 2003

"If I could take a pill or have a drug that would stop me from the nightmare of that every month I would gladly take it."

I have just read your article on line about stopping my menstrual periods. I am nearly 39 years old and have been sterilised since the age of 26. Even though I still have all my reproduction organs and they all work perfectly, I suffer from really heavy bleeding that lasts from anything from 10 to 17 days. If I could take a pill or have a drug that would stop me from the nightmare of that every month I would gladly take it. Now that I am approaching my middle age and that I have been sterilised having a monthly bleed is unnecessary.

(from England)

November 2003

"It's not the most horrible thing in the world, but it's an annoyance and if I could avoid it safely there's no reason I wouldn't want to."

Not that you don't have plenty of replies but another never hurts, right?

I only skimmed the other letters sent in response to this question, but it seems to me that a vast majority of the women that strongly supported indefinite suppression experienced excruciatingly painful cramps, etc., due to their period. I don't have crippling pains (most of the time) nor do I have an unusually heavy period (it's actually rather light, I think) and my cycle is unusually long, I usually go about 35-40 days between each menstrual period.

On the other hand, I would be more than happy to suspend having it, if it were medically safe and reasonably easy to maintain and undo. It just gets in the way. It annoys me to have to constantly be considering "If I'm going out tonight and we end up taking more than x amount of time then I'm going to need to bring two extra pads" or "I'm due to start today or tomorrow so I need to remember to be carrying one in my bag from now on."

It's not the most horrible thing in the world, but it's an annoyance and if I could avoid it safely there's no reason I wouldn't want to. I appreciate sentiments about womanhood and what have you, and in some ways I do feel like it might be strange to just STOP having your period, but it would be worth it to me not to have to consider it 25 percent of the rest of my life till menopause. I'm plenty busy as it is, thank you.

Ah, demographics: currently in Japan [the writer has a Japanese name] but born and raised in California, 21 years old.

November 2003

"If I could find another way to gain control with less risks, I would."

I would stop in a heartbeat if I could. After my kids were born (oldest 16 and youngest six) I have had nothing but problems with irregular cycles and extremely heavy. Regular birth control pills didn't help either I spent most of my time spotting constantly so that was more of a nuisance. So far I have had two D&C's [dilation and curettage] and had a hemorrhagic cyst removed the size of a plum this past May 2003. I always have major discomfort due to cysts that come and go and the cramps during are unbearable sometime. I had my tubes tied, so to speak, as I want no more children. I don't opt for birth control pill due to all the side effects and potential risks as I am a smoker of 35. Strokes and heart attacks are big in this family. If I could find another way to gain control with less risks, I would.

November 2003

"I know I've only had it for a year, but since I hate it so much now, I don't think I'll like it anymore later in life."

I'm only 14 and I know it's early, but I would definitely stop getting my period if I could. I hate when I get my "monthly visitor" because I feel like I can't do anything. I wear baggy T-shirts and pants that aren't tight so that I feel more comfortable that people can't see my pads on my butt. I've tried tampons but I couldn't do it. I would go to put it in and I would only feel pain so I'd stop. I hate got my first period, I think, five days before my first day of 8th grade. I stopped three days after. I was so glad! I know I've only had it for a year, but since I hate it so much now, I don't think I'll like it anymore later in life. I always tell my Mom that I want a hysterectomy (spelling). I would definitely love to never have the pain, bloatyness, and just plain uncomfortableness that comes with wearing pads.

November 2003

"All I want for Christmas is a hysterectomy."

I am a 32-year-old mother of four, started menstruating in 4th grade, had my tubes tied after my fourth c-section [caesarean section] six years ago. It did not occur to me at the time, but why in the world would I just have my tubes tied? If they were in there for the c-section anyway, why not just do a hysterectomy?!?! Leave the ovaries, sure, but...duh...why the heck should I put up with monthly pain, mess, inconvenience, and expense, for an organ that for the rest of my life has only the potential to cause me problems?!?! It helped me give life to the world four times and for that I am forever thankful, my kids made all of my periods during the fertile part of my life well worth it, but now I walk around singing "all I want for Christmas is a hysterectomy" and OH, BOY, do I mean it.

November 2003

". . . if a study does conclusively show that stopping your monthly cycle is bad, then I'll review my life!"

I have not had a period for seven years. I began taking a same dose Pill every day, in 1996. I had some fear that perhaps it would stop or slow me down when I wanted to get pregnant, but I am a very positive thinker and worked through those fears.

In Nov 1998 I was getting married and three weeks before my wedding day I stopped taking the Pill and da! da! - three days later got my period. I then promptly fell pregnant one month after my wedding day and since then, due to two pregnancies, breast feeding and taking the same dose Pill I still haven't had a period.

I feel fantastic, no cramps, no guilt, no bloating!

In September 2002 I heard of a new contraceptive "Implanon," a little plastic rod inserted into my arm; it is progesterone based (no oestrogen) and I have not had a period since taking it. I feel great I don't have to take a Pill everyday and it lasts three years.

The deal with my husband was he would have the "snip" when he turned 40 (2005), but now that I have "Implanon" he won't need to, because I don't want to have a period anymore and I don't want to have a hysterectomy.

My reasoning is this: I lead a very active life, I hate the smell, the mess, the inconvenience. I had an epidural when I had my first child, because why did I have to endure the pain - it was 1999, for God's sake, and medicine had a way to relieve my paid. It is 2003 and medicine has a way to stop the need for a period. No studies have shown that it is harmful and if a study does conclusively show that stopping your monthly cycle is bad, then I'll review my life!

Western Australia, 32

November 2003

No! "Which is great [not wearing a bra], 'cause they [her breasts] look bigger so the boyfriend always wants to get his hands on them."

First off, I really like the Web site. I just stumbled upon it two days ago and it's very informative. I will bookmark this one for sure.

To Bleed or not to Bleed, that is the question.

I started my period at 12 and since I am now 24 I just realized that I have been having "George," as we call, it for half of my life. I hate it. Hate it hate it hate it! My flow is never perfectly regular, always off by a couple of days, so the calendar never helps me know when he's coming to visit. I can however go by the PMS indicators. I suddenly get very tired, never enough sleep, no motivation at all. I take naps all the time, and have NO energy. I feel sapped and it lasts about two weeks. And as someone before me said, spastic colon is fun too. I always have diarrhea at one end and pretty bad constipation at the other end. And of course, the sore breasts. Always a fun part. Sometimes they don't hurt too much, and at other times, it's painful to walk too fast or put on a bra because they hurt so much. Which is great, 'cause they look bigger so the boyfriend always wants to get his hands on them.

And of course, the regular PMS suffering, raging temper followed by bouts of sobbing, depression, giddy giggles and all that fun stuff. Plus, having your period lowers your immune system because it takes a lot of energy to deal with all the hormone changes, so I am usually fighting off a cold at the same time. Then the bleeding and cramping, which is sometimes not to bad and at other times I can't get out of bed. Not to mention that physical activity tends to make the cramps work and I have a physically active job. And just to top it all off, you're horny too. How the hell does that work?

My only real worry about suppression would be that we might find out later that there are some sort of negative side effects to this, but I hope not. I have been saying for years that women need the week of their period off from work because quite frankly, I am next to useless during that time anyway. So yes, I'll probably give it a try. I'd be grateful to be able to work for a whole month without feeling useless and sick and tired for half of it.

The only thing I can really think of to settle my worries about it is having a cat. We had a female cat a few years back that we were going to breed, but we never got her papers in order, so for several months she went into heat every month, much like a period. She lost a lot of weight because for that week or so she really didn't eat much because being in heat took over. Finally we got her spayed so she could eat and gain back her weight, but I am thinking this might be a similar situation, because I know I barely eat on my period. I have no appetite for anything but chocolate and eating makes the cramps worse.

In conclusion, do I want to suffer through this all every month? Being tired, pissed off, snot nosed, Twinkies in hand, bleeding like a stuck pig, hands-off-the-boobs, but please can we have sex? every month? Not if I can help it.

Anonymous, please.

New Hampshire, U.S.A.

November 2003

"All I can say to you is quit whining and deal with it!!"

No, I wouldn't. I don't see what you are all complaining about. I have recently started my period and absolutely love it as I get a full night's sleep whenever I am on, and stomach cramps are easy to deal with - all you have to do is relax and breath out. All I can say to you is quit whining and deal with it!!

From an 11-year-old in England.

P.S. Great site!!

November 2003

"I would not think of taking a pill to mask my body's normal functions"

I hope to very soon stop menstruating! It's called pregnancy! After that, I plan to not menstruate for at least a year, as I have following my other births. This is a common occurrence in mothers who nurse their children at their breasts instead of giving them artificial milk.

I would not think of taking a pill to mask my body's normal functions, particularly when the "break" comes regularly as God creates life with in my womb.

November 2003

"I'm 44 and feeling the highest libido I have felt in my entire married life (23 years). I figure there are too few years left between now and the onset of menopause to waste them menstruating."

The sooner the better! I'm happy to have read a month or so ago the results of a study stating that it was safe to take low-dose birth control pills to stop menstruation. I'm 44 and feeling the highest libido I have felt in my entire married life (23 years). I figure there are too few years left between now and the onset of menopause to waste them menstruating. I currently use an IUD for birth control. Thirty-three years of menstruation is enough! As soon as I'm done with this message I'm looking into obtaining the pills.

November 2003

"I cannot think of one negative side to the idea!!"

HELL YES!!!! I'm 30 and have been having periods 12+ times a year since I was 13 or 14. I HATE them! Pain, bloating, diarrhea, hot flashes, my skin color is off, body odor is different (and icky) and then there is the whole inconvenience deal with having to carry tampons and change them, etc. (And who uses pads? Ick! Sitting in your own sweat and blood is gross - and smells horrid!) If I could give my cycle up until I'm ready to conceive a child, I would do it in a heartbeat!! I cannot think of one negative side to the idea!!

My friends and I have been having a debate for the last several months about whether shaving is better (shaving the entire pubic area, leaving a small strip, etc.). I feel much cleaner, especially when dealing with "that time of the month" - when there isn't hair there to absorb odor, blood, etc. Most of my girl friends agree, but not all. Might be an interesting topic for your site???

November 2003

"Left up to me, I would rather put up with my period each month, rather than not have it at all. I only wish mine were a little more regular."

I can't understand the young girl who said that she can't shower during her period or exercise or change her pad at school. Those aren't very healthy practices, honey. I'm 20 and have had my period since I was 11, and I have had it as bad or worse than most girls my age have. I have already had two cysts removed from my ovaries, which helped with the excrutiating pain and nausea. If you have extremely bad cramps and you are very young, consider starting your PAP tests early. There could be something a doctor could help you with.

Left up to me, I would rather put up with my period each month, rather than not have it at all. I only wish mine were a little more regular. Even on birth control it was all over the place. Now that I'm off BC, the pain is pretty bad and I'm even more irregular, but I need to give my body a break from the hormones.

I was really surprised to see the number of responses from young girls. I didn't know this was such a popular topic!

Thank you!

from Feb 2003

Danish woman: "I underwent a hysterectomy in 2000 and haven't looked back once since."

There's no doubt that I would have been happy to stop menstruating at an earlier age if I had had the choice. I underwent a hysterectomy in 2000 and haven't looked back once since. I have still got my ovaries, so I still have my monthly cycle, but don't miss the pain and agony and the mess for eight days every month. I had so much pain that I was on pure codeine plus aspirin and all it helped was to take the top off the pain.

Even today I don't really care that I'm childless, because I'm so much better physically than I remember since my early teens (13). I hated the shame and the mess when bleeding through every month, yack !!!! It was too large a factor in my mind all the time.

I'm now a 46-year-old woman from Denmark. I have lived as a celibate all my life so the freedom from the danger of unwanted pregnancy doesn't even count, just the relief from years of pain and anticipation of the same every month is a blessing.

October 2003

"My period is a welcome visitor, even if inconvenient and reminds me of the marvelous cyclic design of the woman's body."

I just wanted to throw my two cents in on this.

No way! No day!

I started my periods extremely late, at age 17, and was happy to discover finally that I was "normal."

I hate disposable pads and tampons, but no longer have to deal with either of them, thanks to inventions like the Keeper, Instead, and washable cotton pads. My period is a welcome visitor, even if inconvenient and reminds me of the marvelous cyclic design of the woman's body. No way that I would pitch it!

I am 21.

October 2003

"I want my period back, I don't want to stop early, I want to know that I am still fertile."

Well, I am 36 (practically 37) and I started having irregular periods and menopausal symptoms two years ago. Until I figured out a combination of herbs and progesterone cream, I had very frequent hot flashes and disturbed sleep. I haven't had a real period in five months and it does bum me out. I want my period back, I don't want to stop early, I want to know that I am still fertile. I agree with a woman who said that she wants to have the choice. I don't like that it is being taken away from me and I visited your site in hopes that I could learn about herbs that might help me start up again. So, no, I definitely wouldn't stop my period if I could. I would bring it back.

October 2003

"[I]f this isn't a disorder I don't know what is."

Never has there been a benefit for me in this suffering. It began when I was eleven. I'm almost thirty-two. The pain seems to get progressively worse. I don't want children, so that is no issue. Clots, flooding that requires the use of tampons and pads together, stained bed sheets, crippling pain, if this isn't a disorder I don't know what is. And to have a doctor tell me that nothing can be done.

October 2003

"I am still a woman with or without my periods. I would prefer to be a woman who doesn't have to suffer every month."

Would I stop having a period every month if I could? Yes, absolutely! I am 41 years old and starting menstruating when I was 13. My periods have usually been painful and heavy throughout the years.

I had my tubes tied 15 years ago. I had my children. Don't want anymore.

For the past five years, I have suffered with horrible horrible, painful periods with very heavy bleeding. I can no longer wear tampons, I bleed so much. It went from five days to seven.

And yes, it was hard to go to a full time job and I had to work vacations and other things I wanted to do around my period. I have bled through my pants quite a few times and was embarrassed.

So, finally I got tired of suffering with this, went to the doctor, and it turns out I have fibroids and thickened lining which means I am probably not ovulating anymore. My doctor gave me birth control pills and said I could take them so I wouldn't have anymore periods and it made me so happy when she told me that. After all the years of suffering with my periods, not having them will be like a reward! I am still a woman with or without my periods. I would prefer to be a woman who doesn't have to suffer every month.

I would like to remain anonymous. Thanks

October 2003

"I wish every man on earth could experience a really awful period just once in their life."

I am 46 years old and have had my period since I was 11. I don't have and don't want children. Over the years, my periods have gone from nearly nothing to all out monster cramps, bleeding and feeling like crap. I'll probably start menopause soon, but I still get my period. If I never got another period again, I would be thrilled. I have always hated having it. I wish every man on earth could experience a really awful period just once in their life. Maybe then they would know what women really go through every month.

October 2003

"I think of all the years of misery that could have been spared women like myself, who see nothing fulfilling or 'natural' in having to endure the dirty miserable things!"

I've just turned 46, no children, don't want any, and partly because since I so hated all the pain and misery of the periods all my life nothing on earth would persuade me to endure the discomforts of pregnancy and the ultimate torture: childbirth (and my childbearing friends' tales of post-partum passing clots the size of slabs of liver, peeing over the burning pain of stitches and torn flesh - charming, pass.). No thanks. I got my first period one month shy of my 12th birthday - which is normal for my ethnic group - southern European. My periods have over the course of my life caused many disruptions to my life, embarrassment, pain, loads of excruciating pain which requires heavy duty pain relievers to control (the ibuprofen stuff doesn't do diddly squat for my excruciating pain when it hits) and as I enter the lovely peri-menopause stage of my life, I have learned that it only get's nastier! I had bleeding that went on for 90 days before I finally consulted a doctor to find out that this is what I can expect while waiting for the next fun stage of the game of being a woman and at the mercy of my hormones - menopause. After a whole year of attempting to get my now irregular cycle under control (it had been annoyingly regular every 28 days all my life, I used to devoutly wish I would miss one of the miserable things but no such luck) with natural remedies like a progesterone cream, it helped somewhat, but the cycle was still erratic and I was stuck wearing something to protect my undergarments all month.

Now, I have always HATED that feeling of diapers, that's all they really are, modified diapers, and even with my normal use of tampons, by this age, the peri-menopause, the bleeding can be so dreadfully heavy that not the biggest tampon can really protect against embarrassing leaks, so one would have to strap on a diaper as well as use a tampon. I would have days of massive bleeding and passing the most revolting big bloodclots - just sickening having to deal with the mess. My friends, of like age, have coined a term for that type of bleeding: "murder scene" and yes, pretty well describes how you can wake up in the morning, as if you are indeed the body enacting a bloody murder scene. And very nice struggling to live a normal working life and perform all one's duties and chores while constantly worrying about happenings below and would the gush one suddenly felt when standing up result in some hugely embarrassing public display! I tried the naturopathic approach but it did not curb them; I tried Alesse, to control them, but they didn't become regular again, so now I am of course risking my health by taking normal low dose birth control pills and they have finally, after a few months, brought my periods under control and I no longer have to live with pads day in, day out. I get a period, and then there's a break, three weeks, before the next one.

More normal now. The bloating, pain and cramps, the blood clots, the mood swings, crying jags, all those are still present, but at least there is a break and freedom from the damn bleeding for three weeks! I would absolutely LOVE a pill that would stop the miserable bleeding all together!! I resent the huge amounts of money we women have to shell out for all these products to deal with this dear "normal, natural" event. I hate that phrase. What's natural about gushing and dripping blood once a month! I have even toyed with the idea of that endometrial ablation just to sear the stupid tissue away and end this annoying bleeding. I am concerned about potential risks from the synthetic hormones, but my hatred of this miserable bleeding is greater than my fears of future potential adverse effects. I was very excited when I first heard about Seasonale and pretty enraged when I read that apparently the possibility to stop the miserable things was always there but that the marketing geniuses felt women would WANT to have 12 periods a year so it felt "natural" and more "normal" and would be more likely to agree to use them if that's how they worked. I'll bet these geniuses were MEN; I wish they had asked around. My hate relationship with the miserable thing started in 1969 and I think of all the years of misery that could have been spared women like myself, who see nothing fulfilling or 'natural' in having to endure the dirty miserable things!

Er, hm, have I managed to convey how I regard the dear "natural" process? Ha, ha, I don't know of one woman that I have ever discussed it with who did not hate the whole miserable process.

Please do not publish my name. You may publish where I am currently living - Western Canada.

October 2003

No: "It shows me my body is well, and keeps me in tune with myself, and besides, I get a break from my husband's attentions for six nights."

I would not! It shows me my body is well, and keeps me in tune with myself, and besides, I get a break from my husbands attentions for six nights.

I am a 32-year-old mom of twins, and am "fixed" so we won't have any more. I was an extremely late starter, and started at school, when I was 16. I was so embarrassed when my girlfriends found out later and ganged up on me, but it was a GOOD sort of embarrassed. Like "finally, I got it!" It was about time! So, I can look back at what my girlfriends dealt with during school while I was carefree and had no worries.

My family celebrated in a way. We went out for dinner because I had 'become a woman', and I was encouraged. My father is old, in his 70's. His mom never told him, and when he married my Mom, he didn't know women bled. I can imagine the surprise he got when Mom first did! He is still so old fashioned, he won't carry a grocery bag into the house if the are pads or tampons visible in it. I want my period, it defines my woman-ness. Even if it is a pain in the butt! I love this site, and plan to take it apart and read everything. Fantastic job!

October 2003

No. "My mom celebrated the start of my periods by having a special dinner for me. I just believe in the power of my female-hood."

I am a 26-year-old white mother of 3 biracial children. I live in the Northeast. I would not stop my periods even though they are an inconvenience and I suffer from strong cramps. I know it probably sounds cliched, but it is like being in tune with the sun, moon, and tides. I come from a family with a lot of strong women. My mom celebrated the start of my periods by having a special dinner for me. I just believe in the power of my female-hood. I cherish my uterus and ovaries.

October 2003


I am 42 years old, and first got my period at age 11. I have had PMS which has gotten worse through the years, and my periods last seven+ days and are usually quite heavy, but even so, I've always just accepted them and their nature as a fact of my life. Several years ago, my male obstetrician/gynecologist at the time suggested Depo-Provera injections with the idea that if my periods were suppressed I would have no PMS, cramps, etc. I wasn't wild at the time about "rearranging the natural order" and declined, resigning myself to live with my periods.

HOWEVER, I suffer from migraine headaches. These too have gotten worse with age, and the monthly fluctuation of hormones has begun triggering my migraines regularly and with increasing severity. Every cycle for the last several months I have migraines daily for the 6-8 days leading up to my period. My female internist favors menstrual suppression and feels that there is a good chance it will remedy the hormonally-triggered migraine problem. She has prescribed continuous dose LoEstrin and I plan to start it with my next period. I'm even willing to do it at great financial expense since my insurance does not cover BCP's. Hey, my co-pay on Imitrex for migraines is so high anyway, it will probably balance out cost-wise.

So, while I am slightly concerned about the long-term effects and the expense involved, it will be more than worth it if I can avoid days-long migraine headaches!!! Getting rid of the cramps and bleeding will just be icing on the cake. I CAN'T WAIT! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !

October 2003

"Screw the 'it makes me feel like a woman' or 'it's natural' s***."

Absolutely, no question about it. In addition to the crippling cramps (I don't really care about bleeding in itself, and am not "ashamed" of it), I lose all hope for about a day or two beforehand due to EXTREME depression. When I take antidepressants, this is somewhat alleviated (Wellbutrin is miraculous), but I'm trying to stay away from the antidepressants for a while. Even when you realize it's only a temporary condition, it doesn't help the utter despair. If you're prone to anxiety like I am, this time can be unbearable.

Shall I mention the spastic colon that compliments the pain and bloating? How about not making a meeting at work, due to the fact that you have raging diarrhea on the first and second day of your period (I always keep chewable Immodium AD in my purse)? Sure, you can take pain meds, (prescription Naprosyn seems to work best, unless I have access to Vidocin [Vicodin and Pernod, the best cramp cocktail, in moderation, of course]). But what to use while waiting for the meds to take effect? Sadly, I have to smoke marijuana, which instantly helps the pain.

I like to imagine a group of old men at the insurance companies, choosing not to cover continuous Pill usage (crossing fingers with Seasonale). Perhaps they need a swift kick in the nuts, so they know what millions of women have the privilege of experiencing each month.

Luckily, I've kept my periods away for four months with the progestin-only variety. I hope they stay away for a while.

Screw the "it makes me feel like a woman" or "it's natural" s***. I'll gladly sacrifice "real" womanhood, if that's how we're defining it.

October 2003

"I would love having only three periods a year; I am sure I would then feel more comfortable with it and celebrate appropriately, making time for it and feeling less frustrated about having to 'put up with it' rather than embrace it."

I really "enjoy" my period, insofar as it is almost magical, almost divine, and I do love the days leading up to it, in which I feel very much in touch with the cycle of life. However, my period is rather heavy-duty, and I end up being functional only two weeks out of the month, which makes it hard to compete in a man's world. I recently took a break from menstruating for three months and welcomed it back, celebrating my femininity. I would love having only three periods a year; I am sure I would then feel more comfortable with it and celebrate appropriately, making time for it and feeling less frustrated about having to "put up with it" rather than embrace it.

I guess I should add that I do want children, I do enjoy being a woman, but ten-day periods and PMS? You have got to be kidding me!

October 2003

"I have been taking the Pill continuously (i.e. throwing away the seven fake ones and starting a new package immediately) for two years now and have had no trouble, other than some spotting in the first six months of 'menstrual suppression. . . . It seems to me that tying your femininity to a menstrual cycle is a dangerous thing from a mental health standpoint.'"

Not only would I, I have stopped having periods. I have been taking the pill continuously (i.e. throwing away the 7 fake ones and starting a new package immediately) for two years now and have had no trouble, other than some spotting in the first 6 months of "menstrual suppression." I don't understand the women who post here who say it makes them feel like women - are they going to feel neutered when they reach menopause or if they have to have hysterectomies? It seems to me that tying your femininity to a menstrual cycle is a dangerous thing from a mental health standpoint.

I started menstrual suppression under my OB/GYN's supervision after having had two surgeries for endometriosis and having to take narcotic painkillers for menstrual cramps. While the surgeries allowed me to have intercourse without pain, they did not stop the extreme menstrual cramps. When only narcotics like Darvocet-N allowed me to function normally, my Dr. agreed to the menstrual suppression. He felt that if I took the narcotic painkillers monthly I would develop resistance to them, and need stronger and stronger doses.

Though there is a debate among doctors and researchers, I agree with Dr. Leslie Miller (see her website that suppressing periods is actually MORE natural - because throughout most of history women stayed pregnant or nursing (and thus not menstruating) for many years of their lives, thus having many less periods than women today who have few children.

October 2003

"Why are herbs or acupuncture not making the news/studies? Because there is no PROFIT in these methods."

It is an eye-opener that modern women are in fact menstruating much more. But is this the solution, and for the majority of women is it a "problem"? I can't believe so many women would so easily tamper with their bodies, without waiting for long term studies showing that this is safe. We have no idea how this will affect us in our entirety, not just our reproductive health, but our minds, emotions, overall health, the health of any children we then choose to have. To me this lack of wisdom is frightening. For women who suffer greatly, menstrual suppression seems a option, but for the vast majority of us, to choose, convenience, ease of scheduling over the issues mentioned above seems foolhardy and sad! I am 40, and do have difficult periods. Why are herbs or acupuncture not making the news/studies? Because there is no PROFIT in these methods.

October 2003

"Yes . . . . And to think we could have gone period free a long time ago!"

Yes, most definitely yes! I think about all of the wasted painful hours. I think about all of the money I've spent on so-called feminine products. I think about all of the menstrual pads, wrappers, tampons, etc., I've introduced to landfill sites. And to think we could have gone period free a long time ago!

34, Canada

October 2003

"[W]hy would ANYONE agree to stop menstruating simply because it's inconvenient???"

I find it disturbing that so many people would hurry to take a pill without having no clue what long-term effects they would have. Sure, science is advanced, sure, we understand a heck of a lot more than we did 50 years before, BUT we still don't know what consequences we can provoke by tinkering with the mechanisms of our body.

Several years ago people were shocked when it was discovered that the brain itself produced small amounts of hormones. The precise way in which the body uses up all of its resources is still unknown, and understanding of what exactly the brain does with these molecules is still missing.

Under these circumstances, and with a relatively small amount of research, why would ANYONE agree to stop menstruating simply because it's inconvenient??? I can understand people who have health problems such as endometriosis, but a healthy individual??? Until we figure out the pieces of this scientific and human puzzle that are missing, I would honestly not risk creating an imbalance in my hormones.

There are enough health hazards around me that I cannot help but be exposed to (pollution, etc), I wouldn't add some unknown into the equation for the sake of comfort - at least not until I see solid and long-term (maybe even life-long) research being conducted on people who decide to expose their bodies to such treatments.

-A cautious woman

October 2003

"[U]nless there is a real medical reason, you are asking for trouble when you artificially alter your hormonal cycles just for the sake of convenience."

No, I would not stop my period. It has never bothered me because I never let it. I think it's all about attitude for most women (I realize there are exceptions). I have never rescheduled anything due to menses (including sex -- I guess I was lucky enough to find an unsqueamish man!). Why should I? I think it is total bullshit that women are brought up to believe that menses is something shameful we have to hide (mind you, I don't ADVERTISE it when I'm on my period either). It is a natural part of me, albeit not the most pleasant part, and I have accepted it as such.

I started when I was 13. I got them every 30 days like clockwork, and would get a "five-minute warning" set of cramps when I was starting. It lasted five days with only three heavy days. Once in a while I got it bad -- cramps, bloating, headaches. This happened most often when I was stressed and hadn't been eating right. I took a Midol, cut back on the caffeine and salt, and got some exercise. Perhaps PMS tells us something?

After my son was born I took Depo Provera shots because my doctor said the regular pill might dry up my milk (I was nursing) and I was having a hard time taking the mini-pill at the same time every day. For the six months I was on it, I gained 20 pounds. When I came off Depo, I was no longer nursing and it took two months for my period to come back. When it did, it came with a vengeance. I went from my usual five-day no biggies to 10 days, seven of which were heavy flow. My usual 30 days turned into six week cycles (more than a little unnerving). This went on for another six months until my body got back in its groove. I guess my point is this: unless there is a real medical reason, you are asking for trouble when you artificially alter your hormonal cycles just for the sake of convenience.

--Midwest, USA

October 2003

Epidemiologist: "I say if people want to do it [take Seasonale], try to convey to them that they are embarking on an experiment with no guarantee of safety and then collect the data. . . . If it wasn't [safe], well, I see class action [suit] written all over it."

Periods? Oh, yeah, I remember those. My cycle length got shorter (16 days) and my periods got longer (7 days) so I went and had the little easy bake oven removed. I had already had as many kids as I wanted and I didn't see any point to it any longer. So I guess my answer is that I would stop them if I could, and I did. I am now 41 and I had the surgery at 37.

As an epidemiologist, I am concerned about the health effects of continuous fiddling with the hormones, but I think that the argument that constant cycling is detrimental is also interesting. I say if people want to do it, try to convey to them that they are embarking on an experiment with no guarantee of safety and then collect the data. We epidemiologists will come along afterward and study your outcomes - we'll let you know if it was safe in a generation or two. If it wasn't, well, I see class action written all over it. It appears to do no good to tell them in advance that we can't guarantee the safety. We won't ever figure out whether it is safe unless people try it, anyway. So, "Go for it, dude!"

The writer teaches at a school of public health in the American Southwest

October 2003

"I have suffered with severe "primary dysmenorrhea" my whole life." Is there a Web site for this?

I just found your Web site, due to today's New York Times article (14 October) in the Science Times section [which quoted from many of your letters below].

I saw the answers people posted on the question "Would you stop your period?"

I have suffered with severe "primary dysmenorrhea" my whole life, and saw many answers in that part of your Web site that I could have written myself. I am 50 years old, this week, and I do not have endometriosis. Over the years I have thought about starting a support network for people like me; there is almost no hope out there if someone does not have endo. It has been very frustrating, having all the miserable symptoms of endo, without the diagnosis and the support of an "Association" with a newsletter, etc. etc. There is obviously another undiscovered disease out there, with little research being done on it.

Is there a way to contact some of these people that sounded like me? It might be a start.

Thank you,

[Contact me if you would like to talk with the writer.]

October 2003

"So you see, goddess sisters, this has to do with my making my own choices to be in charge of my own body!"

I am a 40-year-old mother of three planned children.

I figured out how to manipulate my cycles by using the pill for convenience when I was in my 20's, and "periodically" continued throughout the time I was on the Pill.

Although I have now come out as a lesbian, and have absolutely no need for birth control of any kind, I am seriously considering going back on the Pill simply to rid myself of this monthly mess.

So you see, goddess sisters, this has to do with my making my own choices to be in charge of my own body!

October 2003

"I think it's God's way of giving us a natural lubricant during intercourse."

I guess I'm a black sheep, but I love my period. I think it's God's way of giving us a natural lubricant during intercourse. If you don't mind the clean-up, its about the most convenient item inside a woman's body.

October 2003


I am a 42-year-old Causasian.

October 2003

"I like bleeding once a month."

From an anonymous 25-year-old in Washington state, USA:

Nope. I like bleeding once a month. I can totally understand women who don't want to have their period because I used to hate my period very much so. But after taking birth control (orthotricyclen) for 5+ years, my fiance got a vasectomy and I was ecstatic to stop taking those pills! This may sound cheezy, but I really felt like I wasn't completely myself while they were messing with my hormones and frankly I missed the sight of red once a month. I had vast improvements in my depression as the effects of the pills wore off. I also used to have terrible cramps until I stopped using tampons and had orgasms more often. In fact, without even planning it I almost always initiate sex with my partner right before I bleed and I can't help but think that it works the same as massaging muscles so that they don't cramp. And, since I stopped hating my period I've noticed that I turn inward at that time of the month. It was become a restful ritual for me and I take the time to enjoy it.

On an even stranger note, I have a strong affinity for things that are raw, earthy, wild and visceral. Dirt, bones, wind, salt water and blood, for example. I get a strange delight from bleeding once a month, from being connected to my own earthiness as a living creature. It reminds me that I am not separate from the nature around me. It reminds me that life is not easy or simple or clean, that we humans struggle with our existence and that is what makes life interesting.

October 2003

"The results are fantastic - absolutely no bleeding at all."

I DID stop my periods completely. When I had my tubes burned, I also had an endometrial ablation. The results are fantastic - absolutely no bleeding at all. The lining of the uterus is burned away, via heated rollerball, heated saline, or electrically. Yes, I could have stopped having periods by using hormonal methods (pill, depo), but I don't like being on hormonal birth control.

I'm 30, and live in Kansas. My tubal and ablation were done last year. I never wanted kids as I don't like children, so if you're still wanting kids, an ablation is not for you. You must have a tubal at the same time, because if a tiny patch of endometrial tissue is missed in the burning process, a fertilized egg could possibly implant there. The danger in this is that the placenta will grow into the muscular wall of the uterus, instead of into the endometrium. If this happens, you will likely require an immediate hysterectomy at delivery via c-section, as the placenta will not withdraw from the uterus without tearing and causing massive blood loss.

Look into an ablation, if it sounds right for you.

October 2003

"Good riddance!"

I've seen some posts here of folks who disapprove the idea of stopping menstruation because it's "natural" and "womanly," and I say blah, blah, blah! In the old days, women had no choice but to suffer with periods. Now, with advancing technology, we have a CHOICE. Hoo-ah! If you choose to keep it, great, that's your choice. Personally, unless you're trying to get pregnant, I don't see the point. Some have mentioned that those of us who would choose to loose it shouldn't let society "brainwash" us into thinking that periods are "bad" and that we shouldn't be "embarrassed" about having it because it's natural. I don't believe periods are bad or disgusting, or embarrassing per se, but it IS disgusting AND embarrassing when those crappy pads don't fit right, slip, and let blood get on your undies, clothes, and even on the bed! Can you imagine the embarrassment when you have to sit your old bed out for the garbage man to take! :( I actually have a set of what I call "the monthly undies." I don't know who designs those pads, but they don't make them so that they fit my behind! Even the wings let accidents happen. I'm former military. That's another horrible situation. Being out in the field for two weeks during your monthly! It's horrible! The menses signifies a girls final journey into womanhood, but it doesn't DEFINE a woman. I can very well do without it.

Besides, no one should have to suffer in agony the way many women do every month. Some are lucky and have very little or no pain. But many, such as I, have horrible, agonizing pain. If I don't catch the pain before it actually comes - when you feel just a ting - no amount of safe dosage of pain medication will do any good for me. Believe me, I've tried them all. I started getting my period when I was 11, and at that time my pain was the worse ever. I really thought I would die. It had me in such agony, that I lay balled up in the fetal position sweating and squirming my butt off for at least two days straight. Thank goodness it's not as bad as that anymore. But it still gets pretty bad. I have two kids and I'm going to school, I can't afford to be incapacitated by cramps. I've heard that some women already stop their periods by skipping the sugar pills in their current birth control. I'm going to look into that and see how safe it is. But as soon as Seasonale is available, I'm jumping on it! Good riddance!

October 2003

"I used to starve myself so they would stop."

I do not currently have monthly periods as I am on the progesterone-only contraceptive pill, which stops one in three women ovulating, and I think this is fantastic!!

I hated having periods and was very depressed when they started; I used to starve myself so they would stop. I felt like I couldn't do anything or go anywhere. I was too embarrassed to talk to anyone about it, even my Mother and I never told anyone when I had my period. I was so determined to hide it at home that when I changed my pad, I would put it in a plastic bag and walk to a public dustbin to dispose of it, so no one in my family would know.

Before I started taking the Pill I am on now I used to take the combined one where you have monthly breaks, except I did not take the breaks so I did not bleed. There is a chance that my periods will come back again on this Pill one day, and I dread that happening so much, I can't describe the fear I feel. I wish there was some way for sure that would stop them, unless I wanted a child, and then stop them again after.

I am 21.

October 2003

"I started menstruating when I was 12 and it was the most traumatic experience in my life. . . . [T]he women who write this kind of stuff are usually from the wash-your-cotton-pads league and not very helpful to me - they just vex me because they want to talk me into believing that periods are a fantastic thing - and I have definitely enough experience to safely say: no, they are awful and what you girls say is just rubbish.]

I am German and 35 years old. I started menstruating when I was 12 and it was the most traumatic experience in my life. Even the death of my mother (who died when I was 15, leaving me a family to look after as my father was simply not able to do so and I was the eldest child) was nothing compared to my menarche trauma. I never felt so humiliated and degraded before - the pain, the smell, the inconvenience. Being reduced to the state of a baby and needing diapers again (for, sorry, I think the word "pads" is simply a euphemism for what they really are) drove me completely insane and drives me mad even today - although it's better ever since I started using tampons when I was 14 - at least some relief! I really can't understand how anyone would voluntarily wash cotton pads; I really have other things to do and really would hate my periods even more if I had to wash cotton pads on top of it! I had really severe cramps when I was about 16/17, and I would wake up at night in a pool of blood almost unable to move. Then I would crawl on all fours into the bathroom, take painkillers and wash myself - disgusting. Of course I would stop menstruating immediately, if this was my choice.

I had severe cramps, pains, fatigue, etc., etc., for years and years. Then I started a homoeopathic treatment and things got easier (though they are still not okay for me). I have thought a lot about having children and I really would love to have some. But there's a fair chance that I would have a daughter - and I just can't see how she could go through menarche without a severe trauma. I really don't know how I could prevent this. I've read a lot about this topic but the women who write this kind of stuff are usually from the wash-your-cotton-pads-league and not very helpful to me - they just vex me because they want to talk me into believing that periods are a fantastic thing - and I have definitely enough experience to safely say: no, they are awful and what you girls say is just rubbish.

So I decided not to have any children what meant a huge sacrifice for me and made me very sad. But no one shall have to go through this because of me.

October 2003

"I hate my period . . . . I'm Wiccan"

Yes, yes, yes!!! I hate my period. I realize that it's "natural," but that doesn't mean I have to like it. I'm Wiccan, and I realize all of the importances of a woman's period, but my religion is the center of my life. I'm in high school, I play sports, I'm still surrounded by immature males who take pleasure in pointing out "accidents." I wish there was a way for me to just stop it, or at least control when it comes. I don't have many of the symptoms. In fact, you can never tell when I have mine. No mood swings, no craving for midnight snacks, and only slight bloating. I just hate it. It's a big pain in the butt. I don't want kids now, and I doubt I ever will. I'm quite content with my numerous god brothers and god sisters. I don't need any of my own. So why should I suffer through what needed for children when I have no intention of having any?

16, living in Kansas, and hating every minute of menstruation.

October 2003

"Of course, what, are you kidding???!!! . . . But the fact is, some of us really do get it worse than others"

It is not only a complete nuisance, it interferes with life and even with my ability to hold a full-time job. It has, therefore, affected my income as well as my quality of life. (And let's face it, who is going to give disability for something that only incapacitates for a week each month - even though you can't work full time - because you can't take a week off each month!) I can't take vacations, plan events, buy tickets for anything more than a month in advance, etc. It is like knowing that for a week or more each month you will be too sick to do anything (and you can't always predict when it's coming with accuracy). What's more, it's embarrassing. When suddenly you can't go somewhere you were supposed to and are asked why, if it is a man it is extremely embarrassing to say why, so you tend to avoid it, and then they may think you are making up excuses because you don't really want to go, which could put a strain on things between you (I am not talking about romantic relationships--that person would know what is really going on and that would be fine). If, on the other hand, you excuse yourself from a commitment and it is a woman, perhaps she doesn't get as severe a period as you, so she assumes you are just being a hypochondriac/sissy who shouldn't let such things interfere with life and activities. But the fact is, some of us really do get it worse than others, which my gynecologist explained to me (although, believe me, he didn't have to, I already knew). And, in fact, there are medical terms to describe conditions of excessive bleeding and excessive associated discomfort. What's more, accidents can and do happen, even with the best protection used in the most careful way. Even with more than one method of protection used at the same time. Even with very frequent changing of the protection. At the wrong time (such as at work) it can be very humiliating. At home, it absolutely guarantees the lack of a decent night's sleep. The whole experience of menstruating is a nightmare that is ever-present, even when you don't have it, because you can't plan ahead. If I seem emphatic about this issue, it is because I am! Therefore, my answer is I WOULD CHOSE NOT TO GET IT!

September 2003

"Heavens, YES."

I started when I was 13 and I have hated it ever since. Never wanted children, never could figure out why I was being punished in such a manner! Have fantasized swapping my very fertile system with some poor female who is dying to have crying, money-eating, life-goals killing children, but cannot.

September 2003

"I don't need a period and I don't want a period. I feel I done my time month in and month out."

I am 45 years old and I had my tubes tied when I was 33, I have one daughter who is now 21. Therefore, I have not used any form of birth control for a long long time. But I still get my period; my doctor said I pre-menopausal. I don't need a period and I don't want a period. I feel I done my time month in and month out. Before my period I am extremely tired, the day I get my period, I have a severe headache, my legs ache and throb for two days. I also take Zoloft for PMS. So is Seasonale for me. I'd be willing to try.

**** Chicago, Ill

September 2003

"I'm pleased to tell you that I hope to never have another period again!!! Hurrah!"

I read an article on this topic in the local magazine "The Stranger" today and it sparked my interest because I actually haven't had a period that was more than spotting in more than five years because I've been on Depo Provera. Now that you've got that background I'm pleased to tell you that I hope to never have another period again!!! Hurrah!

So there's your answer and have a great day.

September 2003

No: "Bleeding once a month lets me know there's nothing wrong."

Hello! I just looked at your site today, and it's wonderful! I'm going to pass the link to as many women as possible!

Anyway, I sat and read many of the responses to the question posed: Would you stop menstruating if you could?

My response would be no. Why?

Well, I can tell you it's not because I enjoy it, quite the contrary. I get cramps for a whole week and a half BEFORE I actually get my period. The cramps SUCK so bad, from my waist down to my ankles, all over my back. The worst part, I can't do anything during that time. I bleed so bad too.

And it's not because I want children either. I have two very beautiful children: a boy and a girl.

And no, it's not because I think I will lack any womanly values. I don't think I will be made into an "outsider" because I HAVE to bleed every month. And maybe it's a natural process, but to me it's just a really big pain. And no, I'm not programmed to bleed, not every woman does either. I don't live in the 20's, I'm not programmed to do anything, I do things cause I want to. (Makes you think, huh?)

Still, I wouldn't want it stop. Bleeding once a month lets me know there's nothing wrong. Examples: if I'm stressed, I don't get my period. I didn't get my period once due to precancerous cells on my cervix, or from a very bad infection. And right now I'm waiting for my appointment to see if I have a cyst in my uterus.

Yeah, it's complete HELL during that time, but whatever, I'll take the cramps & severe bleeding. I've been dealing with it since I was 9. But it comes in handy at times :o)


A big fan of your site

Age 24

September 2003

"It just makes me feel disgusting."

If I could stop my period I would. I got my period when I was 13. I'm now almost 16. Three years of it and I'm utterly sick of it. What is this about these people saying it "makes them feel like a real woman"? It just makes me feel disgusting. What part of it is womanly? I'd give up cramps, pain and bleeding any day. Sure, I'd love to have children, and even if it is normally only one day of pain, that one day is torture.

September 2003

"Heck, yeah"

I am a 34-year-old mother of two. I would love to have more babies but finances and my asthma meds mean I cannot. If stopping my period means I can't have anymore children, I don't want to take the chance. I'm not ready to close that door. On the other hand, I hate having my period, every month, like clockwork. If there were a natural, healthy way to stop my period, I would do it. A hysterectomy is too final. I wish my fertility were not based on whether I bleed every darn month or not. I wish I were fertile only when I wanted it and not left up to chance/God/whatever you believe. I hate having to go through PMS, the mess, the inconvenience, and abstinence because I also don't believe in artificial birth control. I believe in Natural Family Planning but that's all based on my period, too, when it really comes down to it. What a pain.

September 2003


I don't believe in interrupting the natural process of our bodies. Although I suffer greatly with PMS and disdain the monthly bleeding, it is what makes me a woman.

September 2003

A German says "No."

Not given any medical problems like endometriosis, for example, I don't see benefit in stopping menstruation.

Besides, in normal circumstances, there shouldn't be insupportable cramps or thinks like that.

September 2003

"Yes, yes, yes."

I am 47. I have been menstruating since the age of 13. I hate it, I always have. Yes, it is a cleansing, but it is annoying. I never wanted children, and I don't have any. I want it to cease naturally though, as Mother Nature intended. I anticipate the end of this madness.

No more sanitary napkins, no more feeling yucky, no more wondering if I'll soil my clothing. Just menstrual-free.

September 2003

"The doctors just don't know what to do with me. I'm waiting to see if Seasonale will be the answer."

Would I stop the monthly if I could? Yes, I would. I am 36, and went through premature menopause two years ago. I had not had a period in 6 months, and I just thought my thyroid medicine needed adjusting. Surprise! No more babies for me. It took me a year to get over that shock. Now I have to take hormones and have periods. Yeesh! Why can't they give me hormones that stop the periods? My periods are heavier and more painful than ever, they last 14-18 days, and I have migraines that make childbirth feel like a stubbed toe. If I have to go through this every month for at least 20 more years, well, maybe I should just have surgery and be done with it. I have to have estrogen for my bone density, I already have osteoporosis, and the progesterone makes me a Uberbitch [interesting word!], but prevents cancer. The doctors just don't know what to do with me. I'm waiting to see if Seasonale will be the answer.

I went through menopause, depression, and now I have the periods from hell. I can't wait to stop them.

September 2003

"Attitudes, and lifestyle images in our society must change before menstruation becomes an easier and more acceptable biological process."

Great Web site! It's nice to see that society is beginning to take a serious interest in women's lives. It's also sad that so much controversy continues to surround a common physiological process. No such controversy surrounds a man's production of sperm.

Regarding Seasonale: I would be interested, although cautious, about taking it. I live in Seattle where the cost-of-living is very high. As a result, I regularly work 50-60 hours a week, with a 10 hour per week commute, to survive. This is despite the fact that I suffer from an autoimmune disease that is attacking and slowly destroying my skin and joints. Menstruation only makes the problem worse as the hormonal shifts bring on flare-ups. Many women in my area with health problems also suffer as a result of the economic realities placed on them by living here.

Until I can move to a place where the cost-of-living is lower, and I can work fewer hours, menstruating less frequently would probably be beneficial to my health. Although I don't mind menstruation in general, and have found ways reduce my discomfort, it is certainly not convenient in our modern society. Attitudes, and lifestyle images in our society must change before menstruation becomes an easier and more acceptable biological process.

September 2003

An Austrian:"Please don't come up with that stuff about feeling more creative and better connected to Mother Earth and all that bullshit."

If there were any drug to stop menstruation with no more side effects than the pills for birth control, I would be running to the next pharmacy. And if men were to menstruate, science would have developed such a drug a long time ago!!

Until the age of 30 I just felt some sort of pity for all these strange women complaining about pain and cramps and all that. That was before becoming such a woman myself. I mean, you can live with it by taking a pain killer - but what for? My partner doesn't want children and nor do I. Please don't come up with that stuff about feeling more creative and better connected to Mother Earth and all that bullshit. Sorry for all women that define their relation to nature and spiritual things by bleeding. Another argument against: Wanting to have sex for me has less to do with my cycle than with feeling relaxed, not being stressed, etc. In fact, the only days I'm sure not to want sex is during my period. I'm also traveling a lot and not only in developed countries with a clean loo around each corner. It's not nice to sit in a Peruvian bus for twelve hours - and the men just go out and piss - not even behind a bush.

In short: Scientists of all nations, unite - and help stop menstruation!

Age 35, Austrian

September 2003

"To put it bluntly, I HATE my period. . . . Why does God favor men?"

To put it bluntly, I HATE my period. I hate it more than anything in the world. It is sticky, icky, smelly, painful and inconvenient. I have heard of Seasonale and my husband says don't take it because it can't be healthy. Well, he has never had to go through what us women go through every month. One person commented on this Web site that they are going to ask God why all this was necessary. Well, I have wondered the same thing for a long time. Why, God? Why does God favor men? Why do women have to deal with all the pain, bloating, moodiness, odor, etc. Men have nothing they have to deal with. Men don't have to change their plans just because they are having their period. So, if I could stop my period I would do it in a heartbeat. If I could have all those troublesome organs taken out, I would.

Oh, by the way I am 31 and from Maine, USA.

September 2003

"[S]top a period and suddenly I'm violating the sacred order of womanhood ordained by the great Earth Mother Goddess. I don't get it."

While a lot of the responses I've read were interesting, I personally can hardly wait till Seasonale comes out. I've known all my life that I don't want children or a spouse, and I don't believe in sex outside of marriage. Put simply, I'm never going to have to worry about whether I'm pregnant or not, and I can't imagine any real reason to have a period besides reproduction. If I'm not going to reproduce, why should I put up with it? I remember reading once that menstruation is healthy because the loss of blood means the body makes more (new, healthy) blood to replace what's lost, but really, donating to a blood bank has the same effect, and it could save up to three lives.

Even if it might make me sterile or something, I would probably take Seasonale. I don't expect there to be a "magic" period-eraser that eliminates all symptoms and all bleeding for years, then effortlessly "switches off" when you stop taking it. I'm willing to accept some risks to have this nuisance out of my life. I don't hate my period (usually), or think it's shameful or wrong; I'm fairly open about it, really. I just find it generally useless and pretty irritating. It doesn't have any "effect" on me - I'm not more emotional, more artistic, more connected to femininity. I'm just bleeding from the crotch for seven days.

For all those who have said something about it being a "natural" process, well, so is sweating - and how many of you buy deodorant? So is body hair, but how many of you would object to my using Nair to get rid of it? I can go to a beautician who offers electrolysis and have my body hair burned out with electrical currents, and no one complains, but stop a period and suddenly I'm violating the sacred order of womanhood ordained by the great Earth Mother Goddess. I don't get it.

Just by having a period, I'm condemned to pay pharmaceutical companies - whether it's for pads and Naproxen, or Seasonale. If I could have a hysterectomy at 21, I would. My period doesn't make me a woman - two of my best friends are sterile due to inherited genetic conditions, and they're just as much women as I am. Having a uterus doesn't make me a woman - my mother had a hysterectomy, and she's still a woman, and still a mother, a great one. I can be a woman - and more importantly, a person, without a period.

**** (U.S.A.)

Wonderful site, by the way! As a fantasy writer, it's been useful in unexpected ways! :)

August 2003

"I went for six years without a period once. . . . I felt like a freak."

I would not. You see, I have polycystic ovarian syndrome, and I could stop menstruating anytime I want to, simply by not taking my birth control pills. I went for six years without a period once. Sounds like heaven, right? It wasn't. I felt like a freak. Like I wasn't really a woman. Other women all had this shared experience of cramps and pain and inconvenience. I couldn't relate. I was jealous of their pain and inconvenience, and they resented that I didn't have to endure it. Not menstruating made me an outsider.

It would be different if it was a choice I made. And I can totally understand women who would want to stop. I even skip a period now and then for convenience when I'm traveling or whatever. But I wouldn't want to go for a long time without a period again. It would remind me too much of the years I spent feeling like an outsider. I like my monthly reminder that I really am a woman. I like how it makes me feel human and normal.


age 26

Washington, USA

August 2003

Dutch writer: "I would be very reserved in using any kind of medication to stop my period. Especially when the long-term effects are not clear enough."

I wouldn't even consider it! Yes it hurts, ovulating also can be painful, but it is a normal and natural thing. Only in special circumstances I think it is needed to put an end to this. In other cases you can use painkillers or have a good chat with you doctor to find out if something is wrong.

And, think about this: pain and things that are maybe not exactly the way you want them to be, are part of life.

Anyway, I would be very reserved in using any kind of medication to stop my period. Especially when the long-term effects are not clear enough.

Many greetings, ****, Holland. That's a small county not too far away from the North Sea, you might find it in your atlas. ;-)

August 2003

"I love my periods and I love the thought that I can have them, and that I can give birth. "

I have just been to your Web site and is it fascinating! I have never heard of anything so unique before. Usually it is quite a taboo subject to get on, much less a whole Web site devoted to it! I really enjoy it and will be delving more and more as time permits.

The question, If you could stop menstruating, would you? really inspired me to write. As a woman I have been lucky to have not been plagued with severe cramps and pains when that time comes around. I suppose if I was in pain every month it would put me in a different state of mind. But as it stands, I love my periods and I love the thought that I can have them, and that I can give birth. Women, look. This is what you were programmed to do, and any pill or hormone or anything that alters that beautiful process is bound to lead to trouble. I had a child and did not have a period for NINE YEARS. The doctors could not find anything wrong with me, even though they did tests and wanted to pump me up with all kinds of things. This year I have had one every month at roughly the same time each month, and I love them. I know I am normal and everything is working okay when I have one. I must have missed them more than I thought because I would go through these times where I would wipe and wipe hoping to see something there. Menstruation is indeed something divine and it is our gift, a certain kind of rebirth. Enjoy it as much as you can, it will be over sooner than you think.

August 2003

"If I were using pads or tampons, I would probably hate my period much more than I do."


I'm 25 and I've had my period since I was 11. My period cycles are naturally about 40 days, as opposed to the 25 or 28 day cycles of "normal" woman. I did some research on why this is, and I think it is to do with my 100% plant-based diet.

If I were using pads or tampons, I would probably hate my period much more than I do. Pads feel like diapers and tampons can cause dryness and irritation. I ditched these outdated options for the Instead feminine protection cup. It looks kind of like a diaphragm, except that it is a cup made of surgical grade plastic you insert into your vagina and place under the cervix. It holds blood away from the air, so there is no smell. You can wear it during sex (!) and there is no string. I've made love wearing it and many of my lovers weren't even aware it was there or that I was even having my period! Once I got the hang of inserting the Instead correctly, I didn't feel it at all (unlike tampons, which I always feel) and it never leaked.

So, I don't mind my period. I don't have it as frequently as most women and I don't feel it when I use the Instead and take some Midol. Sometimes I feel more creative and in the mood for love!

****, from Cleveland, Ohio

Later she added:

Pads leak and feel like diapers,tampons absorb vaginal fluid and cause abrasions, not to mention that string - and then there was the Instead.

I discovered Instead on a trip to Seattle (I live in Cleveland) back in '98. I hunted for them in my area and found them at Walgreen's.

I admit, it took me several cycles to fully get the hang of using the Instead. At first I couldn't manage the mess, and they leaked. Eventually I figured out how to insert and remove them properly, and I've been actually enjoying my visits from Aunt Flo ever since.

Once you get used to the Instead and have some practice with it, you can wear it for up to 12 hours with no ill effects, and even wear it during sex. Sometimes I don't feel it at all, and sometimes it is kind of exciting! :)

My 14-year-old sister has even tried them, though she hasn't mastered the insertion/removal yet, she loves that they don't smell at all and don't have a string.

When I was looking through your period art, I didn't see anything featuring the Instead. Next time I have my period, I'll see if I can fix that for you.

Then she added this about her first period:

I was 11, and I had been experiencing gas, pain in my abdomen, and bloating. Having never experienced these feelings before, I thought it was just a case of gas. When I went to the bathroom and found a strange, brown goo in my underwear. I called for my mom, who inspected them and told me I had some #2 come out when I had gas. Now, that was bad enough. No one wants that to happen. But it only got worse.

This went on for a few days. My mom noticed that it was still happening, and she grilled me about my symptoms. Finally, the diagnosis: my first period.

August 2003

"I love being a woman, but would be happy to end this sentence - without a period."

I am 40. I started my period when I was 13, had my tubes tied when I was 19 because I knew I did not want children. Two days before my period starts, the cramps, aches, and nausea start - cramps from my waist to my knees. Then I bleed for 5 days. I take lots of Ibuprofen which helps - but makes me sleepy. I would be pleased to stop having my period if it was medically safe. Once or twice a year I ask my mother, "When did you stop?" Her response: "At the age of 50 - exactly." I don't perform at my best during that time of month and don't feel there is any benefit to having my period. I love being a woman - but would be happy to end this sentence - without a period.

- Crampy in California

August 2003

"[M]y libido soars just before my period, and I swear my body just yearns for my boyfriend much more than at other times in my cycle"

My name is ****, and I'm 20 years old. Please don't anyone hate me for this, but I've been having my period for a little over seven years, and it really hasn't been all that troublesome. I sometimes get minor cramps from gas, but that's about it. Recently I was on the Pill strictly for birth control, but when I discovered that I'd be getting my period around the time my boyfriend would be visiting, I decided to go straight to the next pack in order to skip my period. It worked fine without any negative side effects, except that once it came back it was twice as long as usual - to make up for lost time?? :-)

Anyway, I would *consider* doing it again to avoid a mess when I was planning to have sex, but honestly, my libido soars just before my period, and I swear my body just yearns for my boyfriend much more than at other times in my cycle, even though we're across the country from each other. That tells me a lot. So, why should I deprive us of potentially excellent sex by blocking the hormones that are causing that desire?? I say, hooray for menstruation!

You may print my name, age, whatever.

**** :-)


"I am my beloved's and my beloved is mine" - Song of Songs

August 2003

"Bring on the Seasonale!"

I would stop in a heartbeat. I truly approve of Seasonale (the new pill being approved) and would love to only have four periods per year. Women in our society do not have as many children, therefore more periods than natural. Why should we have "Aunt Flo" more than four times per year (at most) with the physical and mental problems it causes? Not to mention, possible cancer. Bring on the Seasonale!


August 2003

"No!!!! . . . Don't dull it with Advil, listen to what it wants to say!!!!"

I have a very positive attitude toward my cycle so in turn I feel that it has the same towards me. It lasts two days in which I'm filled with energy and creativity (save all those tedious tasks for menstruation time) and I feel that I am releasing all the negative thoughts or things I've seen that month and I get the chance to start up again fresh when its over. I am very close to my body, having been a professional ballet dancer for years and I truly believe that women should listen more intuitively to their own cycles and try to come to the root of any problems they may be having. Many times mental or emotional frustration or stress (throughout the month; it is like a filter - at least we have one!!!) can give you pain everywhere. Don't dull it with Advil, listen to what it wants to say!!!!

26 years old

August 2003

"No!"but "I long for the day to ask God, face to face, why was this necessary, why did you do this to women."

I would not stop it, not because I would not like to, but because it is not natural and therefore, I believe, not a healthy thing to do.

I am 39 years old and have always hated "the period," or as I really like to call it, "THE BLOODY MESS!" I don't refer to it as "my period" because frankly, I have nothing to do with it - it just happens.

I always wanted to marry and have children, which I did; I have five children. I loved my pregnancies because it freed me from the period for nine months! I nursed my children an average of 19 months each, mostly because I loved nursing them, but also because it kept the period from returning; I had about eight period-free months per child because of nursing! (I never fed them baby food. [I am not a hippie, but I am a stay-at-home mother.])

Periods are smelly, messy, and painful! I am completely traditional and conservative, and have embraced being a woman, but I do not see the period as a badge of femininity or womanhood. I long for the day to ask God, face to face, why was this necessary, why did you do this to women. I am confident He will have a good answer, and then, and only then, I will finally be at peace.

August 2003

"I'm nearly done, thank God. :)"

What an interesting Web site. My daughter had it bookmarked. :)

Re: the minister who thought it was unclean [below], in the Old Testament it does say that the woman is considered unclean while she's menstruating in regards to going to the Temple [read the verses here], so I can see why he might have that opinion. Glad to see he's changed his mind, because we (Christians) are no longer bound by the laws of Moses, but are under the New Testament of Jesus Christ.

It was just great after my daughter was born, and I was nursing, to have no period for months! What a relief! And I don't even suffer that badly - not like some do (my own daughter included). However, right now I'm at the other end of the spectrum - menopause! So I'm nearly done, thank God. :)

As far as buying "feminine products" (ha, ha, love that term), up in Canada we not only have to pay Federal Tax (7%) on them, but also in Ontario, Provincial Tax (8%)! I think those things should be TAX FREE.

Your mum must have been a wonderful woman. May she rest in peace. [Thanks; yes, don't get me started. Read a bit about her here.]

God bless,


August 2003

"[I] would gladly go the rest of my life without another."

Absolutely! I am done having children and not quite to the menopause phase. I am currently on Depo-Provera, which more or less stops them, although I do still have the occasional period. I do not like having them whatsoever and would gladly go the rest of my life without another.

August 2003

"HELL YES! . . . This will probably sound pretty weird coming from a pagan"

You had better believe that if it were within my power to never menstruate again, I would take the opportunity IMMEDIATELY and never look back. This will probably sound pretty weird coming from a pagan eight years dedicated, but I never bought into that "personal Moon" stuff. My cycle ranged anywhere from 1.5 months at the least to seven months at the most, hardly similar to the 29-day lunar cycle, and lasted for up to ten days (nothing like the "3-5 days" bunk they fed me in sex ed). Besides, one shouldn't have to menstruate or even be a woman at all to feel connected to the Earth and the Goddess. That connexion can only come from your own dedication thereto.

The option would be ever more appealing if it meant I would not be able to have children. I never wanted any in the first place. My life is fine as it is with no kids, and if I ever feel the need to parent, I'll just adopt. Pregnancy and labor? Ugh! You'd think we'd have come up with a way around that by now. Plus, I just don't care for children. At all. To hell with the "precious" capability to give life. Humans are not the only species capable of reproducing themselves (and shelled eggs to me are far more miraculous, since they are self sustaining in that they need no attachment whatsoever to the mother's body). Besides, there are over six billion of us. It's not as if our species is in danger of extinction, unless of course one looks at our rates of resource consumption (then we're all screwed anyway, so what's the point?) Speaking of which, menstruation always makes me think of how much landfill space must go to things like pads and tampons and how many resources it takes to produce all of the tampons and pads to meet the world needs therefore. Saddening.

Menstruation is smelly, messy, and uncomfortable. I feel far less like myself when I am sitting there leaking like a sieve and cramping to death and reeking of stale blood, with a huge pad or tampon wedged into my intimate places and watching huge clots of black smelly and altogether revolting stuff being extruded out of my lovemaker. Maybe some people like the smell, or don't get severe cramps, or have short, light periods - good for them. I am not like that. It interferes with my life. I have to take horse pills of Ibuprofen to deal with the cramps, which are completely debilitating for four out of the ten days of bleeding. I couldn't care less about it "signifying my womanhood." Male, female, whatever - we're just people! I do not define myself based upon the particular set of reproductive organs I was slated for at conception and it really bothers me when others reduce me to the sum of my genitalia ("Oh, you wouldn't understand - you're just a woman," but "you should do ****, because it's what women are meant for!" and other such bull).

Find a way and I will be first in line for it.

(Please do not show my name or other likewise info.)

August 2003

"I am everything that no one ever expected of me. THAT'S what makes me proud to be a woman. Not some bloody stanky cotton roll in the wastebasket."

I'm 21 on the East Coast. Please don't print my name or address, but do print the incoherently interesting ramblings below:

Ever since I was a little kid I read our "A to Z Family Medical Guide" and books like that. I was fascinated by the human body, the workings of the heart, the lungs, and the other major organs. So naturally I had a pretty good understanding of male and female anatomy and the process of reproduction. My mom was pretty cool about explaining things to me too. I never saw it as a "curse" or anything dirty - I just figured, hell, it's a few days of blood that just happens to women. When I was 12 and I first got it, I was junior-high enough to rationalize that it was just like having gross boogers or ear wax. It's not great, but it happens.

My flow is pretty manageable. It's every 27-30 days and lasts for five days. I'll get a stomach ache on the first day that lasts for a couple hours, but nothing serious. I don't even quite fill up a pad a day, and the bleeding drops off steeply on the third day.

Would I stop it if I could? Hell, yeah. If I could still have sexual desire, if I could do it without harming my body, if I didn't gain too much weight from it, I'd stop my period. It's messy, it's ugly, and even though I've got a pretty light flow, those GODDAMNED pads never quite stop shifting over to one side or the other a bit and ruining my sexy underwear. I'm considering starting the Pill.

Would I lose my interconnectedness with a network of women? I doubt it. I've got kind of an interesting view on things, though, that goes beyond whether or not you menstruate. I was always a tomboy growing up. It just never occurred to me that I should do all the societally-ensconced "girl" things that "girls should do." I was raised in a very conservative environment and my parents always shook their heads a bit when I wore my clompy boots and my wallet chain to church. Then I discovered boys and realized that many of them like prim, wispy, frilly, girly girls. One I was particularly smitten with, and was serious with for about a year, believed very strongly that women should be silent and subservient; that her duty should be to her man and that she should sit back and let him provide. So I tried to change myself. I gave up my smartass-loudmouth nature to be meek and demure. I put away the clompy boots and jammed my size 12 feet into cute little shoes that hurt. I even dabbled in anorexia, thinking my 160-pound, 5'10" frame was too big and bulky to be dainty or lovable. Thank GOD I got rid of that guy three years ago and started realizing who I really am!

I got the big clompy boots back out and started skateboarding, playing my guitar, and being a loudmouth again - all the things I loved. I'm now majoring in computer science after my ex told me I couldn't do it (after all, it was too hard for *him*.) I am tough and competent, and I've found a wonderful man who loves me because I'm a loudmouth with more brains than I know what to do with. I'm big and muscular and I curse like a sailor, and I feel more connected to females the world over now than I EVER did when I was embodying our societal construction of "femininity." Me not bleeding has nothing to do with this. I am everything that no one ever expected of me. THAT''S what makes me proud to be a woman. Not some bloody stanky cotton roll in the wastebasket.

August 2003

"I wonder if it's always been like this since the beginning of time."

I am a 26-year-old mother of four. The way I see it, I have no use for any part of this cycle anymore. I'm done having babies. I haven't exactly had that many periods recently because I've been pregnant (six times) or nursing most of the last six years. But the few that I have had have been awful. I bleed for 9 or 10 days with about three of those days being very heavy flow. I feel like I can't leave my house because I'll be leaking before I get out of the drive way. I think the hormones must serve some purpose to us or God would have menopause happen way earlier in life. For me it's a struggle between not wanting this agony for 20+ more years, and being proud of what God gave us. Part of our gift to create life is having to deal with these darn periods. I have to wonder how much current life effects how much we bleed and how bad the cramps are and how bad the PMS is. I wonder if it's always been like this since the beginning of time. I don't think having a period connects us with the moon or the rain or any of that junk. So it's hard to decide if I'd medically alter my body's natural cycle. I just really don't like bleeding so much. I don't know much about birth control pills but if they lessen the amount of flow, I'd probably take them for that.

July 2003

A black male retired Presbyterian clergyman: "A whole new concept of the menstrual flow is very desperately needed."

I am a male, black retired clergyman (Presbyterian) who once considered menstruation as something unclean. But I have come to see it as a divine gift given only to women. Women are the bearers of humans and also divine beings. I am beginning to see menstruation as one of the most beautiful things in life. Women have the special DNA code that starts the life process, and it is in the blood of the female. A whole new concept of the menstrual flow is very desperately needed. We need to cherish the wonderful beings that women are, to support their femininity, especially their menstrual gift; for their menstrual gift is God's gift to them and to the world. The menstrual flow is sacred indeed.

You may print my comments.

I ran across your site by accident, and I am glad I did.

July 2003

Earth mothers, attention!

Science and medicine are good things! I would definitely take a pill that would stop menstruating if I could afford it. Cramps are miserable to suffer through, maxi pads are expensive, and bleeding makes a mess! I've been doing it for 17 long years and the thought of doing it another 20 or more makes me want to cry! I hate it!

And (if you'll forgive me for linking to outside articles) those Earth mothers who want to make a connection between the moon, water, and menstruation might want (but probably not) to read the following articles:

The moon and menstruation:

The moon and water:

Education is also a good thing!

****, age 30, Oregon, U.S.A.

July 2003

"Give me horse hormones over monthly bleeding any day."

Hell, yes. Periods are a huge nuisance. "Feminine hygiene products" are outrageously expensive and inconvenient. And for people like me who suffer crippling cramps for at least a day a month it costs money, time, etc.

Thank goodness my doc is understanding enough to agree on the continuous pill cycle for a few months at a time - sweet relief!

Now if only I could convince him that I really am serious when I say I don't want kids and would love nothing more than having my tubes tied, or better yet just having it all ripped out. Give me horse hormones over monthly bleeding any day.

****, Oklahoma, age 26 (you may use my info if you want, just not my e-mail address)

If I can't be a good example, I want to be a horrible warning.

July 2003

"If I could go without another for the rest of my life, I would happily, but taking hormones makes me crazy, in addition to being possibly harmful."


This is a fascinating Web site. Reading other women's responses has been very eye-opening. I'm 31 and recently had a baby with my life partner. Because I am still nursing, it has been over a year since I have had a period, and it is like heaven. If I could go without another for the rest of my life, I would happily, but taking hormones makes me crazy, in addition to being possibly harmful.

I've heard the argument about women having more periods than they used to, and I think for the most part that is baloney. I had sex for years, with and without contraception, and did not get pregnant until I decided I wanted to, and my partner had a vasectomy as we are a happy one.

I got my first period when I was 10, and have hated it ever since. It is heavy, messy, smells weird, and I also have awful PMS and cramps. In one of my classes in high school there was a debate about whether or not cramps are all in a female's mind, the result of horror stories told by her foremothers which result in psychosomatic pain. Well, no one told me what to expect, as my mom was a total prude and never discussed sex. I got the pamphlet in the 5th grade like everyone else, so when the day came I slunk into her bathroom and took a handful of pads. Later that day I caused one of the toilets to overflow at school. When I got home, there was a box of pads waiting in the bathroom. No discussion.

As I got older, the cramps got worse, often causing me to spend hours writhing in pain on the floor or trying to relieve some internal pressure by sitting on the toilet. I read that some other women also get diarrhea when they have their periods; I didn't realize this was common. I also bleed so heavily that I have to wear an extra-super tampon and a full-size pad to avoid leaking all over my bed and clothing, and sometimes my vulva becomes raw and swollen from their use and the necessarily frequent changes.

I recently saw an ad in the back of Natural Health magazine for reusable pads that are a modern shape, with wings, and have snaps underneath - no belts. I prefer to use non-disposable diapers and nursing pads, so I am really interested in trying these too. With modern washing machines, the old days of soaking overnight in cold water should be over! I also saw reusable tampons but it turns out they are natural sea sponges, and the idea of putting a dead animal skeleton in my vagina is creepy, not to mention they look rough.

I can't believe I had so much to say on the subject. Thanks for providing a forum for such venting. I read the "makes me feel feminine" comments and I can't say I have ever felt that way but I will try and remember that attitude next time Aunt Flo is in town.


July 2003

Yes. "I believe in God, not Mother Nature."

I would definitely get rid of my period. I am only 12 but I really want to get rid of it. I don't care if it happens naturally. I believe in God, not Mother Nature.

July 2003

"Absolutely! . . . Please, doctors, stop the insanity!"

Absolutely! I see no need to continue this torture. I don't intend to have any children. If I could have evidence that stopping would be bad for my health, I wouldn't want to stop. But I just haven't heard of any sound medical proof that I have to continue. I am healthy in every way, but really, this is an expensive condition and I don't want to have to go through this for another 25 years. It just really cuts down on the joy of life. There is nothing "carefree" about a woman's life between the ages of 12 and 65. That's 43 years, more than half of a lifetime. We have to plan every celebration around it and it is just annoying. Please, doctors, stop the insanity!

July 2003

"My periods have given me a personal reassurance that I am a "normal" woman once again."

If I had a choice, I wouldn't necessarily stop my periods, but I would get rid of the crampy, bloaty, PMS-y, icky feeling that many times comes before the periods. I am personally thankful that after over five years, I am finally starting to return to "normal." I first started birth control when I was 20 with that Depo-Provera shot. I hated it, it made sex painful, I lost interest, I was tired, I gained weight, I was close to being manic-depressive. I got to the point where I bled all the time and I always had to wear a panty-liner or a tampon. Then, I got on the Pill after a year and that gave me a once a month "period," but when I discontinued the Pill when I was 22, I had a couple of real periods until I started ovulating and I ended up getting pregnant a year later, but I never saw a normal period before that to determine the conception time. I am now 25 and I weaned my son just almost five months ago and I have started to have periods again, but they have been irregular. However, I have decided that I will not ever again get on hormonal contraceptives again. They caused me too many problems. My sex life with my husband has not been the same and I feel that the hormonal contraceptives are to blame. My periods have given me a personal reassurance that I am a "normal" woman once again.

July 2003

"In a heartbeat"

If I had the chance, I would stop my period in a heartbeat. What purpose does it serve to me? Although I am young, I know that I will never want to give birth to a child. My period is only an inconvenient, painful mess that transforms me into a snarling, hysterical little girl for ten days at a time.

I'm all for female empowerment and learning to love our bodies, but I find it hard to love "that" part of myself. Sometimes people have asked me, "You're a lesbian! Why don't you view it as 'being linked with all women (or the made-up word "womyn," even) in a sacred tradition' or whatever?" And I ask them, what has that got to do with it? If anything, periods force women into the role as breeders subservient to men, only existing to pop out babies. I don't believe that myself, but it could certainly be argued.

For me, my periods are as useless as my appendix. Now if only I could get rid of them just like that other pointless organ.

****, 15 in Massachusetts. Feel free to print my name and such.

July 2003

"Hell, yes"

If I could stop my period forever, I would, and I'm going to try taking my regular birth control pill continuously to do so. I'm 40, a single mom and a full-time small business owner, and frankly I don't have time for it anymore! My periods were never regular, and always very heavy, even when taking the pill. I'm not ashamed of it, I don't think it's "dirty" or a disease that needs to be cured; I'm not trying to deny my womanhood or disconnect myself from nature. My period is, quite simply, a pain in the groin.

[At the bottom of the e-mail was this:] Why is it whenever I'm having fun, it's wrong? [But actress Katherine Hepburn allegedly once said. "If you always do what interests you, at least one person is pleased."]

July 2003

"No, absolutely not!"

Contrary to what these scientists findings have indicated [read some excerpts from the book Is Menstruation Obsolete?] (which seem pretty spurious) I would not end my bleeding for any reason other than pregnancy. The reasons presented for the dangers of menstruation are near-ridiculous; endometriosis is a painful and cruel disease to be certain, however it makes no sense to suggest that all women cease to bleed simply to avoid the risk of endometriosis. This seems similar to suggesting that all women undergo mastectomies at puberty to avoid breast cancer later in life.

I would give up my bleeding for no reason other than a severe risk to my health, which I see as inconceivable, perhaps to the dismay of pharmaceutical moguls who want women to fear and detest their periods. I see my monthly bleeding time as a sign that things in my body are well. I suppose there is one other reason I would like to see this non-bleeding phenomenon take off: simply to watch the monsters at Johnson & Johnson and and the bastards at Proctor and Gamble finally face complete and total financial destruction!

Take Care and Protect,

****, age 21

July 2003


Menstruation is a reminder to me that I am an organic creature, a child of Mother Earth. Menstruation is a sign of a healthy womb/healthy body. I do experience cramps and nausea and in respect to my body; I accept this as a self-indulgent-caring-for-myself time. Menstruation is an emotional and spiritual thing for me. During my period, I am aware of the power I have as a woman to reproduce life and to become a living environment for the growth and development of a human being. To me, menstruation is sacred. I would never give it up.

****, 21, Quebec, Canada

December 2002 (I found it in my in box in July 2003!)


No, having periods is natural. Pharmaceutical companies want to create new medications to make more money and this is why they have created Seasonale. We don't need this. For them, a woman's body means lots of opportunities to make money.

****, Toronto, Canada

February 2003 (Another one! I found it in my inbox also in July!)

"[W]e do not believe that continuous oral contraceptive use should be prescribed to all menstruating women out of a rejection of a normal, healthy menstrual cycle."

Press Release

Menstrual Suppression Panel

The Society for Menstrual Cycle Research Conference (5-7 June 2003), Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (U.S.A.) (Web site) (Harry Finley, the MUM and writer of this Web site, is a member of the Society)

In an effort to raise awareness about menstrual suppression and initiate a dialogue among women's health practitioners and scholars of the menstrual cycle, a panel was recently delivered on June 6, 2003 at the 15th Biennial Meeting of The Society for Menstrual Cycle Research in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (U.S.A.). The panel consisted of three papers, addressing menstrual suppression from multiple perspectives. Authors of the first paper, Christine Hitchcock, Ph. D. and Jerilynn Prior, M.D., reviewed studies that have been published on extending the schedule of oral contraceptive pills in order to reduce the frequency of menstrual bleeding. They concluded that we do not yet have evidence to suggest that menstrual suppression is entirely safe and reversible. The second set of authors, Alex Hoyt, M. A. and Linda Andrist, Ph.D., presented results from a study of women's attitudes toward menstrual suppression. They concluded that negative attitudes toward the menstrual cycle were a better predictor of women's interest in menstrual suppression than women's menstrual symptoms, suggesting the importance of psychosocial factors in women's decision making about altering their menstruation. The third paper, by Ingrid Johnston-Robledo, Ph.D. and Jessica Barnack, B.A., addressed popular media coverage of menstrual suppression. From their analysis of print media, they concluded that regular menstruation is presented as bothersome and even unhealthy. Advocates of menstrual suppression and its benefits were afforded more space than opponents and risks. As with many other health issues, women are not getting accurate, balanced information, rendering an informed decision about this health care option difficult if not impossible.

The notion that monthly menstruation is no longer considered a necessary, healthy process, particularly for women who experience endometriosis and severe premenstrual syndrome (PMS), was popularized after the publication of the book "Is Menstruation Obsolete" by Elsimar Coutinho and Sheldon Segal, in 1999 [read excerpts from the book]. Women can essentially avoid or suppress frequent menstruation by taking a standard oral contraceptive continuously without the 7-day placebo pills. The typical recommendation is that women take this regimen of pills for three months and then experience a pill-free week such that they menstruate every three months. Another birth control pill, Seasonale, is specifically designed to suppress menstruation, although it is not yet approved by the Food and Drug Administration [of the U.S. government]. Women using this oral contraceptive will be on a schedule of active pills for 84 days and then take placebo pills for 7 days. Menstrual suppression was originally recommended for women with disorders related to the menstrual cycle such as endometriosis, but is now being recommended to and practiced by women without such disorders.

Members of the Society for Menstrual Cycle Research have a range of opinions about this complicated and controversial issue. What we do agree on, however, is that:

1) More research is needed before women can make informed decisions. Women and health care providers need to know more about the reasons why people choose menstrual suppression, and the medical consequences of making that choice. We need psychosocial research looking at women's attitudes, concerns, preferences, and needs for information. We need well designed, randomized, placebo-controlled trials of long-term oral contraceptive use for menstrual suppression, examining women's experiences, bone health, and risks for blood clots and strokes. These studies should include women who are not taking any oral contraceptives, and not just compare women on different schedules of active pills. We also need studies to assess the recovery of fertility following discontinuation.

2) While we recognize that menstrual suppression may be a useful option for women with severe menstrual cycle problems such as endometriosis, we do not believe that continuous oral contraceptive use should be prescribed to all menstruating women out of a rejection of a normal, healthy menstrual cycle.

We are particularly concerned about the potential effects of extended oral contraceptive use on adolescents, given their vulnerability during development and the absence of data regarding the safety of this practice for this age group.

Ingrid Johnston-Robledo, Ph.D.
Department of Psychology
State University of New York (SUNY) Fredonia
Fredonia, New York 14063

June 2003

Read an article about the conference in Pittsburgh in the local Post-Gazette newspaper, which quotes from one of your letters, below; and Leslie Botha-William's response to the article. She opposes menstrual suppression and wrote this letter to the editor of the Post-Gazette. Read also M. Clara Whitaker's response to the Post-Gazette article, who also quotes from your letters. She's a clinical and research psychologist from the PUC-SP University in Brazil and has been studying cultural aspects of PMS and menstruation in Brazil, as well as menstrual cycle psychology, for a number of years.

I might add that recent studies of hormonal treatment for the symptoms of menopause have shown unexpected increases in health problems for the women taking the hormones. These increases probably played a part in the panel's decision in the press release, above.

"The idea that periods make you 'in touch' with your femininity is . . . rather sweet, but misguided."

Menstruating every month is unnatural - it is only since the advent of reliable contraception that most women have had periods every month. Pregnancy and breastfeeding once meant that a woman had maybe one period a year, and then she'd be pregnant or breastfeeding again. The idea that periods make you 'in touch' with your femininity is therefore rather sweet, but misguided. If you want to really feel like a true, natural woman, you should be almost permanently pregnant until the menopause.

I'm now on the Pill, and although I never had problem periods, the predictability and lightness of the "periods" I have now is liberating.

If a drug could be found that's safe, relatively free of side effects and which would guarantee fertility once it was stopped, then yes, I would take it, the same way I would take an antibiotic if I had an infection or a painkiller if I had broken my leg.

June 2003

"Because of the menstrual cycle I never wanted daughters. I was fortunate enough to have only boys."

I feel that this is a curse to women. If women had only one period in their life it probably would be taken very seriously and they probably would be hospitalized when it happened. But for this to happen every month and it supposed to be considered normal, I just don't get it. I'm 44 and haven't had sex in 7 years and I know that I'm not pregnant so I see no need to have periods. I understand that women are the only females (other than sheep) who bleed once a month. [Not true; sheep don't but certain other primates do as well as certain other animals.] It's a curse. It seems that women can be healthy without periods - just look at women who've gone through menopause. Men are so lucky they will never have a period. Because of the menstrual cycle I never wanted daughters. I was fortunate enough to have only boys. I have explained to them about the menstrual cycle.

Yes, I would stop having periods if I could.


Louisiana, U.S.A.

[May 2003 - I just noticed it!]

"I had a gynecologist (male, naturally) who told me there was something wrong with me if I didn't like my periods. Thank goodness, I took matters into my own hands." [A male doctor wrote the recent book in favor of stopping menstruation ("Is Menstruation Obsolete?" excerpts) so males are on both sides of the question, just as women are.]

When I was a young woman, and after I'd had children, I would take birth control pills for months on end, just to avoid having periods. I did this even (or, maybe especially) after having a tubal ligation.

Maybe every six months, I'd take a break. After a hysterectomy this wasn't necessary any longer. Being period free has been just wonderful.

I had a gynecologist (male, naturally) who told me there was something wrong with me if I didn't like my periods. Thank goodness, I took matters into my own hands.

June 2003

"I haven't had a period in almost 20 years and am very grateful for it. I didn't eat the apple; why should I have to pay for it when I have a choice?"

I would and I did stop my periods. Not by choice initially but I would definitely do it again if I had to. At 26, with two children, single parenthood, college and my own business I suffered from endometriosis. My doctor sent me to a specialist after I had bled for a month and a half. That was on a Friday afternoon and on Sunday morning I was under the scalpel. Upon awakening I asked the nurse if they had removed all the cancer. She had a really frightened look on her face and asked me what the doctor had told me. I replied that I didn't really understand his thick accent but I believed that I had cancer and that's why he booked me into the hospital so fast. She had him talk to me about endometriosis but I still didn't understand until I researched it myself. Oh well, I had it and recovered and am eternally grateful to him for removing my womb after I was done with it. If we don't want any more children and love the ones we have, why should we suffer through periods? It seems ludicrous. I haven't had a period in almost 20 years and am very grateful for it. I didn't eat the apple; why should I have to pay for it when I have a choice? My moontime is psychological as well as physiolgical and has everything to do with water, not blood.

June 2003


I had my menses stopped to reduce fibroid tumors prior to my myomectomy surgery to remove: one LARGE (SIZE OF A HONEYDEW MELON), three (ORGANGE-SIZE), and six (GOLF-BALL-SIZE) BEGNIN FIBROID TUMORS. I was given a shot once a month to help reduce these fibroids. It gave me a chemically induced menopause with all the physical outcomes of menopause. I was ever so thrilled to have my menstrual cycle to return to normal. About a year ago my period was coming every two months. I can live with that. I like the feeling of cleansing from the inside out.


June 2003

No. "It is like a time out, a shameless vacation from the everyday concerns of life to recollect my thoughts, feelings, and watch Sex and the City reruns."

I am 24 years old and single. My periods are often painful, and I often have severe PMS. However, I wouldn't stop menstruating if I had the choice. I used to dread my periods, but I have changed my attitude about them. I see menstruation as a time to cater to myself and take care of myself. It is like a time out, a shameless vacation from the everyday concerns of life to recollect my thoughts, feelings, and watch Sex and the City reruns. When I am menstruating, I never feel guilty about getting a pedicure, laying on the couch, taking a long bath, or indulging in a little Graeter's black raspberry chip ice cream.

I also think my PMS (and all the emotional turmoil that comes with it) has allowed me greater insight into my life. It is a time of month when I am more insightful, and more creative; each month I get to take a break and re-evaluate my life. This quiet time has led me to some small epiphanies, and has helped me to deal with relationships, work, etc., throughout the month.

Menstruation affects every aspect of my being - physical, mental, and spiritual. I therefore cannot consider it a mere physical inconvenience that can easily be separated from the rest of my non-menstruating being. As a woman, I am constantly in the process of menstruation, wether it is PMS, menstruation, ovulation, etc. I am somewhere in my cycle at any point in time. My advice to all you women out there is to embrace your periods, not fight them. Listen to your body and respect it; ending your periods is a lot like silencing your body. That is disrespectful.

Positive in Kentucky

June 2003

"Other than procreation, there's no reason for them."

I would stop my periods because they seem unnecessary, and no one seems to be able to prescribe anything to take away the pain. I would be willing to start them up again to have children. Other than procreation, there's no reason for them.

June 2003

"I would love to!!!!!"

After having my second child and second caesarean three years ago my periods have gotten worse. The are so heavy that I go through a super tampon within an hour. I have to buy new sheets every month!! The cramps are horrible. Nothing like working in an auto parts store and doubling over in pain around a bunch of men!!!!!!! I have diarrhea for a week before my period and the whole time I am on my period. And now for the worst part. For the past few months, I have had pain in my vagina. Like someone slid a knife in and started twisting!! I asked the doc if he could give me a hysterectomy. He said, "Not at age 25." I do get to try continuously taking the Pill!! Wish me luck.


Two weeks of misery a month!

***, 25, Kansas (U.S.A.)

June 2003

"I would never stop my body from bleeding."

My blood shows me the connection that I have with the moon and the ocean. It gives me the feeling that I am part of something huge. Our blood also connects us with each other. If every womyn in the whole world stopped taking birth control (and other means of blood stopping), and we all slept outside, we would all get our periods on the full moon.

How amazing is that?

My period connects me to other womyn. It is part of the cycle of birth and death.

It saddens me to listen to younger, "newer" womyn complain about their blood. To me, bleeding is magical, right up there with unicorns and faeries.


age 20

Few will ever do a single Brave Deed, know True Love, or the Passion of a Great Cause.

June 2003

"Go Menopause!"

Stopped menstruating two years ago, for good, right after my 50th Birthday.

Don't miss it one bit - used all my maxi pads left over as dust cloths. They work great!

One, two three, it's as easy as can be. Go Menopause!

*** in Michigan

June 2003

"I guess I wouldn't want to stop it entirely, but I'd like to have a little more control over it."

I've had many different opinions of my period over the short span of only a few years that I've had it. But I'm fine with it.

I've had it for just over four years. I got it when I was thirteen and a half - most of my friends had already gotten it. (I was young for my grade, and besides being only slightly behind hormone-wise, I was also younger than all my friends.) I was excited. I ran to my mom's room and woke her up. She had just gotten a hysterectomy for medical reasons, and went through an early menopause. She had saved a mess of her giant pads for me. And these things were monsters.

I think she cultivated a pretty positive attitude about it in me, but those pads just about ruined it. I remember when I was very little and saw one of her tampons in the toilet and asked her about it. She explained the whole thing. It's always seemed very natural for me. But the pads - ooh, God. They say you can't see pads underneath your pants. But these were the biggest things I've seen in my life.

After awhile, she started letting me use tampons. That was nice. I could forget for almost eight hours at a time that I even "had" my period. Not that I don't like it, but being away from those PADS was heaven.

Then the cramps started. I remember the first time I got them quite so bad. I was in school, and none of my friends had any painkillers. I went to the office, and they couldn't give me any pills because they couldn't get a hold of my mom for permission. Oh-my-God. Pills are my friends. The pain is my only complaint. Same with my boyfriend - I'd think he'd be grossed out by it. But he's entirely fine with it. He just doesn't like to see me hurting once a month.

I'm fine with my period. I guess I wouldn't want to stop it entirely, but I'd like to have a little more control over it. Like choosing when I get it.

That'd be nice. I'm on the Pill now, and I coordinated the day I start the Pills so that I never have my period on a weekend. But I've still had it at some inopportune times.

But my period is, overall, a good thing. And I don't see a reason why I should mess with it.


(I'm seventeen years old, mostly Caucasian, and I live in Wisconsin.)

(And you can publish my name if you like.)

June 2003

No - "I don't trust a person that is advertising a drug as if it was a hamburger."

I 26 years old and I live in Montreal (Quebec), Canada. I am writing a master's thesis in anthropology about women's experience of menstruation in Montreal. I would like to share with you my own menstrual experience and also the problem I find with hormonal menstrual suppression.

I usually have heavy cramps during the first day of my period but I never get them when it is summer and when I am on holiday. Lots of women say that cramps have something to do with your level of stress - it seems true for me too.

Around ovulation, I generally have a higher libido and I have more lubrication when making love. Thanks to life, it is not the only moment, but I have noticed that it could be more at that time of the month. Regarding PMS: I do have swollen breasts and a bloated belly. I sometimes feel more apt to cry and I like that feeling of letting those emotions go out.

I don't refrain from crying or being angry during that phase of the month as much as I do in other moments. I think crying and being angry are positive emotions as much as laughing or feeling love and compassion. They are all part of what it is to be a human being. Moreover, lots of women say PMS allows them to see more clearly those little things that disturb them in their life (like dumb boyfriends, unsatisfactory jobs, family problems, etc.)

All those states are linked to hormonal changes during the menstrual cycle.

But they are also tied to social realities. I recently read that book "Women's Bodies, Women's Wisdom," by Christiane Northrup, a gynecologist, and I advise it to any women. It is amazing to learn about the interconnectedness of mind and body and about the power that we all have to understand better what is good for us. And menstruation is a wonderful tool to learn to know your inner self.

This is all to say that I would not stop menstruating because the whole menstrual cycle makes me feel ALIVE!!

On the other hand I would like every women to be aware of the dangers of Depo-provera and other hormonal contraceptives that suppress menstruation.

Please take a look at before starting to take this kind of product. Of course if someone suffers from endometriosis or other bad disease it is clear that this kind of medicine can be helpful to relieve some symptoms but it's not useful at all to find the cause of the problem or to stop the disease itself.

Also, I read "Is Menstruation Obsolete?" by Elsimar Coutinho and I can say that it is absolutely non-scientific (misquoting of research I had read, unintelligible bibliography, pop culture references, misleading anthropological information). Dr. Coutinho has never undertaken research to understand why women could suffer from troubles related to their menstrual cycle. Plus, he owns the laboratory that has patented Depo-Provera and that participated in creating Seasonale. He clearly has a monetary interest into promoting the end of menstruation. I don't trust a person that is advertising a drug as if it was a hamburger.

Also, Coutinho pretends that all those hormones are not dangerous for people. Doing that he is denying the suffering of all the women that took Depo-Provera or Norplant and have ended up with terrible secondary effects.

Moreover, it seems that problems like breast cancer, cervical cancer and even endometriosis could be linked to the high level of oestrogens in our environment (food, water, plastic wrapping, etc.) Take a look at

Finally, Coutinho says that women in the past had 15 kids in a lifetime and would never menstruate. He tries to make us think that by having too many menstrual periods we are becoming more subject to diseases. This is not sustained by any research. Plus, for sure some women in the past had only one or two kids or none at all (queens and aristocracy in general, nuns, etc.) They were not in any worse health than the other women. Nuns have been proven to be even healthier. When saying that women had tons of kids in the past Coutinho is misrepresenting knowledge women had on contraceptive and abortive herbs before the rise of medicine during the 19th century (see John Riddle, 1992). He is also saying that if women are not producing kids their body turns nuts! This is to say that women are meant just to reproduce.

So whose benefit are we talking about: women's or pharmaceutical companies'?

June 2003

"Hell YES!"

I hate periods and the migraines and cramping that accompany them. If I could be rid of them, I would. I'm 27, in Canada.

June 2003


I am 21 now and I started my period when I was 13. I was taught by my mother that my period was a wonderful coming of age thing (she insisted on a party=P), so I have never had any disgust for my period, only frustration. I used to have very bad cramps when I was younger, although they have eased since I started taking birth control pills. I have been on the Pill for 2 1/2 years and I have been skipping placebos and starting a new pack of Pills immediately since the beginning of this year and I love it. Sure it is a pain taking the pill every day, but I'm not interested in having something injected into me and I've heard horror stories about Depo. I love that I can control my period, but that I could bleed if I wanted. I do tend to get a little stressed out about possibly being pregnant, but I feel that is a relatively minor inconvenience. It is definitely nothing compared to my temper when I am PMSing! As far as being unnatural, it certainly isn't more so than taking the Pill in the first place, and women these days get far more periods than their ancestors. Not taking it does not make me feel any less of a women!! How many times have men used that excuse to make the dumbest decisions? Anyway, there are many other things about me that make me womanly.

I have heard that prolonged use of the Pill can increase chances of getting a very rare cancer, but bleeding can cause anemia, as well as increases your chance of getting a different kind of cancer so I do not feel it is a great risk.

I also have a theory that I wish someone would research. As a disclaimer, note that I am just curious, nothing to back this up. Since the dosage of hormones from regular usage is high enough to sustain a week of placebo pills, wouldn't skipping your period decrease the risk of accidentally getting pregnant? Then on the occasions you accidentally miss a pill or two your reserve of hormones that would normally be depleted during the placebo week would still be active. Anyway that is just a thought =) Oh! I just found a quote in the FAQ of "As a matter of fact it is possible the Pill could work better to prevent pregnancy if it is taken every day instead of taking a week off each month." Word ^_^


Seattle, Washington (U.S.A.)

June 2003


I miss a day of work every month because of my period. My flow is heavy and disgusting and it makes me feel dirty. There is nothing I like about my period. Right now I am single and have no plans to have children anytime soon so yes if I could get rid of it, I would.


New York City

June 2003

Yes, if . . .

I stumbled unto your site. I would DEFINITELY stop menstruating indefinitely if I knew I could re-start to have a child and as long as there are no health risk to "messing" with the natural process.

June 2003


I am a 32-year-old dancer and choreographer. I enjoy my natural 28 day cycles and derive much of my creativity energy from the peaks and valleys of my hormonal swings. One of my libidinal peaks is during menses. I believe menstruation is the reaffirmation of my femininity, a huge part of who I am. I would not want to stop menstruating even if I could.

June 2003

I don't know if the following writer is male or female, or if I'm being conned, and I print the e-mail just as I received it:


I am actually looking for an actual photo that I can download of a sanitary napkin...

I am an artist...I have done much around menstruation...I also beg to differ...I believe menstruation is a is a weakness...and illness...and hopefully in the future we will find a cure!

thank you

Con Artist...

"No Con Intended" original art

June 2003


I have recently come across this wonderful web site and I think it is awesome. It's funny and so very interesting. I am a 15-year-old Texan and I got my first period about 2 1/2 years ago on the day after Christmas. All of my friends had already gotten theirs and I wanted mine sssoooo bad! I even prayed and cried about it. In my world, there were four things that qualified you as an adult; being able to wear makeup, having pierced ears, being baptized, and of course, having a period. I just wanted to feel like a grown woman, and I also wanted the responsibility. Now that I have it, I still love it! Periods connect you with every woman on Earth and to the women of the past. How cool is that?! Women shouldn't be ashamed of it, we should parade it. Well, not exactly parade it, but I think you know what I mean. So to answer "Would you stop menstruating if you could," the answer would be NO. No way. Absolutely NOT. NNNNNNNNOOOOOOOOOOOOOO.

Thanks bunches!

June 2003


Just a few words of praise for your site.

Ignore misogynists and less educated people who may protest it. Finally, a site that shows menstruation as the wonderful, slightly mysterious, sometimes problematic, but always natural and good event that it really is. The belief that menstruation is dirty and shouldn't be examined is just another way to keep women down. How can something that helps create life be anything but a blessing? I would never forgo having my period. I may not always enjoy it, but most people don't enjoy childbirth either. Just because something isn't always "fun" doesn't mean it isn't valuable and worthwhile. Perhaps if society viewed menses as something other than shameful, women would see their periods as a blessing as well.

I enjoy the site and reference it frequently in relation to my M.A. thesis. I am currently examining modern women's autobiography and the use of menstruation as a way to connect with the mother figure and at the same time assert autonomy. Thank you for your valuable resource!

June 2003


I've just turned 16 years old and I've only had one period, but I was in so much pain I couldn't do anything. My twin sister gets no pain at all but I'm dreading my next period because I know that it's going to hurt so much.

Panadol didn't work for me at all so I just lay on the sofa for four straight days, and the pain was so severe that I didn't eat and I lost 1 stone [14 pounds] and 2 lbs in weight!

It's not just the pain but the bleeding is so heavy, I had to change my pad every hour but I still leaked through my clothing many times, and in my second night I literally flooded my mattress.

I also had to miss nearly two weeks of school because my period lasted 10 days, and in my GCSE year those two weeks are very important.

If I could avoid having another period I most certainly would, and I agree with what other people are saying that if men had periods we would have found a way to cease them many decades ago.

June 2003

"I could never understand what all those women were crying and pissing and moaning about; now I do."

Well, I was on the Pill for almost fifteen years, after having had my "regular" period for about three years before that. For fifteen years, I started on Saturday (difficult during my dating days, but what the heck!) and finished on Tuesday.

Then, one day, my period just stopped, no rhyme or reason, just stopped. I went to medical (being in the U.S. Navy at the time), and asked them to find out why. They never did (I was told that the two main reasons for amenorrhea were either extreme malnutrition - didn't have to worry about that one, as I was a bit overweight - or extreme stress - bingo! I was in a division where I didn't want to be, doing work that I was not trained for, etc., etc., etc. I did get out of there and into the division I belonged in later, for medical reasons.), but the idiot doctor that I was first saddled with told me that I was no longer allowed to have the Pill, as he thought that it was dangerous, especially since they had no studies on the long term effects of the Pill. I asked him what I was supposed to do with no birth control, as my boyfriend was coming out to visit me on his way to his next duty station. He told me that I "shouldn't be having sex anyway, since you aren't married." I got a bit upset at that attitude, but he told me that he was a doctor, a lawyer, and a captain in the U.S. Navy, and, therefore, I had to abide by his orders. Prehistoric, he was! I asked, no, demanded, another doctor. I finally got a wonderful nurse/licensed midwife, a wonderful woman, one who listened and understood. Still, she was bound by his orders, as explained in the next sentence. None of them were allowed to write me a prescription for the Pill, as the idiot was the commanding officer for OB/GYN there, and had forbidden them to do so. I wound up having a tubal ligation (though I had to fight for that, too, as the doctor who did it felt that I didn't know what I wanted, as I was young [just shy of 30], and didn't know what I wanted, that I would change my mind later and want a child. What is it about men that makes them so damn certain that they know what we want better than we do?!?), which was what I wanted in the first place, as I knew at age 15 that I didn't want kids. That's why I went on the Pill in the first place!

I went without my period for almost three years. Then one day, when I had an appointment with a new gynecologist (having gotten out of the Navy by this time), it showed back up again. Since then, it's been intermittent, and has caused all sorts of difficulties, mostly pain and cramps, which I had never had before (heck, I could never understand what all those women were crying and pissing and moaning about; now I do.). It just shows up whenever it decides to, for however long it wants. I have no idea of when, and no warning beforehand, which has made for a few messy situations.

So, to answer your question: I'd gladly stop it for the rest of my life, as i find it to be a pain. It never marked the beginning of my womanhood - to me, anyway.

As to how old I am: currently 48 years old. I live in the U.S., on the East Coast. i find your site to be most interesting, and look forward to reading more of the comments that women have posted here. take care to one and all, and God bless you.

May 2003

"I would never stop my periods again."

I used to take DepoProvera and it screwed me all up. My doctor at the time suggested I take this kind of birth control. She thinks Depo is the greatest stuff - no periods ever, what more could you ask for? And I thought so too at the time. But then I started getting these horrible side effects. I was having pain in my left breast; it is more dense then the right one. I GAINED 90 POUNDS in the two years. And yet my doctor would not admit that the Depo could be the cause of this. She says if it was causing the weight gain I would loose the weight immediately after I stopped taking it. Well, she is wrong it doesn't work that way; all of the extra estrogen and progesterone is stored in my fat cells - my body doesn't know what to do with it all. She still insists that Depo is good for women. Well, let me tell you it is not. I would never recommend this to anyone. I have stopped going to that doctor and I am now seeing a new doctor who told me if I don't get rid of the extra estrogen/progesterone in my body I will probably get breast cancer in my left within in the next ten years. I have been off Depo for one year now and my periods are just starting to come back, but they are not normal - they last longer than they used to. I would never take this kind of birth control again. I have talked to many people who also take this and everyone I have talked to has gained 20 to 50 pounds! So to all those women out there who are thinking about taking this please be aware of the side effects. Being able to stop your periods is not worth dying of cancer.

**** from Michigan (U.S.A.), 22 years old

May 2003

"Menstruation is the only part of being a woman that I do not enjoy."

If it was possible to do, without any health risks and fertility was absent only while menstruation was paused - absolutely YES!

Unfortunately, I have confidence that our Creator is far more intelligent than we are and that the hormonal changes which occur during regular menstrual cycles somehow have a significant beneficial impact on a woman's long-term health.

I could very nicely live without the irritability and dark moods preceding my period, the bloating that occurs, as well and the inconvenience and potential for ruined undergarments (especially when the bleeding arrives early) which accompanies the bleeding itself - not to mention the pain of menstrual cramps. (Thankfully, I do not often suffer from cramps.)

I enjoy possessing the ability to bear children and am a mother of 2.

Menstruation is the only part of being a woman that I do not enjoy.

Long Island, New York (U.S.A), age 41

May 2003

"Is premenstrual syndrome [PMS] a social construct?" asks an Englishwoman

I would be interested to hear comments on the theory that psychological aspects of PMS [premenstrual syndrome] are not common to all cultures; suggesting it is a social construct. This has been postulated, not by sexist men, but by women who wish to free us of it.

As I recall, it has been suggested that women, denied a forum to express their dissatisfaction with their circumstances, have found it necessary to allow themselves a space in which they can "safely" vocalise it. That is, for a few days they can scream at their partners, bosses, etc., then afterwards say, "It was the PMS." Men on the other hand are allowed, by cultural norms, to be opinionated and to loose tempers. Women who do this are more likely to be considered "pushy" or "unstable" (I wonder if it then follows that opinionated, expressive, free-thinking women are less likely to suffer PMS, than those who are suppressed, submissive and conciliatory?)

I thought that if this topic hasn't been discussed before it might be an interesting one to float onto the message boards?

Yours sincerely,

*** ***

Lancashire, UK

Age 40

May 2003

"I would stop forever if I could, even if it meant no children."

I thought you were supposed to get your periods every 28 days, but not me, I get them every 21 days with a full seven days of fun. For the first two days I can't really do much, 'caus my stomach is racked with painful spasms for hours on end, and my legs ache and are so weak that I can't really move around much. People say exercise helps; it might except that I've never had the energy to run around when I should. Why can't I be one of the lucky ones with really short, light periods that are more like a case of spotting than anything else? It's just not fair, and I would stop forever if I could, even if it meant no children.

***, 20, England

May 2003

Also from the UK: No. "I like to be able to see that my body is still working."

At this moment in time I am nearly 25 and have been taking the Pill since I was 17. I was initially put onto it by my doctor because my periods were heavy (by that i mean I could be "on" for as long as 14 days using and changing Super every two hours for all but two days) and extremely painful (that doubled me over, screwed up into a little ball thing that all the medications I tried didn't work in the slightest way). Don't get me wrong, I'm not one of these wimp-type girls, you know the kind that really irritated you at school because they always had at least one day off because they'd got their period; I've actually driven for three days with a hand that I didn't realise (until a friend bulldozed me into going to hospital and getting it x-rayed) was broken in three places!

Now, in the last eight years I have only had one six-month break from taking the Pill (which, by the way, was like a miracle for me - regular, controlled, "normal" periods that were virtually pain free). During that time my periods stayed the same as they had whilst on the Pill. I went back on because, well, let's admit it, in a long term relationship they're such a convenient contraceptive, aren't they?

Since that time, however, I've experienced pain, uncontrolled weight gain and my PMS has got MUCH worse. So despite having difficulties with condoms with my present partner (yes, I know that the sexual health nurses can show you they fit over your arm, but it still cuts the circulation off and splits!) I'm going back off the Pill. And I have to add, I'm quite looking forward to having proper periods again! Shocking, isn't it!

If I had they choice of no periods at all, thanks to medication, I have to say I still wouldn't do it. I'm one of these women with a family history of fertility problems and I have a friend that although she isn't going through menopause can be as irregular as once as every six months. I like to be able to see that my body is still working. As I don't want children quite yet, I like the fact that I can see there's a very good chance that I'm not pregnant this month!

Does the world stop turning because I'm having my period? No. Is it an inconvenience? Perhaps. Sometimes. When I haven't planned properly or when it turns up "unexpectedly" and I'm caught short. In this world of deadlines and timescales and supposed certainty I think we've lost a little of what it means to be human, truly human. With all our flaws and quirks. To some extent the idea of being able to control our bodies to that extent is a sad reflection of our society and a herald of a scary (Gattaca?) potential future.

May 2003

She sees it both ways, and has done both

I got on Depo-Provera around 10 years ago. I just got off it two months ago and have had my second period. I can tell you that Depo did increase my weight about 10-15 pounds. I think I'm very lucky with that minimal gain. Not having my period was wonderful. For 10 years I didn't buy tampons or pads, I could go camping, hiking, etc., without worry. Sex was fine; not to worry about pregnancy was good too.

After 10 years of no period I decided however that I wanted to give my body a rest from the manufactured hormones. Since I've been off Depo for only 60 days, I've lost 10 pounds. My spirits are up; however I do feel in a swing of emotions more. It's a trade off: stay with Depo and have life simple. Or not and have normal weight again. Both have their advantages.

May 2003

"[A] near-perfect way to relieve menstrual cramp pain is to have an orgasm . . . "

In a word, no. In two words, heck no!

I have not had pleasant menstruation experiences; I'm 27, and from the ages of 12 to 20 I had terrible menstrual cramps and very heavy periods. Finally, after I had to be hospitalized for blood and fluid loss, not to mention near-unbearable pain, a doctor prescribed the Pill - not for birth control, just to make my periods lighter. And it worked, and I've actually been able to function every day of the month, instead of only about 25 of them.

But as for the "would I stop having them" question: no! Because that's how I know I'm not pregnant. It's less of a big deal now that I'm married, but when I was single and sexually active, even though I always used birth control, I heaved a major sigh of relief every month when my period started. (And even now, I don't currently want to have children, so it's still reassuring, cramps and all.)

By the way, has any health professional ever come right out and said, on the record, that a near-perfect way to relieve menstrual cramp pain is to have an orgasm? [I think so] Works like a charm, although unfortunately it's, um, limited to private settings.

May 2003

"If I had the money, I would have just have my uterus cut out tomorrow!"

I decided at the age of 14 that I didn't want children. I thought menstruating was unnecessary for me. I married a man who already had a vasectomy. I am 39, still childless (happily) and still dread my period. Unfortunately, I have no health insurance. If I had the money, I would have just my uterus cut out tomorrow!

It is unfair that my mother and two sisters have had hysterectomies in their mid thirties, why can't I?

May 2003


No, I never would stop menstruation. Apart of pain or/and discomfort, I enjoy being a woman and want to feel it 100 percent.


May 2003

"Oh, Hell, yeah."

I'm 22 years old and I have lived in North Carolina all my life. I can't remember when I started I was either 12 or 13 years old but I know ever since then I've hated it. My period doesn't keep me from doing anything such as sex, swimming or even exercising now that I'm on the Pill. The only thing it does is waste my money on tampons (which I think when you are born a female you should be supplied with all the tampons and pads you will need till you die for free) and gas for my car. Also the thought of having a child just sickens me so if I could I would give all my bleeding organs to some woman that wants to give birth and populate this world with more people, I would. My boyfriend doesn't mind my period either but it is just a hassle to say hold on a minute I have to go to the bathroom just before sex; it is also a mood killer. So to answer the question would I stop if I could, "Oh, Hell, yeah."

I love your Web site and thank you for having it. And if you like you can print my name; my name is Mary Garren and I hate my period.

May 2003

No, from the University of Arkansas (U.S.A.) "We send off pheromones and other signals that indicate a number of things regarding our sexual life and reproductive capabilities."

I can't say I enjoy menstruating, but I would never, NEVER hormonally regulate myself to an extent that I would stop menstruating altogether. I'm 27 and have been menstruating on a fairly regular basis for 13 years. My periods are fairly regular and only three or four during the year are punctuated by excessive discomfort, cramping, and sufficient pain to wake me in the middle of the night. Otherwise my periods are generally uneventful and are marked only by increased susceptibility to emotionally manipulative commercials on television and a week-long craving for sweets. My periods are usually between a week to two weeks late, not enough to constitute a health problem, but enough to make me feel uncomfortable and bloated. I can't imagine not feeling the simple physical relief from that discomfort at all. I can't imagine forcing my body to exist in a that state indefinitely.

Also, I don't believe in tampering with the natural cycles of the body. Modern culture places far too much emphasis in chemical/medical manipulation of the human body. People pop pills for everything merely for simplicity's sake; everything comes down to convenience.But it's going too far, in my opinion, when the relatively minor (for most women) inconvenience of a monthly menses becomes too difficult to bear socially. Offering women birth control that also provides them with the option of halting her menses is simply another way that modern medicine is building walls between humanity and the natural world. Modern culture increasingly dictates that human beings must exist in an artificial, sterile, unnatural environment, and that everything to the contrary is dirty or uncivilized. Historical social and religious taboos concerning menstruation make women's reproductive health a prime target for this artificial sanitization.

Menstruation is an identifying factor to a woman's reproductive health. Artificial tampering with menstruation not only hinders early detection of physical problems that changes in menstrual cycle can indicate, but it also inhibits normal hormonal sexual signals. Let's face it, human beings have physical bodies and physical reactions just like animals. We send off pheromones and other signals that indicate a number of things regarding our sexual life and reproductive capabilities. Regular menstruation is a part of this.

Whew! That was a bit soap-boxy! *grin* I'm sure you get e-mails like this all the time, but I just felt inspired to add my own opinion.

Thank you for a very informative, very unique museum on a much overlooked and shunned topic.

April 2003

"I can't feel all earthy and enjoy my periods, like I read what the other women say."

I am sooooo sick of having periods! They are painful and heavy. I am 51 and I want to stop having periods. I had my first when I was 11 and I have had two kids and at this age I deserve a break. My Dr. said I don't qualify as needing treatment, so I just some how get through them. If I can stay home for three days, it is not so bad, but If you are in pain and feel weak and are trying to deal with a heavy flow, any activity is very difficult. I can't feel all earthy and enjoy my periods, like I read what the other women say. I have a heart condition and it worries me a lot less than these heavy painful periods. I wish I could "pause" right now.

April 2003

"Periods - 'Normal'? I don't think so. Period."

It seems strange that the symptoms of a period mimic the symptoms of illness - for example, pain, blood loss (I was always taught at junior school that pain and blood loss was a warning that something was wrong with your body, hence the symptoms), memory/concentrating/thinking problems, vomiting, sickness, diarrhea, fainting, etc. Need I go on?

Yet Periods are considered normal and healthy? Excuse me - Hello - Let's engage a brain cell here?

In my opinion, if an untreated nasty inherited illness was left to manifest itself for long enough over the centuries I suppose eventually nobody would know any different and it might eventually be seen as "normal"?

Oh, and I forgot to mention the suicidal thoughts it inflicts on you as well so it is probably responsible for a few deaths as well.

Periods - 'Normal'? I don't think so. Period.

To sum up:

Periods - Would I Stop?

Of course I bloody well would and then myself and millions of other women might have a better quality of life because let's face it, periods reduce it.


April 2003

"If I could stop knowing that if I ever wanted children I could get my period back, I would."

I've ruined so many clothes, and cute pairs of underwear that make me feel sexy and womanly (for me, not for anyone else). Periods are fine and I find nothing dirty or stigmatic with them it part of being a woman and there is nothing wrong with that, but it seems if I could stop the cramps, stains, back pain, bloating, two weeks of not knowing if I can wear white pants, or fear of getting out of the pool and the dam breaking without consequences, I would do it.

But there are so many hormone-related problems that I don't know if I would want to risk gaining a real problem to get rid of an inconvenience.

Of course a hysterectomy may not cause those problems in older women - I know my mom had one because of problems and she's fine; no period, no menopause (sounds o.k. with me). But at 20 I don't think it's a good procedure unless I really needed it. Also, as of right now I want nothing to do with children that belong to me, and don't think I ever will, but if I should change my mind I would always want that option.

Right now I think I'll just stick with regular old birth control pills or patches because that little bit of red means no children, and as a child myself I don't need any children.

****, 20 years old

April 2003

"I notice that many of those who love [menstruation] are much younger and have light flows - perhaps we should ask them again in 20 or 30 years or more and see if they are still in love with their periods!!"

Would I stop menstruating if I could? YES, YES, YES!!!!!!!! I started at age 11 1/2 (Merry Christmas!) and I'm now nearly 47 and still going - for 35 years I've put up with it. Yes, I know it means I'm female and can wondrously produce a child and all that - but I'd like it to just go away. I have three children - the best part about being pregnant (other than the end result) was NO PERIOD for nearly a year!!! It has nothing to do with any "stigma" or fear of "mess" or phobia about touching myself, etc. Mine just always seems to show up when its inconvenient to be running to the bathroom every hour or so. There are many other ways that I like to amuse myself. I think the idea of being able to medically suppress it is wonderful - unfortunately due to age and health I am no longer a candidate to be able to do it! I notice that many of those who love it are much younger and have light flows - perhaps we should ask them again in 20 or 30 years or more and see if they are still in love with their periods!!

**** in Northern Virginia [who also contributed "off the roof" to the expressions page]

April 2003


Yes! Yes! Yes! I so would get the operation so fast! As long as I had the option of still having a child in like my thirties - it would be nice to have someone who looks like me and some other guy running around - so I can screw them up. Life would be so much easier!

Cheer to the Future,

At College In Boston, (U.S.A.), 18 years old

April 2003

"It is natural and it cleanses the body every month."

I just came across your Web site and I think it's great. I would personally not stop menstruating even if we had technological/medical ability to do so. It is natural and it cleanses the body every month. I use the NuvaRing birth control but I make sure to take it out that last week so my body can do what it naturally does.

****, 23, law student

[At the bottom of her e-mail:"The ceiling isn't glass; it's a very dense layer of men." Anne Jardim, The New Yorker (1996)]

April 2003

Polish woman: "I would stop it in this moment."

My periods always were terrible and if I could, I would stop it in this moment. I don't want to have children, so it is not a problem for me. But in my country, in Poland, young woman with painful periods still can hear "It will stop after your first baby." But what with those women that don't want to have children? I hope my next gynecologist will help me and when it happens, I sure will write about it :)

**** 23. Single and happy with that fact.

April 2003

Another Polish woman: "The only good thing about a period is that you can curse somebody then and it works better than the other days"

Yes, I would like to use anything what could stop my period with no harm for my body and hormonal balance. I am thirty now, I don't want to be a mother and I will not to in the future - why should I suffer from the pain, waste my time and money, loose my good mood and chance for some sports because of my period?

I think Nature has made a planning mistake: a woman should start to menstruate after some time (let's say six months) spent with the same man or after getting a proper amount of his sperm (which means his hormones, which could be cumulated somewhere, like that of vitamins) into her vagina. If after such a long time of having sex with the same man she does not use the Pill or condoms, they seem to be suited to have a child, so she can start to menstruate.

What do you think? [Sounds like a good idea! Now, if you can only speak to the Boss . . . .]

The only good thing about the period is that you can curse somebody then and it works better than the other days, or you can use the menstruation blood for magic - of course only if you are a witch :-)))))))))))

****, 30, Poland

April 2003

"I am not a boy, who can vacuum and stand and be patient every day of the month like a robot."

I wouldn't. When I got my period at nine, I hated it for years, but I've gotten used to my body, and it helped me to look more closely at how my body works, and how I am. I have some of the more severe side effects, like major cramps, vomiting, generally feeling too weak to walk on the first day, and about half the time a lot of bleeding. But that's how I am, and I need to listen to my body and take a break every now and then. I LOVE ovulating (for me, my boobs get bigger, I sometimes get bloated, but when I realize why, I just put on a bigger pair of pants and relax. I am not a boy, who can vacuum and stand and be patient every day of the month like a robot. The modern pace of life just isn't natural, and my body knows better than i do.

-Minnesotan, (U.S.A.), age 20

April 2003


I would never want to stop my flow. I'm 14 and I'm not even sure if I'm getting mine again anytime soon. I got it three months after my Bat-Miztvah. I'm Wicca and Jewish, so my womanhood is VERY important to me. In Judaism, I'm a daughter of God and I became a woman three months after I became a daughter of God. I'm almost afraid I've been delayed my womanhood because I haven't had it since January. In Wicca, a woman is sacred. When a girl has her "first blood" she is given a ceremony and is welcomed into the community as a woman. When a woman bleeds, she is sacred and forbidden to do hard labor, because she has the ability to bleed but not die. This is observed as a miracle. When a woman is pregnant she represents the Goddess or in some cultures the Queen of Heaven. Enough with the stuff that's just common knowledge. I'm probably just boring you with all that, but those are my reasons. I find it sad that women aren't in sync with the moon like women should and used to be. Terrible that we've "unpitched" our red tents because we live in a patriarchal society. It's really sad that we are ashamed of our bodies because men have told us we're disgusting and brainwashed us. If only the knowledge and love of the moon hadn't been forgotten, we might not have over 400 periods in a lifetime! (And that's only on average!)

If I can bring back the good parts of the old times, I will, and I'll let you know!!!!

14-year-old from New Jersey (U.S.A.)

April 2003

I think this question is as interesting as it is difficult to answer. I am 18 and from Wisconsin. For just under two years, I was anorexic and lost my period for about a year and a half. At the beginning, I thought it was absolutely wonderful. Some of the reasons came from my relatively unstable mental state because the cessation of my periods told me that I really was thin. In fact, during my healing, I had a very rough time dealing with it coming back. That's beside the point however. Towards the end, without my period, I felt somehow not female. I didn't feel so much like a little girl or man either - I almost felt like I was without an identity. You lose a lot of things without it, I think - the mood swings which everyone, including myself, complains about does have an upswing and brings about huge swells of creativity and sensory awakenings.

Many women speculated that a cessation of their periods would obliterate that annoying inconvenience of no sex for a whole week. However, without it, I felt that I had very little if any sexual desire whatsoever. I wonder if there may be some biological truth to this. For instance, the pleasure one experiences during sexual intercourse occurs, in an evolutionary sense, to inspire humans to do it again; thus, the human race continues. However, when we do not have our periods, we are not fertile and have no chance to carry on the human race, our evolutionary function. As a result, our biological desires are suppressed because it no longer makes "economic" sense to devote energy into producing endorphins that stimulate the sex organs when it can be devoted to more practical uses of making protein for muscles or digesting food.

Well, I'm obviously rambling here. If I had the chance to have no period again, I would think about doing it. It was such a relief to not have to deal with the messes, the smells, the uncertainty of how I felt. On the other hand, one tires of feeling average, even if one feels average on a steady basis. I go back to the question posed by so many - Aristotle, Kurt Vonnegut - do I want to be average and stable or do I want to be great? Many I'm reading a little bit too much into this question but I thought it was interesting and thought-provoking.

In closing, I want to repeat that I'm only 18 - I'm no biologist or doctor by any means. I'm only a freshmen at University of Wisconsin-Madison but I'm taking some great courses that real get your brain revved up. Just wanted to throw in a little disclaimer there!


(October 2001 - I just found it in the bottom of my in-box!)

"When I'm unhappy [my period] really makes things worse. But I've been so happy recently that I've simply passed through my period without noticing it."

Hi, Mr. Finley,

I first visited your museum today. That is a great idea: it's funny, and of good taste. Sure, the subject deserves being discussed! Now I understand that PMS is part of the delicate psychological balance of a woman, and I guess I can deal with it better, once I know it happens to almost everyone with different intensity. And yet, it has happened to me in many ways, in different moments of my life. When I'm unhappy it really makes things worse. But I've been so happy recently that I've simply passed through my period without noticing it.

Thanks for your service, and good luck in raising funds.

Teresa (from Brazil)

March 2003

"I feel that if I tried actively to stop having a period, I would be contributing to that sense of dirt and shame and secrecy that menstruation carries in our culture."

I personally wouldn't stop menstruating, and here's why. I spent most of the 11 years I have been menstruating hating my periods (ironic, because my periods have almost always been light, irregular, and painless). As a teenager, I was very, very ashamed of my period. I didn't like the loss of control I felt that it represented. I felt like a dirty, base person for having it. It took me a long, long time to get over these feelings and to start to get really pissed off at the way American society regards menstruation. People want it hidden. They're grossed out by it. I lived with a boyfriend once and he hated that I menstruated; he would get angry at me if he could see tampon wrappers in the trash. It's been a long, long time since we found out a menstruating woman wouldn't make plants rot or silver tarnish with her touch. I'm tired of feeling apologetic for being a woman. Why should I have to work overtime to hide the fact that I menstruate? Now I like having my periods. I am still a little embarrassed about the whole thing, and I don't speak as freely about menstruation with my family and friends and students as I am doing in writing here, but I don't have that sense of bone-crushing shame and embarrassment that I used to feel. I feel that if I tried actively to stop having a period, I would be contributing to that sense of dirt and shame and secrecy that menstruation carries in our culture.

However, I do feel for women who suffer through heavy, painful periods. I have never taken my own easy menstrual cycles for granted. I feel very strongly that dysmenorrheaic (is that a word?) women need better alternatives than the ones they've got. It is clear from the many heartbreaking stories on this site that birth control pills, diet changes, etc., are simply not working for many women who have debilitating pain during menstruation, and it angers me that the doctors these women have consulted apparently consider this "normal." Not being able to get out of bed from the pain should not be normal. Soaking through a whole box of tampons (or more) in one cycle should not be normal. Being chronically anemic should not be normal. I also think that it's that same cultural sense of shame surrounding menstruation that has prevented more research in this area. I don't know when the stigma will be lifted from menstruation, but I'd be surprised if it is within my lifetime.

--Passionate 24-year-old graduate student, Tennessee

March 2003

"HELL yes!!"

And in fact I plan to. Once I'm out of college and making enough to afford it, I'm getting a hysterectomy. Mind you, there's nothing clinically wrong with my equipment that forces me to do this--I simply want no part of it. There's not a blasted thing it can do for my benefit; sex disgusts me and procreation strikes me as the worst drain on individual vitality and freedom that nature can possibly devise. So ever since I discovered I had a reproductive system to begin with (age 11 or so) I've resented it for what dubious services it does provide: drippage, stinkage, pain, compulsory dashes to the john for a pad at the worst possible times - and worse, it wastes MY body's supply of iron and protein on this! When did I volunteer to be strip-mined by the gametes of every child I'll ever refuse to bear?

You may say it's biology, and nothing could be more natural. In which case I'll remind you biology also dreamed up rabies, deformed children who die in their innocence struggling not to, and an entire ecosystem that relies on sentient creatures hacking each other apart without anesthesia. Lesson: What's fine by nature's standards can still be incredibly wrong by any sane human's; I believe being harassed and parasitized by your own innards is only the smallest of these wrongs. Luckily it's also one of the simplest to right.

March 2003


I love the idea of bleeding for days and not dying and the fear and awe that elicits from men. It feels very powerful as I'm sure it was in ancient times (although not so much in these days of Tampax and douches.). I'm a 31-year-old black American woman living on the East Coast. I have a background in anthropology and from what I've read, lots of "initiations into manhood" around the world seem obsessed with exorcising the feminine, sometimes even by simulating menstruation. I remember reading about one group of people whose rituals include poking a reed up a young initiate's nose until he bleeds. I like that we women have our own natural built-in "initiations" and we can bypass all that puerile club-house gobbly-gook.

March 2003

"It means I can do something no man can do: suck up sperm through my cervix and give the world a child - what can top that?"

For well over a year I was on Depo-Provera (birth control shot) and I didn't have a period. Now that I'm off and have my periods back, I'm happy as hell. I get the serve cramps and mad crazy mood swings but I like my period. I couldn't wait to get it when I was young and I'm happy to have it now. It means I can do something no man can do: suck up sperm through my cervix and give the world a child - what can top that? I think society for centuries (probably as far back as Christianity's origins) has brain washed women into thinking periods are nasty, gross, something to be hidden and ashamed of but I refuse to think that way. My body and all of its natural processes are beautiful as well as everyone else's. Also, ever since I've stopped using tampons and started using sea sponges my periods have been a lot more pleasant. For any women who hates her period I would suggest reading the book "Cunt" and lean to love yourself in a way you never thought possible - and bleed on, sisters!

--19-year-old female from Maryland, USA

March 2003

No-period Web site

I have suggested to many of my friends to take a look at

This is a great Web site that has information you can print out and take to your doctor. One of my friends followed the suggestions and now that she has no period her binge eating and PMS symptoms have gone away.

Very well researched and by a female medical doctor!

March 2003

"I'm not a car."

The medical profession treats the body as discrete parts, a specialist for this part, a specialist for that part. What confounds their best (and in my opinion misguided) attempts at "treatment" is that the body/being doesn't conceive of itself this way. I have read through a fair portion of the comments for and against BLEEDING as a discrete event and I challenge the writers to describe their cycle in its entirety, to describe the interplay of hormones within their bodies. How many of your doctors have taken the time to educate you about your body, or at the very least recommend books that will give you valuable insight and information about your own body?

Very few will. Instead like a car you're hoisted over the "pit," the misbehaving "part" is examined and declared defective, a script is written or a surgery date is booked and the "problem" is dealt with. Or so you think.

In 17 years of menstruation I've experienced extreme bloating, acne, clinical depression, 21-day periods and anxiety attacks. I hated my period.

I was prescribed anti-depressants and a low-dosage contraceptive pill but the sensation of being hormonally "bullied" by the Pill and the emotional "flat-lining" effect of the anti-depressants encouraged me to throw away the prescriptions. Not long after that a wonderful woman encouraged me to read "Women Who Run With the Wolves," by Clarissa Pinkola-Estes and I discovered I wasn't very proud of being a woman and a journey began. Two years later anxiety attacks became a daily fixture in my life, their intensity peaking in the days before I bled. Enter another wonderful woman, a counselor and Naturopath who, amongst everything else introduced me to a book I call my "bible" (this is not intended to offend - OK?): "Women's Body, Women's Wisdom," by Dr Christiane Northrup.

As I came to understand my body/self all of the above fell away. I value all that I have experienced; menstruation and the menstrual cycle are an integral part of me - it's as natural as breathing.

Educate yourself. Go to the library look for the books I've mentioned, have a look at the books that sit on the shelf along side them, write back to this Web site and tell us what you have learned.

--****, Sydney, Australia

March 2003

"It's torturous for me, but not for the reasons you might expect"

After reading a large portion of the responses, I thought I would add my $0.02.

I am 32 years old, happily married, and a mom of three boys. After getting married in August of 1993, my husband and I abandoned all birth control and threw caution to the wind. Five years, many tears, an ectopic pregnancy and tube removal later we decided to adopt. Within a couple of years, the desire to have a child returned.

I've read a great number of women say their period makes them feel like a woman. My period arrived mocking me every 28 days., right on schedule. My period was a reminder that I was unable to succeed at a basic function of life: reproduction.

Fast forward a few years to 2001. We decided to start fertility treatments and again my period was my enemy - but only for three cycles until we conceived our youngest. He is now 13 months old and still nursing without any signs of stopping. Unfortunately, my dear old faithful friend made her most unwelcome arrival a mere 14 weeks after my son arrived. (How great for me, and before anyone starts to talk to me about fertility suppression and breast feeding, let me say that ovulation was occurring with these cycles, so no extra break for me!!)

So, here I sit wishing I was not "blessed" with this gift. It does not affirm for me that I am a woman who can now get pregnant because I have a period. It does not make me feel any more feminine or goddess-like, because for me, my period is a reminder that I will forever be tied to the fertility doctors and meds.

Happily married 32-year-old, work-at-home, cloth-diapering, extended-nursing mom to three wonderful boys

March 2003

"Apparently at some point during my teens I went through menopause (that explains a lot) and I've been told that I will never have children. . . . I LIKE it this way."

I first got my period when I was twelve. I got it once more, a summer after I turned thirteen, and twice more during the next year. Then, it stopped. It hasn't started again.

All I've ever been told is that my body doesn't produce enough estrogen to allow me to menstruate. That at thirteen, I went through a VERY short bout of puberty, followed almost immediately by my body "shutting down" my ovaries. I've had exam after exam - no cancer. Apparently at some point during my teens I went through menopause (that explains a lot) and I've been told that I will never have children.

I'm not sensitive about it, but most people don't understand that I LIKE it this way. It's one less thing that I, and my significant other, will ever have to worry about. Eventually, I will probably adopt a child in need of someone to love it.

--21, Canada

March 2003

"Oh, my God! I can't even believe what I am reading!"

I am 32 years old and had to have a radical hysterectomy. I would love to have my periods back. Admittedly they weren't the easiest thing in the world (thus the hysterectomy) but at least then I knew that there was a chance of my having another child. At the tender age of 19 I was diagnosed with cervical cancer, six months later I found out that I was pregnant and all of the doctors said to have an abortion. I was on the Pill as I too suffer from amenorrhea, which is irregular bleeding, but figured that if I were pregnant through the cancer and through the birth control pills, then someone up there wanted it to be that way. It was a long hard struggle but both my son and I are happy and healthy. It was the best decision that I ever made. If I had stopped menstruation I would never have known that joy. And if you aren't sure what a long, hard struggle is, it included six weeks in intensive care, another six weeks in cardiac care, three months of the regular ward and a nurse visiting me everyday in my home and giving myself shots several times a day for a year afterward. Our menstruation is a gift to us; it is painful sometimes, yes, but there are things that can be done to correct that. To give that gift away would be like refusing to be a woman. And lord knows a man could never propagate the species, one labor pain and abortion would be a sacrament.

March 2003

"I would stop tomorrow."

I am a 43-year-old mom of three boys ages 22, 13, and 11. I do not plan on any more children. I do not feel that stopping my periods would stop my womanliness I would love to get the entire story over for good if only it were possible. I live in France where despite what we all may think all of the gynecologists are men of the old school and really can't relate to what having a period actually consists of. I have had fibroids, cysts, the Pill, diaphragms, spermicides, rubbers, you name it. I truly feel it would be a blessing!!!!

March 2003

"Yes . . . and no."

I'm a 40-year-old, white American woman. I have no children, nor do I want any.

Would I stop my periods?

Yes . . . and no.

Up until a couple of years ago, I never had problems with my periods other than minor ones (monthly irritability, mood swings, running out of tampons, etc).

But in the past five years, my cramps are getting worse. They are VERY painful and last 2-3 days. I take Motrin to control the pain, and sometimes have to take a day off from work to stay home in bed with a hot water bottle. Luckily, my co-workers and boss are all women and have been very understanding, and I have lots of sick days to use. One of my co-workers has her own very serious health/menstrual issues that are much worse than mine.

I know there are many women who have it worse than I do. And I feel for them (including my co-worker). But I'm the one who is suffering with MY pain in MY body every month. Telling me that there are those worse off than me, doesn't make my pain any better or put me in a better mood. And I'm not a wimp; my lifestyle over the years (which I won't go into here) proves I can take a lot. But the cramps are starting to really get to me.

My obstetrician-gynecologist isn't helpful. She said the same thing as above (about how others are worse) then she adds, that I could take drugs to curtail the periods, or have surgery. I don't like unnecessary surgery. And I don't like to take anything stronger than aspirin (I practice naturopathy). She did suggest the Motrin, which is helping a bit. She said I'm healthy - nothing wrong with me, and that my body is just changing with age.

I don't have a negative view of my body, nor sex (I love it), nor my periods. I actually look forward to it every month because it meant I wasn't pregnant. Also, I'm a Pagan, and sometime use the blood in spellwork. But I don't like the pain.

So, if I could stop it, to stop the pain - then yes, I would! But, again, I don't want to do anything that messes up my body, when I'm otherwise a healthy female. I can bleed until I'm an old lady and go into menopause. I just want the pain to go away.

So, right now, I'm going to keep bleeding and just deal with the cramps until further notice. I have no idea what I will do if it gets worse.

March 2003

An Argentinean writes, "I understand the pain of some women, but not the disgust."

When I read the messages below I thought:

What is the dramatic thing? Bleeding? Or the pain? If the problem is the pain we (or the scientists) must find something to stop the pain, not the bleeding.

In my case I don't have pain, only headaches, strong headaches. But I find a pill to stop the headaches and now I don't worry any more about that.

I don't want to stop the bleeding. I like it. When I was a girl (13 years old) I wanted to have my first bleeding; I was worried, thinking: when is it going to happen?? Now I like it, every month I feel that I am starting again, and that my body is renovating. And I like the changes when I am bleeding, I have more desires to have sex and it is better, softer. I don't know why, but it's true. I feel more sensitive in that time too!!. And I like it!! I like to be a women, and I like to have bleeding too. I don't care if all the world think that it sucks. It's part of my life, and it's a good part.

I don't understand very well why the people thinks that it is ugly. (I understand the pain of some women, but not the disgust.) We, as humans beings, have been in the world for a long time, and we still can't accept and enjoy something absolutely natural and good, something that is a sign of health, like bleeding.

--****, 29 years old, Argentina, Cordoba

March 2003

"Menstruation itself may offer health benefits: preventing heart disease through iron depletion"

I don't have particularly painful menstruation. I cramp a couple of times when I ovulate, but the periods are just bleeding. I do attribute this partly to diet and exercise, because my periods were once crampy. I've also been pregnant and/or nursing for the last 6 years, and the handful of periods I've had between babies were so different from pre-pregnancy that I think the nursing helps, too. But even if they were like my crampy teenage periods, I'd keep them.

At this point in my life, I just don't want to play with my hormones. We're made this way for a reason - I'm sure we'll learn the long-term effects of stopping menstruation with a magic pill in 20 years, and they may not be as mild as pharmaceutical companies would like us to think.

Part of setting an example for my sons and daughter is showing them how real life is, not just the edited special effects world of the media. Real life is bloody and messy and just fine. Bodily excretions are not shameful. I'm actually looking forward to buying a keeper at the end of this round of lactation amenorrhea :-)

On a whole other note--

Menstruation itself may offer health benefits: preventing heart disease through iron depletion:

March 2003

"I'd be willing to bet most women aren't going through what these women are experiencing."

I notice that a lot of the women who responded saying "Yes, I would stop menstruating if I could," are those who've had problems with painful periods and severe PMS/PMT and other period-related issues.

Most women aren't even going to know about your site, much less care to weigh in on the issue, and I'd be willing to bet most women aren't going through what these women are experiencing. Nature simply doesn't work that way. It makes no sense for a natural bodily function to cause that much distress.

(Yes, I know childbirth's a natural bodily function. But you're also talking about muscles which are not accustomed to doing that much work in that short of a time, not to mention the fact that in the Western world doctors frequently make women lie in positions non-conducive to giving birth. Of course it's going to hurt, but that pain's temporary.)

As for myself, no, I wouldn't give up my period. When I was a teenager they were pretty heavy and I had to worry about accidents. Now, though, I get cramps sometimes, I get moody sometimes, but overall it's not a big deal. I don't see the point in taking unnecessary drugs to halt something my body is "supposed" to be doing. But then, I'm not going through all the distress that all these anti-menstruation women are going through.

I do wish women would stop looking at their bodily functions as something to be controlled artificially though. I don't care if you think your period is sacred or not - it's what your body is supposed to be doing, and if all you have to complain about is the mess, deal with it and move on. What in the world would you do if civilization fell apart tomorrow and you couldn't take those nifty period-stopping drugs anymore? You've got more important things to worry about.

I also believe that a hysterectomy is major surgery and is a rather extremist means of addressing the fact that some women just don't want to menstruate. If it's not causing you pain, there's no point putting your life and health at risk. Again, learn how to cope.

And for the record I'm 29 years old and live in Ohio.

March 2003

". . . you won't hear me call it The Curse, but I will be cursing!!"

I am a 33-year-old, divorced, Caucasian (of Norwegian decent), living in the N.W. U.S.A. I started menstruating at 12.5 years old, and by age 15 was on birth control pills to regulate it. I was bleeding for 15 days, have a 15 day break, and it was back again!!

Now, nearly 20 years later, two healthy children later, a tubal ligation later, my periods are regular, but extremely heavy and unmanageable. I spend a mother lode on Super Plus tampons that last an hour (with a pad) on the worst five days - clots so big, I can feel my cervix scream as they exit, and a fear of getting too far from home when all precautions fail, and I ruin another outfit. Luckily, I work at home and don't have to worry about a long commute, or meeting, to keep me away from the bathroom!!

I'd like to see my doctor, and see what my treatment options are. (Note: I am one of those many American's without medical insurance.) I have a history of depression, so most traditional hormone treatments are out. I gain weight at the thought of additional hormones in my system, and my mother had breast cancer at a relatively young age, the tumor reacting speedily to hormones. Thus, I chose tubal ligation as my non-hormonal birth control.

I have never met a man that didn't want to have sex during my period, so that didn't enter my consideration on the subject. But, there are limits on what I am comfortable doing during my period, and yet men never cease to amaze me with what they WILL do.

I suppose if I had relatively care-free periods, I would not have such a strong reaction to this question. Maybe even welcome the monthly cleansing, as some have put it. I envy those that can view menstruation as such. Until then, you won't hear me call it The Curse, but I will be cursing!!

--Portland, Oregon, U.S.A.

March 2003

"I would stop forever if I could!"

Well, if I could still have children. I'm 15 and take athletics. Do you know what it's like to play sports or run a mile on your period with those pads?!?! It's awful! I would never wish the pain that it causes me on anyone! My friend Kendall runs and loves it! But it's like a black knife in her!

March 2003

"Yes, I would!!!"

I wish I could stop menstruating but start up if I wanted a child! WHY CAN'T WE HAVE IT THAT WAY?

March 2003

"One male doctor suggested that I might have my uterus removed, now that I don't need it any longer. I suggested a similar fate for his penis."

Would I stop if I could? Well, that's like asking if I "believe" in UFOs. It depends what you mean by the question.

Did I enjoy violent cramps every three weeks for over forty years? No, not entirely. Would I have said yes, had someone convinced me that they could wave a magic wand and shut off the cramps and minimize the bleeding and eliminate the stink, without risking my endocrine system or my sex drive or my fertility? Yes! Is a pig's ass pork?

But there was no such wand, of course, and I wasn't willing to risk surgery or hormones or painkillers just to avoid inconvenience. So I stuck it out, first with those gigantic pads and belts, and later with tampons. (My mother found tampons revolting, so I waited until she died, when I was 16, and then I stole a box of tampons and spent several hilarious hours figuring out how to use them. I paid for the next box, and have used them ever since.)

Now I'm nearly 55, and I would LOVE to stop, if someone could just show me a safe way off the merry-go-round. One male doctor suggested that I might have my uterus removed, now that I don't need it any longer. I suggested a similar fate for his penis.

Don't post my name or email address. For one thing, it isn't my real name. For another, unless menopause catches up with me soon, you'll read all about me in the Guinness Book of World Records anyway.

--**** in California

February 2003

"Sometimes it is so bad that I can't leave the house, afraid I will bleed all over everything."

I am a 32 year-old American woman. I am married and have two children. I also have fibromyalgia and very heavy and painful periods since I was 12. Sometimes it is so bad that I can't leave the house, afraid I will bleed all over everything. A couple of years ago, my gynecologist suggested a hysterectomy, but I was very afraid. Now it is having a serious effect on my health. During that time, my fibromyalgia is a lot worse. Now I'm down for about two weeks out of the month. Sometimes it's not as bad, but the nausea and overall "blah" feeling the week before my period is getting worse. After reading all the responses on this site, I know im not alone in my suffering. It doesn't make it any better, though. It still sucks. I am really considering surgery after all that I've been through, but am very scared. I know my life will be better if I could just not have a period , or at least one that is not so debilitating.

February 2003

"I did stop!"

I had no idea what the "curse" was until I got it at age 11. My mother explained it this way: "It will help you lose your fat belly and it is a dirty little secret." End of story. She allowed my sister to show me how to use the torture device known as the "belt." [See one here.] When I reached the age of 16, and had some boyfriends, my mother constantly harassed me about whether I had got "it" or not. I guess she thought if I were a day late, I was pregnant. She even checked the trash cans and because I switched to tampons, I was no longer a "virgin." Needless to say, I grew up hating my body and my curse.

At the age of 18, I developed menstrual irregularities that plagued me till this year when I turned 40. I could go anywhere from 20 to 60 days in between cycles. If I didn't cycle, I got brown nasty spotting for weeks. It is amazing that I had four kids.

Anyway, doctors tried everything to regulate it with no success and finally this year I had a vaginal hysterectomy. Thank god!!! No more hiding for four days with flooding and no more ruined vacations!! Free at last!!!

I firmly believe that once you are done having children, there is no reason to keep being inconvenienced with the whole mess.

I have two daughters and when they were nine I explained the whole thing to them so they have healthy attitudes towards their bodies.

February 2003

"Years and years and years of poor little cotton plants giving their lives senselessly for my sake."

I'm an American, nearly 52, Caucasian/Scandanavian from the Midwest. I chose to not have children and, for the life of me, I can't figure out why God just didn't put a switch up there that's "yes, kids" or "no, kids." I am SO ready to stop this monthly nonsense and mess I could SCREAM. And my doctor says it'll be another good year or so before I show any signs of stopping. AAAARGH!! What a waste of Tampax. Years and years and years of poor little cotton plants giving their lives senselessly for my sake. Tsk.

February 2003


I've had nasty periods for some time and I would LOVE to be able to stop.

Can recommend M.E. as mine have reduced in frequency. However, I used to have a gap of only 7 days between sometimes fortnights of being "on" which was ridiculous. I think anyone would love to stop and start at will!!!!

February 2003

"Naturally, yes. Otherwise, no."

Let me explain. I have awful, terrible, horrible cramps and pain (endometriosis) that started at 14 years old, my first cycle. I was lucky enough to get pregnant, but sadly miscarried early in the pregnancy. I was able to get pregnant a second time, to full term. I missed nine months of cycle bleeding, and breast fed for 10 months, so I missed another 10 months of bleeding. Two periods later, I became pregnant with my second child. Nine months, and 11 months of breast feeding led to another year and a half without bleeding. Again, two periods later, pregnant again. (These were all planned, by the way.) He's still breast feeding at 16 months, but my periods returned at 11 months. I've had seven periods since, with pain, cramps, 10 or more days of bleeding, and the endo has returned. Would I give up my periods again? Only naturally.

****, in Texas, USA

February 2003

\"I can handle my periods - I just don't want to."

I agree with many of the "no" women because stopping your period (conventionally) will mess up your hormones. I think that is a very bad idea and a very dangerous thing to screw with. However, I've had my period for ten years now, and I really don't like it. It frequently starts with cramps so bad I can't get out of bed to take pain meds. Loose bowel accompanies. And I absolutely hate feeling sticky and slimy. I can handle my periods - I just don't want to. What I would love to do is get a partial hysterectomy - removing the uterus alone.


21, happily married, and positively ChildFree (

February 2003

"Expelling waste is so satisfying."

I love to bleed.

I love feeling the blood pouring out, especially when a big blob comes out all at once. I'm not joking. I enjoy the whole feeling that I'm bleeding. The pain is bearable, and minor for me. It only lasts like 40 minutes on the first day, I don't need to take any painkillers for it. I don't use tampons (except if I'm going to the beach), because I feel like they block my flow. I don't know why women should feel ashamed for blood stains on their pants.

I like the smell of my own blood. I don't know if I'm the only one. I enjoy pooping and pissing too. And farting. Expelling waste is so satisfying.

No lie. I get sad when I think one day I'll stop bleeding.

U.S.A., 36 (born in Brazil)

February 2003

"I have!"

If given a choice, would I go without a monthly cycle? I have! I was on the injection birth control Depo Provera and while on it had no monthly cycle for about two years. I would give almost anything to go back to that.

Unfortunately because remembering the shot every three months was starting to become inconvenient I have since gotten my tubes tied. I love knowing I will not get pregnant, but miss the 'side affects' from the Depo. I have even thought about asking my doctor about getting a prescription for it just for the side affects. I mean, why not? They prescribe the Pill to young girls merely for the sake that it regulates their cycle, why not a prescription to abolish it completely?

All those women who think having their cycle makes them more "real women," get over it. Does that mean that women who have had a hysterectomy due to health reasons are no longer women?

24, Yukon, Canada

February 2002

"Hmm, tempting - but no."

I got my first period at 10 years of age. It didn't return till I was 13, but BOY did I know about it. The cramps were that dreadful; I would just curl up into a ball and stay right where I was - either in bed or on the floor - until the pain killers kicked in so that I could sit up. The blood loss was phenomenal. Clots and all sorts of mess. I couldn't keep up with all the pad-changing I had to do and each morning I'd wake up in a small pool of blood. Bed sheets had to be changed daily. Underwear changed every morning, every night, and then some on the heavier days.

That's not even thinking about the nausea, headaches, back pain, diarrhea, mood swings. I'd go from bordering on violent to a blubbering, inconsolable mess. The only reason there wasn't actual violence was because I'm not the sort of person to harm others. So instead, those emotions would turn in on me. Not very healthy. Yet the rest of the month, I was fine. I didn't feel like dying or killing myself any other time. Just when I was hormonal.

When I was about 16, I started on the pill (Diane 35ED). Oh, the difference it makes. I'm nearly 24 now and I still use it. My periods are lighter than they ever were before and the mood swings are greatly reduced. My hubby says that if I didn't take the Pill, he couldn't live with me (I've had the occasional breaks in taking it here and there, so he knows what I'm like when I'm not on it). My skin is much better, too, and at least while I still get cramps, I'm not immobilised.

Despite the amount of trouble I've had with my periods, I prefer to keep having them. That way I know what's going on with my body. I know if I'm pregnant, I know if there's any other possible problem.

I also find that I naturally retreat at that time of the month. So it gives me a bit of time out, if you like. My partner knows to just let me be, and I find I really appreciate that. The downside is you can't call in sick at work and take a day of "Period Leave" - though I wish I could. In all honesty, if that were available, I'd use it. My periods even on the Pill are still bad enough that I would opt to be a full-time housewife if I had the choice. I really do need that time alone that much every month. I need it for my body to cope and get through that time.

I also find that after I've bled, I feel like I've had a clean out. It feels like everything's new and fresh and a clean start. I notice it on a psychological level too. Once my period has finished for the month, I start to think more clearly again and the "brain fog" I get every month lifts.

Periods are a real hassle. I don't enjoy them. But I do think they're necessary and I just wouldn't feel right without them. (Mind you, if you'd asked me the same question and the Pill weren't available, I'd say yes! Get rid of it!)

Oh, and to the lady from South Africa [below, who commented that Americans have bad eating habits] - I understand your point, but I'm in Australia and our food is quite good. It's certainly not perfect, but I'm here to tell you that as someone with multiple allergies, I must be careful of what I eat, and what I consume is quite healthy because of this. Changing your diet can only help you so far. Soy milk is one of the things I'm allergic to.

Another lady, from Brazil, said there are natural ways of controlling P.M.T., such as eating healthily (which I already addressed), taking herbal supplements, exercising and other complementary therapies. Well, I've tried herbal supplements. I've tried copious amounts of Evening Primrose Oil and it had absolutely NO effect whatsoever. I've tried other herbs as well, and been allergic to them including herbal teas such as chamomile, green tea, St. John's wort . . . the list goes on. If I can't consume them, I can't consume them. It's that simple. I'd rather swallow Panadeine or Panadeine Forte than take a herb/tea that causes me to have an asthma attack, makes my throat swell over and makes me break out in hives all over my body, and/or just pass out completely.

As for the exercising, I do what I can, but after being in two car accidents it's not that easy. I have tried yoga, and while it's good for helping my body in general, it doesn't ease my cramps. I can barely manage grocery shopping, let alone going to a gym or even walking very far, and chlorine triggers my asthma, so swimming is out of the question. I don't live anywhere near a beach, either. (It's a shame because I love the water and I love to swim.)

I see a chiropractor and a myotherapist and they are both great, but they have no effect at all on my cramps, P.M.T. [premenstrual tension] and other symptoms. The only thing that helps relax me are certain essential oils, but they only relax me - they don't relieve pain. Maybe there are other complementary therapies this lady was referring to?

So it's not always that simple and I understand why there are so many women who would give up their menstrual cycles in a moment if they could.

23-year-old female, Victoria, Australia.

February 2003

"[M]ost bowel movements don't last for 5-7 days straight."

Menstruation is compared to a bowel movement???? [See one of the letters, below.] Are you serious???? Um, first of all, most bowel movements don't last for 5-7 days straight. Give me a break!

American, 34

February 2003

"Of course not."

Although I know of people with painful periods, I was a shocked to read all of the responses from people writing that they would give up their period if they could. I have never considered menstruation to be "terrible," a "punishment," or a "curse." I find it an almost pleasant experience.

I began menstruating at 13, but stopped completely when I was 15 and was living abroad for a year (despite my having packed a twelve month supply of tampons). I now get my period about every 25 days or so. It is painless and lasts about five days although it is only notable for about the first couple of days.

None of my boyfriends have ever had issues about sexual contact during menstruation (why should they?).

I used to have some premenstrual-related cramps and pains, but was told by someone that I should reduce salt and sugar consumption in the week or so before my period. I have done so ever since and found my periods to be totally painless. I am not sure if there is any scientific basis for this, but it works for me. I also find that if I am not feeling good before or during my period, it helps if I do some intense exercise.

I am presently residing in Japan where the Pill is only taken by a small percentage of women. Men are expected to wear condoms during sex. I think many women here are glad to have their periods as a reminder that they are not pregnant.

30-year-old Canadian student

February 2003

Yes, I would definitely would stop menstruating if I could. I'm practically immobile when my period hits. Excruciating cramps, fatigue, and just a general icky feeling. I've done everything in my power to control these awful side effects including birth control pills, exercise, and eating better. It's hell and takes precious time out of my life. I'm not interested in ever having children as the career I plan to take up involves much traveling around the world. Besides, we're overpopulated as it is.


Houston, Texas


Age 18

February 2003

"More of a 'castrated man' than ever . . . . Are we not beyond this?"

Since when has menstruation become "hazardous" to a woman's health? It is awful to even consider the thought that if a woman could choose to obliterate her periods through the manipulation of her hormones, she would. By whose standards? The power of drugs and medicine seems to be outweighing the actual state of our health and the need to be legitimately treated for a condition. Menstruation, as far as I understand it, is NOT a medical condition and can only be constructed as such. It is one thing to treat the symptoms of a period and another to obliterate a healthy process integral to the female body altogether. Before a woman even considers the mere possibility of ridding herself of her periods, she should think about who is telling her it's ok to do so and why.


Living happily with my period for 10 years at the age of 21

Toronto, Ontario


February 2003

"I suffered debilitatingly painful cramps until I was 15 years old," but her mother was a Christian Scientist

Yes. In a heart beat.

My menses started when I was eight years old. I suffered debilitatingly painful cramps until I was 15 years old, and able to seek treatment for myself instead of relying on my parents.

After I was able to use pain medication, I only had to deal with the extreme mood swings and chronic anemia.

Let me elaborate. As a child - because at 8, 9, 10 I was a child, regardless of what my body was doing - I endured such severe cramping that I was unable to stand for periods of days. I suffered such severe anemia that the slightest effort - such as stand up and get out of a bathtub - could make me faint. On numerous occasions I woke up on the bathroom floor in the middle of the night because I was bleeding so heavily I couldn't get through a night without changing a maxi pad for or five times, and I was so anemic that I passed out standing up from the toilet.

When I was old enough to take myself to a gynecologist I did and got a prescription for iron, and a recommendation for ibuprofen - the first time I took Tylenol was almost a religious experience.

My menses continued to be very severe, though manageable, up until I became pregnant. Pregnancy was the most blissful time I have ever had with my female body - no pain, no mood swings, no anemia - it was wonderful.

When my menses returned after my daughter was born they were significantly less painful for the first year. Once she started weaning they began to increase in severity again. She is two and a half now, and I am seriously considering seeking additional medication for the mood swings, which are beginning to reappear. My daughter is a blessing beyond measure, and deserves to grow up with a mother who can function no matter what time of the month.

My menses are currently, and I hope remain, manageable. I would welcome a hysterectomy, but am reluctant to undergo an unnecessary surgery when my condition can be managed with medication.

I wait with an eager heart for age, and menopause and an ending to the constant fight to remain my sane self in the face of this monthly onslaught.

Unfortunately, I'm only 27.

As a background note, I live in the U.S. and am happily married with one wonderful little girl. For those with questions regarding my curious early medical history I must explain that my mother was and is a devout Christian Scientist, which faith mandates the rejection of all medical care. I do not share her faith.

"As you rip, so shall you sew." [A kernel of wisdom at the bottom of her mail.]

January 2003

Yes! from a Brazilian

I am Brazilian and I came across a Brazilian woman furious with the ones who said they would stop bleeding every month. I think everyone is entitled their own opinions, but not the right to judge other people's choices.

I see nothing sacred, mystical about menstruating. It is just something that happens for some days during the month.

Why did I decide to stop? Convenience! I don't feel any less a woman for not menstruating.

I didn't want to wear pads anymore, didn't want to feel any PMS symptoms. I had no pain, nothing really serious that would give me a SERIOUS reason to stop, just the fact that it was UNCOMFORTABLE.

I have been on Cerazette [which has no estrogen; Web site] and simply LOVE it!

Most people freak out when I tell them about my choice, and I guess it is pretty understandable since it is something new.

Would I change my mind? No.

I am happy with the choice I made and I would recommend it to anyone who suffers horrible pains, or who's simply sick and tired of that thing once a month.

***, 24 years old.

Belo Horizonte, Brazil

January 2003


I'm 24 years old and started having periods at the age of 15. I never really thought that much about my period until it was due. I hate when I have it because I am never "regular" and can have my period for 5 to 9 days (mostly 7) but day 3 is always the worst. I have been anemic on and off all my life and so when I have my period I often feel like someone is squeezing my insides and get a lot of bloating and discomfort in my lower back. I always need to wear two overnight pads and a tampon until day 4; then I can wear two super pads and a tampon (it costs a lot of money for me!) and I can tell you the way I feel when I have it I'd shout "Yes, I would give it up if I could!" I won't, for it is just apart of being a women and for me messing with nature (even if it has increased). It just don't seem right for me, but it is a personal choice and for some I can see why they feel better without having their periods. For me, when I look at the rest of the time I am period free, I think, yeah, I can live with it - pain, discomfort and all.

January 2003

"I would definitely stop my period if I could and then bring it back when I wanted children"

Yes, I would definitely stop my period if I could and then bring it back when I wanted children because I have it so heavy that when I run for physical education it becomes heavier and I feel like a painful river. I have cramps so bad I have to take a pill but i recently started birth control and I hope it works. I don't feel that having your period makes you a woman and making yourself not have it makes you some psycho who has a a problem with her body. One in five women have very heavy heavy periods to where they are always not feeling themselves and I think I am one of them. I have had my period a little over a year and it has pretty well been heavy the whole time since the beginning. The only problem about stopping your period for five years is you don't know you'll come back fertile. I am 13 and I am for stopping your period.

January 2003

She's glad she had a hysterectomy, mostly because of no menstruation

I'm 28 years old. A year ago I was given a choice to have a hysterectomy.

I had been experiencing pelvic pain and pain during intercourse for about five years and my doctor could find no absolute cause for the pain. He gave me the option of having the partial hysterectomy (removal of cervix and uterus) but was a little leery due to my young age. He was 90 percent sure that the pain would go away if my uterus was removed.

I put up with the pain for a few more months before making my decision. I had my two kids, my husband had already had a vasectomy, I hated having my period, and the pain was interfering with my life. I decided to have the surgery.

I am SO glad I had it. The pain is gone but I think the biggest benefit is not having to think about menstruating anymore. Even if the pain had not gone away not having my periods is enough to make me happy about having the surgery.

No regrets.

January 2003

"[B]owel movements can be uncomfortable, too, and embarrassing . . . . But no one is looking for a way to stop anyone from having them, right?"

I would not stop having a period, even if the technology were available. There just can't be anything healthy about messing with nature that way. I mean, bowel movements can be uncomfortable, too, and embarrassing (in a crowded public restroom), etc. But no one is looking for a way to stop anyone from having them, right? Of course not. The idea is laughable.

It's the same with menstruating. Society has made women's bodies something mysterious and smelly and fearsome (hence the douching, the feminine hygiene sprays, the scented tampons, for God's sake), when in reality they're just bodies. There's nothing more "sacred," more "mysterious," more "natural," about my body than there is about my husband's or my dog's.

I read somewhere that researchers suspect that losing blood once a month is healthy, and it even went so far as to suggest that men donate blood once a month to simulate a period and enjoy the benefits. I wish I could remember where I read it. [That's a current theory of heart disease: too much iron in the blood, and some theorize that it explains the lesser tendency of women to get heart attacks before menopause.]

Anyway, I wouldn't stop having a period. It's a way I have of gauging that everything is running properly. If my period is absent, unusual, etc., it can be the first clue that there's something wrong with me. It's a barometer. Sure, it's a little inconvenient, but no more so than most other bodily functions.

Thanks for giving me an opportunity to respond. I'm in the Midwest, and I'm 26, if you're collecting demographic information.

January 2003

A woman with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome wishes she could have normal periods

I would not choose to stop my menstrual cycle. If I could have natural, normal, "monthlies," I would.

But I don't. I have something called Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome/Disease (depending on who you talk to). It would be very difficult for me to have children if I wanted to. I do not have normal periods - I take the birth control pill, which does give me some light bleeding every month and lessens some of the other effects of the condition (facial hair development was the WORST. I would gladly trade it for heavy monthly periods, even with cramping).

I have researched some of the other treatments - most of them involve going on a drug approved for Type II diabetes, but I am unwilling to do that, because my blood workups show no diabetic or pre-diabetic condition; I just do not produce enough estrogen. I don't like taking the BCP but it does lessen the effects of the PCO and my cholesterol and blood pressure have actually gone down on it.

But I wish I could have normal, natural cycles without having to take hormones every month. Having a period is part of being a woman. To me, periods represent normalcy and health.

I had to try a couple formulations of The Pill before I found one that worked well. I have to admit, to some women this sounds strange, but I rejoice every month when I see the bleeding - it means things are at least working *a little bit* like they are supposed to.

I'm a woman in her 30s living in Oklahoma.

January 2003

"If we could only transfer the cramps, backache, "uterine heaviness" and inconvenience to them for just a DAY"

I commented before in a long message (not unlike this one it turns out) a while back. (I'm the one who will be wearing all black - especially in the crotch - underwear until menopause.) I just came back to check the latest messages. The people who use cotton pads that they wash and re-use are braver (?) than me. Maybe they're more . . . oh. I can't think of the word right now (a good word meaning they don't always take the easy way out). Hell, I'm lucky I don't RUN OUT of tampons and remember to keep my purse stocked! Who the hell has time to wash and dry them and have them ready for the next use? It's also tough enough to keep regular laundry done and ready to wear. My daughter's sixteen and I would never have thought of using cloth diapers with disposable ones being so much more convenient. And the person who not only washes the cotton pads out, but uses the water for her plants???

Ewww . . . . But I guess the plants are okay with it. Hey, if it works for you, you go, girl, but periods are enough of an inconvenience (too busy washing all that UNDERWEAR) without having to keep up with washing and drying pads. God, imagine how much MORE complaining we'd be doing if we DIDN'T have disposable products!!! We'd all be saying the something like, "I don't even LEAVE THE HOUSE during that time!" = : O

I'm glad it's a natural, spiritual, healthy time for some, but it seems that not having to lose that blood every month would be better for a woman's iron count and prevent problems with anemia. I liked the comment about what it would be like for men if they'd been taught to hate their "hardness." THEN they might know what we go through.

If we could only transfer the cramps, backache and "uterine heaviness" and inconvenience to them for just a DAY. Let them go through it for just a day and have to function, not want to break something, have to remember when they put the last tampon in, ("Thank God it's halftime, dude, gotta go change it again." LOL) have to check the back of their pants without everyone knowing what they're doing, (or they could ask one of their guy friends, "Hey, Bob, does it look like I sat in something?" "No, Steve, you're cool.") And feel that dreaded feeling of knowing you will be having to change your pants, not just your underwear, and HOPE the stain comes out completely. Ah well, guess I'll just have to wait until it's my last time. Some people burn the mortgage when the house is paid off. Maybe I'll set fire to that last box of tampons. First I'll drown 'em good with lighter fluid - it'll be nice to see them soaking up something else for a change! I'll keep a fire extinguisher handy.

***, 43 and waiting.

January 2003


No, because I would not feel like a whole woman. Besides, there will come one day when I reach the right age that I have no menstruation, so I would rather go through it until it's over with, though I could do without the blues that come with it and the cramping and the mood changes.

January 2003

"I would give all of this up in a second if it were possible."

I reached menarche at age 10. Luckily I knew what was happening to me and wasn't very afraid. At about 14 I experienced menorrhagia and had my period for about 3 months consecutively. I did not know that this was a problem and my parents did not pay enough attention to know that it was happening. When my doctor finally realized how long I'd been bleeding (I went in for fatigue and was told I was anemic), she put me on birth control pills to control the bleeding. Until this time I had not pain with menstruation; during the Pill cycles and then every month since I have had disabling cramps. Being on the Pill causes a lessening of the pain and the joy of sex without a condom, however it causes me to have an almost constant migraine. My periods are accompanied by migraine, mood swings, crying jags that can last for hours, and horrible pain. I would give all of this up in a second if it were possible.

26-year-old American

January 2003

"[M]y boyfriend and I think that menstrual blood smells very interesting and ancient, and fuck your undies and sheets"

First and foremost I must ask, IF YOU DID NOT MENSTRUATE, THAN WOULDN'T YOUR VAGINA GET FUNKY?!!! Menses is the NATURAL cleansing device that the human female organism does organically. I am just curious is all. [Since you asked: No, since the healthy vagina sheds cells, bacteria and fluids throughout the whole cycle, more at some times than others. That's what much of that stuff is in the crotch of panties. It's all natural, just as menstruation is. The vagina naturally "cleanses" itself throughout the month, although it's really not dirty. Remember that the vagina is a tube, not the parts outside that you can see, the vulva. The vulva does need to be washed.]

I do truly and deeply empathize with all women who experience tremendous pain. I myself had menarche at 12 and for the following nine years experienced a 7-9 day period, with violent cramping, heavy bleeding (6-8 tampons with pads a day, also waking up in a puddle of blood), severe diarrhea for the first two or three days. So my fellow women I DO empathize! Yet I think it's unhealthy and unsafe to stop a natural process entirely. For most of the teenagers who responded, don't be to quick to jump on the band wagon of no more periods just because you've been disillusioned by your peers and media. I went to my gynecologist three years ago with my woes and was given a prescription for Mircette, a very low dosage oral contraceptive [Web site]. I skip the placebos and have a five or six day period, I however do still have all the same symptoms as before only FAR less severe.

It saddens me to no end to hear other women call their periods the curse or say that the blood stinks and that the experience is gross. Next thing you know advertisement companies will be selling women products that they can eat to make their poo smell like roses! GOOD LORD, what kind of world do we live in where men think sex with a woman on the rag is gross! I have had plenty of fantastic romps in the sack on my period and never a complaint. If your man has a problem with this tell him to plug up his penis so that that icky gooey stuff doesn't come out when he ejaculates!!! IT IS NATURAL. Women are human creatures - we fart, we poo, we have boogers, bad breath sometimes, scabs, scars, and for Christ's sake we menstruate!!!! Let's not live in this tiny margin of acceptability anymore, LET'S BE FREE!! We are not alive to please men. Men are our friends, not our enemies or rulers of our bodies and minds.

Men need to be educated and able to let themselves be free as well; we have not been entirely replaced by machines yet so let's not be ashamed of being human. All the men I have ever been with have been fascinated and in awe of the things my body is capable of; if you're with a man who isn't, well, that's his problem, not yours.

I am entirely pro-choice and do believe that if there are woman out there who are in tremendous pain, don't wish to have children, and/or are done having children then the medical industry needs to invest much time, money, and thought into a way for women to safely and effectively stop menstruating. But please don't be ashamed of what comes out of your body; my boyfriend and I think that menstrual blood smells very interesting and ancient and fuck your undies and sheets, it's just stuff and stuff doesn't love you back.

P.S. Since I have a podium I must speak out to my fellow women about one more thing. If abortion is not safe, legal, and affordable, then women will find unsafe and illegal ways to have abortions which will result in the death of the fetus AND possibly the death or other harm to the woman. MAKING ABORTIONS ILLEGAL DOES NOT ABOLISH THEM - PLEASE REMEMBER THIS!!! KEEP ABORTION SAFE AND LEGAL!!!!

Age: 24

Oakland, California, U.S.A.

Caucasian, of Swedish ancestry

P.P.S. thanks for letting me ramble, the responses have made me laugh and cry.

January 2003

"I wouldn't want to be any other way."

Believe it or not, no, I wouldn't want to be any other way.

I am twenty years old and have had nothing but problems since my first period when I was eleven. I take birth control pills to make my periods "more normal" and without them I would never stop bleeding. (I started taking them at the age of fifteen after two months of non-stop bleeding). I have extreme cramps, massive bloating, and I do cry a lot (ask a few ex-boyfriends :-). But apart from this, my period shows me what I am! I am a woman, and a human being animal. It reminds me that I am not above this planet and I am connected with it (thus I need to take care of it). It humbles me and gives the briefest taste of what true suffering is (I have no fear of hunger, thirst, or lack of shelter - unlike some of this world). So, to you who say that only those who "embrace their menses" have easy and light periods - this is one saying no to that. I embrace myself (all bloodied, bloated and crying).

- Hill Country, Texas

January 2003

"I have no idea"

First, I have a comment to one of the South African woman: to drink soy milk IS a good idea, especially if you (generic you), like most of humanity, are lactose intolerant. However, both Canada and the U.S.A. get their soy milk from Second or Third world countries, where pesticides that are banned in North America are still used, a good example being DDT. So, even though they aren't used here, we still end up consuming them. I sincerely believe that drinking bovine milk is healthier then consuming something that was heavily sprayed with DDT. And, as another side note, North Americans (or, at the very least, Canadians) are well aware of what is going into their food. Unfortunately, everything that isn't sprayed with God's know what is INCREDIBLY expensive, and the general population cannot afford it.

Anyway, to state my opinion on whether I would stop my period permanently if I could, the answer is I have no idea. For quite a while, I was on Depo-Provera, which is supposed to stop your period from happening. What they usually don't tell you is this only happens for some women. I was one of the unlucky few whose it didn't stop. I had constant spotting for the entire duration of time I was on it, with the exception of the first month I was on it. While I didn't have my period, I constantly worried whether I could be pregnant or not, as I was sexually active at the time. With the Depo, you can have the shot, have sex, and still become pregnant on it, without showing any of the common signs of pregnancy. So, what happens is you become pregnant, then by the time you realize it, it's too late to stop it by abortion, morning-after-Pill, etc., etc., without high risk to your own life, so you'd better accept it. Personally, I would NOT want to have a child at 18, as it would completely ruin my life, and I DON'T want children, as I am just past a child myself in all the most important ways. Babies having babies, if you would.

However, on the flip side, I get incredibly painful cramps during my period, to the point where I can't walk on the first day of my period. It thick, ugly, and has a lot to it. I can't use tampons due to my disgust at the crap they put on them, and because they're painful for me. So, I get to live with, never, EVER wearing white pants, shorts, etc., during my period, which usually lasts 5-7 days. This pain and problem, however, is hereditary. My mother, grandmother, and great-grandmothers were all the same way. In fact, my great-grandfather rushed my great-granny to the hospital once, thinking that she was dying of a miscarriage due to all the blood. He soon learned it was not.

This pain is a part of my life, however, and part of being a woman. I do have to plan my life around it sometime, but you have to plan your life around other unpleasant tasks as well, so what makes this one so different? It's pointless to be ashamed of it, because almost every single other woman on the planet has had to deal with it at some point or time. The taboo of speaking about it is pointless as well, as over half the world's population knows about it anyway. My two cents, and I hope it has helped some young woman see a different view on what is happening to them, and so they feel safe in the knowledge that they are not alone.

[She later added,

In reference to "One young acquaintance of mine got her first period at thirteen, and within three months, her parents had taken her to the doctor for Norplant" (below):

What the hell?!? Norplant at 13?!?! I cannot believe her parents did that to her! Not only will that completely screw up her cycle as well as her brain (thoughts, that is), but the body **can't** adjust to something later in life that it was expected to deal with TO A GREATER EXTENT earlier in life! The girl will most likely have a waaaaay higher chance of cancer, hormonal problems, and infertility! How could any parent do that to their own, or for that fact, ANY child, when the child is too young to comprehend the consequences? That's bordering on child abuse, to my mind, and what really horrifies me is the fact that the parents have that right until something goes wrong!]


19 years old

British Columbia, Canada

January 2003

Athlete says Yes

Yes, I am a 14-year-old who lives in Texas. I would love to stop and start up again if I wanted a child. I am in basketball, soccer, track, and other sports, and it is a pain to keep changing my tampon over and over again. I also hate worrying about it during school. I wish I could just live a normal life and not have to worry about that. If there is anything you can do or any kind of pill you can offer please E-mail me back.

January 2003

Skater says Yes

As a serious amateur figure skater, I can't afford to slow down for the mess and pain of periods while training to win! I've been taking Loestrin [a low-dose birth-control pill; Web site] every day at exactly NOON Central Standard Time for almost a year now, and it's worked like a charm! My gyne[cologist] is behind me 100 percent on this. I still see her once a year for regular checkups, though. :)

January 2003

Gymnast says No.

Nope. "It" feels good; I have a preference for joyous sliminess.

Menarche at sixteen, I was a gymnast and tomboy and not too keen on the idea. Age of menarche is directly related to body fat and gymnasts don't have much of that. The only person I've known who was older than I when she started was my coach, age eighteen. It doesn't bother me much, I eat okay and exercise. It's one of the reasons women live longer: we're a more advanced self-cleaning system.

Here's to add to your euphemisms for menstruation section: It's hunting season. (Horniness ensues and the quest for the perfect mate is on.)

Love your site.

January 2003


Of course I would stop menstruating. It is a nightmare.

January 2003

No. "[The United] States is known (generally) for its bad eating habits and reckless use of chemicals in its foods, with the population largely unaware of what they are being fed," writes this South African

It's disturbing to read how many young women experience so much pain when they menstruate. I am trying to remember how my periods were when I first started when I was 13. I think it was an unusual discomfort and then I would have given anything to stop my periods too. I didn't feel like myself at all. I used to play with boys on our street and when I started menstruating, I just felt like I couldn't anymore, because they would find out that I was bleeding. Seems my urge to play was greater than my fear of bleeding all over the place because I didn't stop playing.

Nowadays my period just happens. My period is irregular, sometimes my cycle is shorter than 28 days and sometimes longer. I have a little menses calendar that helps me keep track of my cycle and it's the only way I can. If it wasn't for this calendar, which I got from a male friend, I would be going along unaware of my cycle. It is something that happens to me once a month and it always seems to happen when I least need it to, but I think anytime would be "when I least need it to happen." I am rarely aware that it is on its way. I usually feel exhausted and go to bed really early, sometimes at 20h00 or 21h00 [8 pm or 9 pm]. I don't usually attribute this overwhelming exhaustion to the onset of my period, I just go to sleep, and only when I start to bleed, do I think to myself, "Oh, that's why I was so tired." So, I guess it's not the central part of what being a woman is to me, nor is having breasts.

I do suffer from mild period spasms, but I refuse to take any medication. I am a firm believer that what we consume affects our bodies in many ways. I eat healthier than most of my friends (organic foods, no meat, only fish) and since I have been trying to stick to this healthy way of eating, both my period and my complexion have improved. (Though I am not sure what an "improved" period would be, for me it is better.) And I notice that all those teenagers who suffer terribly are from the States - I admit I only read the comments at the beginning - and the States is known (generally) for its bad eating habits and reckless use of chemicals in its foods, with the population largely unaware of what they are being fed. So, maybe women of all ages need to watch their diets more carefully and experiment with what works better and what makes menses easier for them.

A friend told me that drinking soya milk helps reduce the duration of your period and makes menopause easier. I have since become a soya milk addict, drinking my ice cold glass each morning after breakfast. If it does neither of the above, well at least I know it does a much better job of balancing my hormones than hormone replacement therapy could do, and soya milk has been less subject to artificial hormone injection than dairy milk has been.

But I am also looking forward to not-menstruating when I reach menopause. I wouldn't interfere with what my body does now, though. If women used to menstruate less before, then we need to know what the caused the change, before we can say: that's how it should be.


32 years old

Cape Town

South Africa

"I'm just scraping the social dogma from the bottom of my soul" - Chambawamba

December 2002

"So, yes. I already stopped menstruating for the next five years," writes another South African

I was on BCP [birth control pills] for almost five years, but that meant remembering to take the Pill each morning and having some light degree of menstruation each month (which also seemed to get less each month).

When I got married I decided that some other way of birth control is needed that is more trustworthy and doesn't require so much effort (I'm terrible with taking pills), so my gynecologist suggested that I take Mirena [a slow-release drug placed inside the uterus - Web site]. Along with other positive facts, one that I REALLY like is that it takes away your period. Some women experience it immediately, others after a few months. I had a menstruation-free life since the word "go." That was in Feb 2002. We are now at the end of December 2002, which makes it 10 months going with no period.

At first, I must admit, it took some getting used to not having my "monthly friend" any more, but I can do without the painful period and bloody sight. When I'm ready to TTC I'll get rid of the device and my menstrual cycle will return to normal.

So, yes. I already stopped menstruating for the next five years (that's how long it lasts) or until I'm ready for little pink feet. :)

South Africa.

December 2002


Yes, definitely. I don't suffer with my period much and it's not a problem or anything but since I'm positive that I don't ever want children I just don't see the point of it.

December 2002

"I had a hysterectomy . . . . I LOVE being pain and period free, and I do not feel any less whole as a woman, any less sacred, any less in sync!"

Wow, all these women who chose NO to the question, "Would you stop your menstrual cycle?" I was amazed, and while I respect everyone's personal opinion and choice...I had to crack up on the comments about the cycle being "sacred" or "natural rhythm with the moon!" *lol* Sorry...mine was NEVER sacred except in the idea that it allowed for me to have my four children. I started at 11 years of age, and while I may have USED my period as an excuse to stay home from school, I certainly never had too many problems with it other than in my time, we did not have many choices for protection! (Our school kits had the pads with belts! [See a teacher's American menstruation teaching kit from the early 1950s.])

After I had the twins, I chose to have a tubal ligation, and my periods did nothing for me but remind me that I could have no more children, even if by choice. They then became so heavy and painful that I was spending oodles of money on tampons, pads, sponges, liners, hormones, etc., and I was also anemic at each period. I also had (sorry, I know it is gross!) clots so large they would push a tampon out! I finally found a doctor who really listened and did not pooh-pooh my complaints. He read an article I had brought from Cosmopolitan magazine on ending your periods with birth control. He agreed to this and I was started out on a triple dose of hormones - but my periods only worsened. Well, ultimately I was discovered to have fibroids, carcinoma in situ, cervical cancer, and a bevy of problems. I had a hysterectomy at 35 and it was one of the greatest decisions I have ever made! I LOVE being pain and period free, and I do not feel any less whole as a woman, .any less sacred, any less in sync!

Missouri, U.S.A. . . Mom of four teens . . . Student . . . Proprietor

December 2002

"I am just sad about the negative attitude of women towards their bodies."

I may be crazy but there is something magical about creating life. This is life-giving blood. Without it I would not have my two beautiful children.

I began menstruating when I was 14. Later than the rest of my friends but I was so excited to finally be a "woman." I knew that I was growing up and would someday be able to have children because of my monthly cycle.

Sure, I have cramps and I don't enjoy my pants becoming tight because of bloating but I love the idea that my body is capable of growing a person. That my uterus full of nutrients has sustained a developing life and the muscles used for cramping bring forth that life into this world. I have been able to create life. THAT IS AMAZING!!!!

Women's bodies are incredible. We are able to create, sustain and birth new life and then nurture that life by exclusively breast feeding at least one year. We should be proud and empowered by this ability, not held back by it.

Every 28-30 days I am reminded of my inner strength and power. I highly recommend every woman read "The Red Tent" and understand that this is the way nature intended it and for five days we can relax and rejuvenate.

No, I am not some hippie, barefoot and pregnant (not that there is anything wrong with this). I am a mom, a college student, interested in politics (not an activist), wife and lover and 30 years old. I am just sad about the negative attitude of women towards their bodies.

I want my daughter to be self-powerful, beautiful and proud of being a woman.

Thank you,

December 2002

"I don't care if it's 'natural,' 'womanly,' or whatever. It's painful. It stops me from acting like a normal human being."

Yes. I definitely would. I'm 15, and it's a huge pain in the ass. I want to go on Depo-Provera in the slightest chance that it will lessen the pain/blood/shit that happens every 22-26 days. I hate it. I don't care if it's "natural," "womanly," or whatever. It's painful. It stops me from acting like a normal human being. Mood swings are intense. One minute I'm fine, the next I'm screaming uncontrollably, the next I'll be bawling, then I'm fine again. I have to plan around my monthly enemy. I can't do anything. I have a heavy flow and lots of cramps. I've become addicted to ibuprofen!! Midol doesn't do anything more than ibuprofen does. I'm always scared that it'll leak through, or I won't be able to find a bathroom, or something. Whenever we travel, I will plan for it even if it's unlikely it'll show up. We went to both Alaska and Europe this summer, and I had it in Alaska. With an outdoor, non-flushing toilet. Those who are aware that it is an outhouse . . . . Yay! With mosquitoes and my nosy family . . . .Thankfully, it was not to be in Europe. I was very happy. That would have sucked. You have to pay for toilets over there, and often are given only a little toilet paper. You feel like saying, "Um, excuse me, but I NEED MORE THAN THIS!!" But then they stare and shoo you away. If I never had to deal with it again, I would throw a freaking party!

I don't want a family in the future. I am not fond of children and wouldn't make a very good parent. I am not concerned about my future sex life [I don't have one now, anyway, so I don't care about it now.], and I would do just about anything to be rid of this major inconvenience. It IS debilitating. I can't run, move around, or do anything without cramps, rushes, or something happening. School is hell. If you enjoy periods, you all can go party. We who have lots of pain and blood shall go rally and get stuff done for ourselves. We should be able to make choices as human beings, not just women. It may be natural, but so is getting old, and no one really looks forward to that. Cancer is natural in its own way. No one wants that.

As a final word, yes, I would love to be rid of the painful state that is menstruation. But alas, the only true way is a hysterectomy, and that can be dangerous. Well, risk-takers unite . . . . ^^ Hopefully I can convince my parents about Depo-Provera and it may work for me that way. Wish me luck and keep your fingers crossed . . . if you care. ^^

Later she added,

Oh! And one more thing-

Know the consequences. I am willing to take the risks. If I have an increased risk of cancer and get some sort of it, I have no one to blame but myself. It will be hard, yes, but I know that. Know your risks. Be ready to accept them at any time.

If you want to have sex - are you ready for a child? Birth control CAN fail. I am not against premarital sex. I don't care. I AM against younger teenagers having sex. If you have a child, you'll likely ruin your future and its. It's hard to finish high school. It's hard to raise a child.

If you want to go on the Pill/Depo-Provera - know that it can increase risk of certain cancers. It isn't magical. It can cause problems. And I am willing for that risk. ^^

To those who are against any form of birth control and stopping menstruation - please, allow us to do as we like. You can, too. Enjoy what brings you joy. If the rest of the human race wants to make mistakes to themselves, let them. It's only wrong when you're hurting someone. ^^

Thanks for letting spit out my fifteen cents. [It was way more than two!]

December 2002

"I've been without periods for 15 years now, and have never felt anything but gratitude at the lack - until reading your site . . . ."

I found your site when researching pre-industrial alternatives to coping with menstruation. Since my own experiences with menstruation were traumatic and excruciating (pre-existing PTSD [port-traumatic stress disorder] around body functions, intense shame at menarche, rape and miscarriage at 13, horrible cramps ALL my menstruating life, another rape at 18, a very traumatic caesarean at 24, and hysterectomy for fibroids and endometriosis at 47), the ONLY positive thing I experienced was being able to wear tampons. I tried Tassaway [menstrual cup: see it and read about it] in my teens and could not get the hang of it - assumed other cups would be as bad (probably a mistake), and never tried them.

I've been without periods for 15 years now, and have never felt anything but gratitude at the lack - until reading your site and finding out that not all women perceive them the way I did. I think I may design a grieving ceremony and do it . . . honor what could have been, and move on without it.

Besides that, I got a much fuller understanding of what a character in the book I'm writing is going through at menarche - am really enjoying writing this part of the book, and I hope it will be a positive influence on girls and women who read it when it is published.

She later added,

I'd have given anything to stop menstruating. The disgust, the pain (excruciating!), the mess, the hassle, the embarrassment.

My hysterectomy was an unalloyed joy. I called it "getting spayed." I'd worked in vet hospitals and knew that animals responded by bouncing back as if they'd only had their tonsils out, and I did the same. I was back on my motorcycle again in three weeks.

Having learned some about women's culture since, I don't know how I'd feel now. Mixed emotions.


December 2002

"I recommend [Implanon] to any woman."

Would I stop menstruating if I could?

Yes, and I have.

I have an Implanon implant, (a small contraceptive implant in my arm - read about at an English-language Web site in Australia, German manufacturer's Web site [in German]) which once it was inserted, for me has stopped menstruation for about a year now, and I have two years to go before I need to replace the implant. I'm loving it - I can have sex whenever I want, I don't have the expense of birth-control pills or tampons, etc., and I don't have cramps or wild mood swings each month. Take out the implant and I go back to my regular cycle (or so I'm told).

I recommend it to any woman. It's cheap in Australia ($20), easy (injected under the skin once every three years), discrete (under the skin near my left elbow, you can't see it, but can feel it) and you don't have to remember to take pills or suffer the consequences of Depo Provera as if you have a reaction, as the implant can be removed easily and immediately.

I'm 22 now, have had my period since 11 and have been on the Pill since 15 due to bad cramps. The Pill helped a bit with the cramps, but also made me feel slightly sick most of the time. No reactions at all from Implanon.

I don't feel less of a woman for not menstruating, nor do I miss it.


December 2002

"[Menstruation is a] pain in the you-know-what"

If I could stop menstruating, you bet I would in a heartbeat. I'm sure that most women have a name for their monthly visitor and mine is called "Aunt Aggy." She is a pain in the you-know-what and now that I am 41 years old, I'm looking forward to greeting menopause with a big smile. My periods have always been very heavy and the cramping is unbearable. I don't see anything beautiful about bleeding every month and believe me that is one area of my life that I will definitely not miss.

December 2002

"I would urge those women to try other, less drastic measures first."

I have to say I would not. I had terribly heavy periods from menarche at 11 until I became sexually active at 16, so I sympathize with those who would reduce the frequency of their periods or eliminate them entirely. I would urge those women to try other, less drastic measures first.

Since I have eliminated meat and dairy from my diet (the hormones screw up a woman's system) and switched to cloth pads (so much more comfortable and no nasty dioxin) I have had much lighter and less uncomfortable periods. An abnormally uncomfortable period is a problem most women can fix by improving their health throughout the month with a healthy diet and a supplement. Calcium supplementation does wonders for menstrual cramps.

They do ease up after you have a child, at least in my experience, so I am unsurprised that the majority of the respondents complaining of horrific periods are either teens or older childless women. There are some benefits to fewer menstrual cycles (notable a decreased breast cancer risk) but the healthiest and most natural way to achieve those benefits is through pregnancy and breast feeding.

I did one cycle of Depo Provera, and I was a raving lunatic, puked my guts out and felt so sick I thought I might die. I tried two different formulations of birth control pills and I spent most of my day in the bathroom. I hesitate to imagine what the side-effects would be of an even more unnatural medication.

21-year-old mother of one, western United States

December 2002

"[I]t's not your 'curse,' it's your personal 'Moon!'"

If I had the choice, I wouldn't give it up. I understand all those who would be happy to; those who experience excruciating pain (I do empathize), or older women who have had their "Moon" for decades. But for all of you ladies who feel it is dirty or rank - that's ridiculous! You need to embrace your divine feminine gift - the gift of the Goddess - for what doesn't kill you, only makes you stronger. Women have lived with it forever and when patriarchal values came along, and the subject became taboo - women sucked it up, and kept on pushin'. Someone mentioned that men fear and are intimidated by menstrual cycles, and I completely agree. If men experienced what we do, they probably would become whiny, pathetic excuses for men, complaining that 'it hurts! it hurts!'. But that's what makes us so much better! We learn to live with it. However, for the women who say men use it as ammunition, or patronize us about it, why don't you take a look at all the other responses. How do you expect men to leave it alone, when a lot of women themselves, want to reject it from their own bodies? When women themselves think it is dirty and disgusting, how could you expect men to find it beautiful and attractive and feminine?! You need to find the magic in it. It connects us to nature - the fact that we share the same 28-day cycle as that of the Moon - it should make you feel empowered! And don't worry, I certainly get my fair share of problems. Moderate cramps, but also nausea. I have yet to find another women that vomits during her period, though I am sure it can't be the most uncommon symptom. But when I get a chance to get my head out of the toilet bowl (it only lasts for the first few hours), I still try to embrace my "Moon." It does make me feel feminine and womanly, and I think men are missing out on the idea of a bodily rhythm.

I think the menstrual cycle is mind over matter, for some women. If you look at menstruating in a negative way, it'll rub off on your body, and only create more problems, by making you stressed out. Try and sit back, and let your body do it's thing, and then marvel at the wonder of it all!

Oh, and it's not your 'curse,' it's your personal 'Moon'!

December 2002

An African-American teacher of second-graders in Michigan writes,

First of all it's sooo sad to read the comments of so many women who suffer so terribly while menstruating. Women in this situation should certainly have the choice of becoming menses-free. However, my experience has been nothing like these unfortunates. I am now 40 years old; my menarche was at age 11 and I have always had regular periods with moderate flow. Some cramps (less the older I get) but nothing incapacitating. So for me, menstruation has simply been a fact of life... not a horrible ordeal or a mystic event, just another thing that happens and needs to be dealt with. Perhaps a bit messy but not disgusting or shameful. Personally, I would need a much better reason than minor inconvenience to want to alter or suppress a basic bodily function.

When I was younger and much more sexually active than I am today, I did worry at times that menstruating could be an impediment to my wild and woolly sex life. But the reality was that most men really don't care one way or the other. I don't think I was ever with a guy who was disgusted by menstrual blood to the point of not wanting to have sex. BUT, most people I spent any time with back then were fairly non-mainstream so that may not be true of your average Joe. Anyway, if you use a natural silk sponge for menstrual protection, most men won't even notice.

If I could choose anything, it would probably be to menstruate less often, maybe four to six times a year. Maybe time it to the solstices and equinoxes - that should satisfy anyone's Goddess tendencies! I do agree with the researcher who points out that in past times women did not spend nearly as much time menstruating as we do now. This is an excellent point and a good reminder that what we think of as "natural" may not necessarily be so!

December 2002


I am 17 years old, and I started menstruating when I was 12. I get really awful periods. Not only do I get completely terrible cramps, bloating, and PMS, it makes my back problem I have a million times worse. But, with all of these problems, I still don't think I would give up my period. I have a really irregular period, and when I don't have it, I just don't feel right. Having this (sometimes) monthly occurrence happen makes me feel like a woman. Plus, I want to have children in the distant future. If I don't have my period, I may forget what it's like, and not be able to relate with my daughter (if I have one) when she gets it. Honestly, what's a week or so every month that's a little uncomfortable? It just reminds us of that fact that we are women and our bodies are amazing inside and out!

New York

November 2002


I'm 15 years old and had my period since I was 12. Menstruation is a pain in the butt every month! I can't go to school, and if I do I tell my mom to pick me up before PE [physical education] and make some crappy reason saying I have some kind of appointment. I have quit exercising and I can't even sleep, take a shower or do anything when I have my period. I don't change pads in school because if there is the slightest bit of blood on my underwear, and there always is, then I'll fell nasty and my mind won't get rid of it.

If there was a way to get rid of them I would be the first one in line. Now I know some scientific people are going to say menstruation is important for the female body, but hey, if it's a pain every month for the "unwanted guest" to arrive then what's the point?

And some people in this website have said no, then they are probably the ones who have there periods for 3 day and no cramps and don't even know when their period has arrived.

Well, for the rest of us who bleed for 7-10 days, with horrible cramps, and feel helpless and hopeless, I say HELL YEAH! I would do anything to get rid of my menstruational cycle! If you say no, please get a feel for what I have to go threw every month other than just assume it's easy like yours.

November 2002


I take Depo-Provera, which means I haven't had a period in ages. I am not concerned as to whether I could be fertile again, as I will not be having children.

I do worry a little about long-term effects, but would rather not have periods.

November 2002

"My period really reduces the quality of my life."


I was on the 'Net, actually researching about the options that are available to a woman to stop her period, when I came upon this site. I was very interested to read the previous responses to the question, and actually surprised to see how many responses that were in favor of stopping it!

I am a 17-year-old (18 in a couple of days), and have been getting my period since I was 12. I have had my period irregularly - it has been affected since I am rather slender - for those six years. With my period I have awful cramps, sharp pains in my abdomen and awful aches in my legs. Pain-killers don't do much to help. Even without the pain menstruation is a real drag. I try to arrange my monthly schedule around when I will have my period, and whenever I am out I am continually wondering whether I may be leaking, and keeping an eye out for ladies rooms. I will be going to college next fall, and cannot imagine coping with my period when I am there! How can I miss a couple days out of the month because of the pain? Let alone dealing with it in general!

I am seriously considering options to stopping my period. I do not know how women could have gone through years and years of this. It is just not worth it! My period really reduces the quality of my life. It's like losing a portion of each month! (And that's only the days when I actually have my period - the preceding days I am continually worrying about when my period will come, and like a previous woman who posted, wasting many pads in anticipation.)

I really appreciate the Web site, it's great.

Good luck to all the women out there, who, like me, are looking for an option!

[She later added:]

It seems to me that obviously if so many women posting would like stop there period, that it would most likely be the feeling of the majority of women. [A Gallup survey a few years ago asked post-menopausal women what they liked about menopause; about 80 percent liked not menstruating.] Or at least a good portion. Doesn't it seem pretty pathetic that there has been little-to-no push to find a safe way for a woman to stop her period, especially if it would be beneficial to her health and happiness? (I don't think that the Pill is necessarily a long-term safe alternative, seeing that HRT is no longer used - since it is similar but with more hormones.) And the point has been made - if men had to deal with such a "curse" there would be many options for them. Seems to me this is just another way that women are shown that there problems and considerations are considered second to men's.

November 2002


One difference between a man and a women is that a women has something very unique happen in her body every month! A period is a sacred part of being a women. Periods are meant to go away but only when the time is right, not when we want them to! Wait your time, I promise it will come.

November 2002

"I often have two-to-five days of emotional bliss where nothing bothers me!"

No way!

I love my period! I've been fortunate in that I don't usually have cramps. I get PMS-from-hell with mood changes and fluid retention, but once it starts, I often have two-to-five days of emotional bliss where nothing bothers me! and I've found another benefit. I use cotton washable pads that I soak in cold water with a few drops of lavender oil (lavender is a natural antiseptic and smells good too!). Plants love this water! They get very green and I enjoy "feeding" them this way. [There have been menstrual-pad soaking bowls made for sale with this in mind.]

I also like having a rhythm. If I'm feeling cranky, I can look at the calendar and feel relief from knowing that it's just hormonal.

(from a nature lover in Texas)

November 2002


Every month, I experience terribly heavy bleeding and extreme pain because of my period. It also last for 7-9 days! I go through at least 2 1/2 to 3 boxes of tampons per cycle, and mind you, I wear both tampons and pads. This is very expensive. I say enough suffering! I am 43 years old and have no plans to have children. I am ready to leave this part of my life behind. If I must menstruate for another 10 years, I would hope that the bleeding would be much lighter, with little or no pain, and it would last for no longer than 5 days.

November 2002

"[I]t's biology, and yes, it's revolting."

Yes, it's biology, and yes, it's revolting. I am 35, have no children, and don't want any.

If there were a way to turn it off without creating an endocrinal nightmare, I'd be first in line. And P.S., no menstrual dysfunction, I just have been dealing with it for 22 years and for what? ENOUGH ALREADY!!! If modern science can find a way, let's try it.

November 2002


I have to say that with my lifestyle of biking and exercising, I would definitely stop my menstrual cycle if I could. I wouldn't miss it at all.

November 2002

"If menstruation is a cup of tea for you, continue to enjoy it." [Subject line of her e-mail]

People who are pro-menses using the word "convenience" as an anti- rallying cry in their narratives are TOTALLY missing the mark. In YOUR world, there wouldn't be a need for the medical field at all. What planet are you guys on? Think of all the pioneers that make it possible for us to lead physically fulfilling lives today. This 'I'm not gonna mess with my body' is a crock when you consider the MILLIONS of you who drink alcohol, use illegal drugs, and smoke (just so you know, I don't do ANY of them, and people call ME crazy). Talk about 'synthetic' products? How about THOSE cigarettes, YOUR favorite beer, YOUR recreational drugs??? Give me a break!!!!!

34, American

November 2002

"[T]he "time of the month" is what I dread most."

I am 32 years of age and the "time of the month" is what I dread most. Stomach cramps so severe I want to cry and which the strongest over-the-counter drugs won't touch, severe mood swings, lack of concentration and coordination, suicidal thoughts and impatience and feeling constantly tired.

I feel like a totally different person during my period and I fully believe that women who commit crimes at their time could be classed as being "not of sound mind."

If I knew I could take a drug with no side effects I would not hesitate to be rid of "the curse," as my mother referred to it.

God must have been a man!

November 2002

"I can hardly wait"

I am 35 and live in Australia and have suffered from horrendous periods since the age of 17 when I first went on the Pill to control the pain. I am now trying my fourth type of pill to try to combat the horrendous headaches, pain and pre-period spotting. The next step is to skip the sugar pills and have a period every three months. I can hardly wait, let me tell you. At my stage in life now I am not interested in having kids. The next thing we will try if skipping the pills doesn't work is migraine medication or preventives taken daily.

November 2002

"[W]hat I really wish is that I could control when I do menstruate."

To be quite honest, my first thought was that I would love to stop menstruating, PERMANENTLY. However, I realized that what I really wish is that I could control when I do menstruate. Menstruation, while it can be a serious pain in the arse, often arriving unexpectedly and with great force (read: staining power), or accompanied by a hoard of unpleasant symptoms, is also a source of power. Just before I menstruate, I am usually best able to maximize my creative and spiritual potential. Menstruation gives me a sense of my place in the world and my potential as a human female. After all, how many more profound and definite ways can one be in contact with the great Mystery than through awareness that life can come forth through one's own body?

So I guess what it comes down to is that I'd like to control exactly when my period starts, but I have no desire to stop it from coming entirely unless it was a sure-fire method of birth control to be used for a few years until my husband and I have a child and can opt for a permanent method of birth control.

In case this has any bearing on your study, I'm a Caucasian, bisexual female, born 4/29/1980 (age 22), partnered to a man ten years my senior for the past three years, and I live in Western Washington State.

November 2002

"If men were taught to hate their hard-ons how different would this world be."

Do what you like but I say NO. A woman's natural rhythm with the earth and the moon is the most beautiful thing I have experienced to date. I started when I was 10 and hid it from everyone until I was 14. I sewed my own pads out of old terry cloth towels and reused them. I was able to come to terms with my blood in my own way.

My periods used to be painful and cause me to just sit and cry - until I stopped taking pain medications. After a few months my body adjusted to being unmedicated and I have never been happier. I still bleed for 7-8 days and that first day is always the Tide but as long as I have it I will love it and cherish it. Change society - not your natural rhythm. Why be ashamed of it? So you bleed and you make stains. It is as much part of life as it is men getting erections. If men were taught to hate their hard-ons how different would this world be? And the "feminine hygiene" industry is ran by men. I see more of a need for "masculine hygiene" products. The American culture is so wrapped up in their hassle-free existence that they feel menstruation is a disruption when in fact your car payment, your credit cards, and your stock portfolio are more of a disruption but are a part of life now.

My partner of three years is very supportive and I wish more men were like him. He loves my body and respects every inch and working therein. He does not mind the blood, the bloat, and changes I go through. Any chance we have to love one another we indulge.

I try not to use tampons anymore, mostly because of the TSS dangers. But also because I do not believe some man knows what is best for my body. There are alternatives. has 100 percent reusable earthfriendly cotton pads. They also offer sea sponges and little things called keepers as alternatives to tampons. Made by women for women.

But HEY! Some women just want rid of it. Their body is getting in their way. I'd have to say I'm pro-choice on this issue too.

Just a little bug from southeastern U.S.A, age 20.

November 2002

Next: (responses from October 2002 - September 2001)