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Comic strip: A conservative American
family visits the (future) Museum of Menstruation
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.
"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
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
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 MUM.org should have a page just for hints on dealing
with menstruation. [Good idea; I'm starting it today with your
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.
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!!
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.
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.
"I will gladly give you both my period and my uterus. Take the
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
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.
"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.
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
"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.
No. "[H]istory is the best predictor of the future. Do your
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.
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.
"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.
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
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
"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
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
well, it might suck anyway but it's better to suck with integrity,
- frankie to trent in dream for an insomniac
"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
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,
"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.
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.
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!
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.
"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.
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.
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!