Would you stop menstruating if you could? (scroll down for readers' responses)
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 is mainly the book Is Menstruation Obsolete? (read some excerpts), by Brazilian Dr. Elsimar Coutinho, with Dr. Sheldon Segal (Oxford University Press, 1999), which argues 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 www.noperiod.com 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).

And in March, 2001, a play in New York City, Even the Queen, treats this theme (see the MUM news for 11 March 2001).

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, October 2002 - September 2001 (I count 188 for 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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"Guys for some reason seem to think it is all a joke."

Hello, yes, I would definitely have this terrible thing go away. It is very bad. I am a 17-year-old junior in high school and I have had my period since I was in the 5th grade - I'm guessing I was 12. Ever since then life at one point sucks every month. I like to play sports and it is sooo not fun when you have your period. Wherever I am, if I am at school, work or just kicking back at home it never seems to be something I am not thinking about. I get very very very bad cramps, backaches, headaches. It is just the most dreaded thing that anyone could have and I would not wish it upon anyone. It is so uncomfortable that I feel like the Niagara Falls. I feel wet all the time and I have to be self-conscious all the time about staining my clothes. It is not fun at all. Guys for some reason seem to think it is all a joke. If only they knew. Well, I would most definitely take it away!!!!!!! If only there was a way.

October 2002

"Enough is enough"

I would stop, no question about it. I am 45 and started at 11. Enough is enough of 8-to-30 day-long spans of bleeding that does not respond to hormones.

October 2002

"It's hard to deal with your period in the fifth grade"

Here's a new one for ya. I'm only 13 (14 in a few days) and have been menstruating since I was eleven.

It's hard to deal with your period in the fifth grade, since the average elementary school girl isn't due to start menstruating for several years, meaning there's no reason to invest in trash cans in the stalls. Same in sixth grade. In seventh grade they finally had some sense and got trash cans, but that doesn't fix everything. I had used pads since the fifth grade, and FINALLY toward the end of seventh grade I figured tampons out. Well, that helps with comfort a little, because I could always feel the blood coming out of me, and the wet pad. But my period is extremely heavy, and my mom doesn't understand why I would want tampons AND pads. Although I've improved since the beginning when I would cry to my mom every month, I'm still not in the best shape. I have HORRIBLE cramps that DON'T go away, I've tried it all. Ibuprofen, heating pads, hot baths, PRESCRIPTION DRUGS. Nothing makes them go away. And, possibly my biggest problem, is my hemophobia (fear of blood). Since I was a child, I've been scared of blood. And dealing with my heavy periods is very difficult. I had a chat with my mother, and in a year or two, she MIGHT let me go on birth control, the one where you have a period every three months - Yay. OK, that's enough. Just thought I'd share.

October 2002


Do I want it to stop? Totally!!!!!! I got my period on a camping trip - it was horrible. I'm only 14 and my period has already ruined my life! I can't sleep and I always feel sick. I get really bad cramps and I cry so much it makes me throw up so I can't take medicine. I can't do anything for a week every month. Please make it stop!!!!!!!! If you find a cure please tell me!!!!

October 2002

"Menstrual manipulation appears to be another in a long line of attempts to medicalize women's natural biological life events"

Click the link to "Manipulating Menstruation Is Misguided," by Jean Elson, Ph.D., who teaches courses on the sociology of gender and medical sociology at the University of New Hampshire. She wrote this piece for Newsday, 31 October 2002. In the article she mention's Goria Steinem's famous and funny essay, "If Men Could Menstruate." Read it here.


Caleigho Flower Child writes, "Auntie Flow has got to go."

For eight days out of the month, I suffered massive hemorrhaging, stabbing pain to the stomach, head aches, emotional disturbances, erratic behavior, and a weight gain for the crowning glory.

If this were a disorder that a man suffered from, I guarantee, that insurance would cover expenses such as tampons, pads, birth control, or operations to stop this. [Read "If Men Could Menstruate."] I started my period when I was twelve, and would have such severe cramps that I would be doubled over for days at a time, and feeling like I was being pounded in the gut with a sledge hammer. I remember back in a day in my health class, where we young ladies were first introduced to the "wonders of womanhood." We were given a slide show and presented with flowered boxes that held a skimpy supply of pads and a brochure adorned with beaming women wearing spandex and brightly bouncing around. I'm not sure what sort of bullshit they were trying to imply. Whenever I had a "red letter day" (in more ways than one) the reality of "being a woman" consisted of bringing a bucket of Midol, hiding a stash of tampons, going through several roles of toilet paper and praying that the commode didn't overflow.

Tie that into feeling like you have troop of clog dancers on your stomach, and turning into a toxic harpy with raging hormones, and the idea of bleeding and pain rapidly loses any mystique the tampon commercials give it. There is nothing magical about bleeding in the most private of areas. I don't feel a mystic bond with my fellow bleeding sisters around the world, and I have no desire for children.

A few months ago, I was diagnosed with amenorrhea, (the fancy term for a period stopping with no explanation.) I'm in my twenties, and haven't had a period in 8 months, and have never been more content. Thank God that I don't have to deal with the monthly torture any more.

October 2002

"To the 15-year-old girl who said she hasn't started her period yet," [scroll down] is the subject line of this e-mail:

Don't worry, hopefully it will happen. Find out from your female relatives when they started their periods to get an idea of when you will start.

My aunt started about the same time as me. I was 15, it was two months before my 16th birthday, when I started.

I did think before, What was wrong with me, that maybe I would never have periods, but then I thought, Does it matter, Do I REALLY want to have children? No.

Not everybody starts at the average as I was told (don't know how that's worked out) age of 13.

October 2002

"Oh, Hell, YES!"

I'm 21-year-old American. I first got my period when I was 11, and within half a year I had come to absolutely dread it. I bleed VERY heavily for the first three days, and for the first 36 hours have such severe cramps I can barely move. The only way I have so far found to alleviate these cramps is prescription muscle relaxants, i.e., codeine. And even that doesn't make them go away, but simply lessens the pain enough for me to be able to function fairly normally. Every few months the cramps are so bad I truly want to die, just to make the pain stop. When it's one of the ones that is especially bad, the pills don't even do that much, they usually just barely do enough so that I can manage to fall asleep which is the only escape from the cramps I get. I also get ovulation pain in the middle of my cycle [called Mittelschmerz, "middle pain," in German], that is as severe as the period cramps themselves, that I have as yet found NOTHING will relieve.

And even without the pain as an issue, it is horribly inconvenient. For the first few days, I have to change my tampon every two hours or so, which means I have to plan very carefully to make sure I will be near a bathroom when I need to be, and will have what I need. And forget wearing light colors, as they almost invariably end up stained. So I personally look forward very much to the day when there is a widely available and affordable to everyone method for safely preventing menstruation.

October 2002

"Kicking Out the Cardinal," she entitled her e-mail:

The answer: YES! I would stop menstruating permanently yesterday if only I could. I don't like surgery (I recently had a laparoscopic cholecystectomy and it traumatized me), so an immediate hysterectomy is out. I'm also afraid of what medical menopause would do to my 27-year-old self.

I have enormous problems with my menses, and have since age 11 when I started. For years the doctors told me that "I'd grow out of it" but I never have. I also despise people who tell me that my periods will get easier "after you have your first baby," because I don't want children (at all), and neither does my fiance.

My cycles have never been regular. If I'm lucky, my cycle comes approximately once a month, but that sometimes means two periods within 25 days of each other, then a 40-day wait, then two periods within 28 days of each other, then nothing for three months. When my period goes AWOL [absent without leave, an army term] for months at a time, I feel "premenstrual" for most of it.

I have bad cramps that often rate on a pain scale approximately equal to severe gall bladder attacks. I bloat, sometimes about two litres' worth of water retention. My breasts swell and become extremely painful (a curse for my fiance, the self-described "tit man" too!). I get backaches, cramps that can go on intermittently for weeks, "breakthrough bleeding," ovulation pain, migraine, acne, mood swings, and PMS from hell. Worse, my periods weren't even regular during a short stint (about three years) I spent on the Pill, when there was as much as 3-4 days' variation in my cycle. Even worse than that, I get PMS symptoms that "hang" there while my body makes up its mind to menstruate, so I can be bitchy, aggressive, sore, fatigued, bloated, et al, for weeks, sometimes months!

I cannot take the Pill anymore because as far as I know, there is no Pill available in Canada with a low enough dose of hormone for my body that is also not bound with lactose. I am *extremely* lactose intolerant, bordering on allergy (symptoms include all the usual plus skin reactions). One of my doctors intended to write a monograph on this oversight, then died before he could do it.

I am waiting anxiously for the patch or the ring to be approved in Canada, because, when it comes to menstrual relief, half a loaf is way better than no loaf, and I can't decide whether I hate needles or menstruation worse.

Sign me,

Waiting For My Period (for the third week now) In Ontario

October 2002

" . . .synthetic hormones and any kind of modification of our natural system is asking for a class-action civil suit."

I'm an ex-DepoProvera user. I already had irregular periods. I think it is ridiculous to even consider changing this society to a non-menses existence.

First of all, for many for many years I was and am irregular. Now at the age of 30 I am having problems, especially after the use of DepoProvera. Our bodies are made to fertilize, ovulate, reproduce. If the menses is modified the pure, natural state of women can be in danger mentally, physically and emotionally. I now have swollen legs and feet and am in constant pain in the left side of my ovaries and have many symptoms.

We were created in a perfect image and the natural existence of balanced hormones, estrogen, and progesterone is in danger due to synthetic substances altering our systems. It's the same effect as drug users and their addictions. Altering and modifying any kind of hormones, or menses, is asking for trouble. I can go on about all the symptoms many women and I myself have. This is ridiculous. Women are not able to conceive now and are having strokes due to altering, modifying of their self and for what? Convenience and to put money in the pockets of manufacturers who do not tell the truth of the REAL ADVERSE REACTIONS that any kind of birth control has on our systems.

NNNNNNOOOOOOO - it is not healthy, mentally, physically, emotionally and religiously. The only reason birth control came into effect is for greed and to control population. Yes, there are too many people and there should be a solution for birth control, but synthetic hormones and any kind of modification of our natural system is asking for a class-action civil suit.

I was once happy - now I'm the worst I have ever been, unhappy, in pain and depressed. Some women are experiencing suicidal thoughts, paranoia, violence and mood swings. If this does not sound the same as drug users and their mental and chemical imbalance, due to human modification of substances, then what does? Human consumption of manufactured medication is not any different in most cases.

October 2002

It's dangerous to get pregnant while taking depression and bi-polar medication, so what's the point of my menstruating?

I would definitely cease having my period altogether if I had a safe and reliable option to do so.

When I was a teen I cried often that my peers had begun their menses long before me. My period arrived 3 months before I turned 16 in the middle of algebra class.

I had no idea just how bad things would get. As I was already suffering from depression (undiagnosed at the time) the monthly arrival of my "friend" accompanied by severely painful cramps made difficult times even worse. At 17 I began to take Ortho Novum. No one at this point had done many studies regarding the mental effects of the Pill. My depression became worse. My self-esteem hit an all-time low and no one had any idea why. My mother constantly nagged me to "snap out of it." I couldn't.

At college I tried the sponge for about a year but when I became violently ill with toxic shock I decided to switch to a low dose pill. My depression continued. I hovered in and out of suicidal moments, never far from the edge. I drank heavily and experimented with drugs in an effort to escape the constant anguish I carried. Depo-Provera proved to finally be my undoing.

At this point I sought psychiatric help - or I might not even be here to talk about this. "The Shot" brought me to my knees. I could not function. I drove away all but the staunchest of friends with my self-loathing and tears. My therapist suggested that I discontinue the shots. Although my mood improved I was still suffering.

Now I take medications for both depression and bi-polar disorder. My quality of life has improved dramatically. I cannot take these medications if I get pregnant but I can't be sane without them; the hormone fluctuations of pregnancy would send me to an institution. Why then must I continue to suffer these dreaded monthly periods, the bloating, the cramps, the messy, smelly pads (no tampons for toxic shock sufferers) and for what? I will never have children. I can use no form of birth control besides condoms or abstinence. Yes, take my periods please!!!!

38, Essex, Connecticut (U.S.A.)

October 2002

"Besides this skepticism of technology, I also have a deep respect for my monthly cycle."

I'm 21 years old and have had my period now for nine years. I was shocked when I read many of the responses to this question. The fact that so many women want to stop their periods surprises me immensely.

I lived in virtual ignorance of the inner workings of my body until I read [the book] "Our Bodies, Ourselves" three years ago. I was fascinated. Such a beautifully tuned system. I read about how to determine your place in the cycle through cervical mucous and the intricate changes that happen all over the body during the menstrual cycle. I would urge all women to read this book to learn about the complex workings of their bodies.

I have always had an intuitive tendency to believe that science and technology cannot possibly consider all the possible consequences of tampering with natural processes. There are many testimonials to this. Many technologies aimed at convenience have had disastrous side effects unthought of by their scientists. Especially when this technology means tampering with my body I exercise extreme caution.

Besides this skepticism of technology, I also have a deep respect for my monthly cycle. I have learned to listen to my body. When I experience cramps I do not immediately head for the pain killers. I relax and fully experience the feeling in my body and become intimate with the signals. So many women, it seems, are used to ignoring their bodies, thinking of pain as only an inconvenience, not a time to consider resting or a change in diet or exercise. I find that yoga and a vegetarian diet help ease my cramps. I treat myself well during my period and attempt to cut out refined sugar and excess salt. The repercussions of healthy eating help not only cramps, but my quality of life through out the rest of the month.

I was on the Pill for a year and felt a subtle loss. I did not feel fully myself. I couldn't feel the normal changes and my period was not a real period. I felt uncomfortable knowing that my body was not working the way it did normally, the way it was meant to.

I wrote my own testimony in response to the many letters I saw in which women wanted to rid themselves of their periods. I am pro-choice, however; I encourage women, and young girls especially to learn about their bodies. They really are amazing things. They deserve our respect and special consideration. I encourage women to make informed choices about their bodies and to consider the wealth of information available to them. Alternative information and varying opinions on the Pill and on alternatives to conventional pads and tampons are available everywhere. I would encourage women to not take a doctor's pamphlet as gospel. I hope this letter will confirm that there are still many women around who are proud and in awe of the inner workings of their bodies and are not willing to tamper with them for the sake of "convenience." I also hope young girls will research their bodies and become intimate with them instead of simply accepting an "easy" route out. Cheers.

Canada, 21

October 2002

"TAKE MY PERIOD - PLEASE!!!!!!!!!!!"

I started on my 13th birthday. They've never been regular but ranged from 26-36 days lasting 6-8 days. I had the usual bloating, especially my breasts and were they sore! Mood swings, back pain, cramps, etc. A few years after my second baby and concurrent divorce the monthly got really HEAVY - I was going through an ultra-super tampon AND a heavy pad in an hour. The doctor said it was just one of the seven normal changes a woman's cycle goes through. HA! Due to a switch in insurance I was able to go to a ob/gyn (a woman!!) who did a D&C to make sure there were no cancerous cells from buildup and things have been fine since then. However, all that took eight years to figure out. The last couple of years they've gotten weird again, very erratic, and I went on Provera to "regulate" them. BTW, I am back to the original doctor because of job loss and insurance switch. After a while he told me to stop the pills because they had indicated what he needed to know. I was in peri-menopause. That had never occurred to me! I was ONLY 47 - my mom was in her 50s, I believe, when she had it. They are becoming less and less frequent, every few months. In fact, the last one the end of July with one day of spotting and right now (mid-September) I'm having one. third day now but just spotting, really.

Would I have stopped them before if I could? OF COURSE! Am I missing them now? Not really. The mess is gone, the COST (OH, MY GOD, THE COST!!!!!) is gone. Sure, the day the doctor said I was in peri-menopause I cried and felt blue for a few days at the thought of not being able to have any more kids and becoming an old prune. BUT I have two wonderful boys, 11 and 16, am still divorced, so I won't have anymore and have realized WHY would I want to start over with diapers, etc., again anyway. TAKE MY PERIOD - PLEASE!!!!!!!!!!!

47, U.S.A.

September 2002


Well, I first got my period when I was about 11 and I am now 20. Let me just say that for 6 1/2 years it was complete HELL!! I never had normal periods. I would be on them for weeks at a time and then I would skip a month or two. OMG they were HORRID when they did come. I would bleed so heavy that I had to use both tampons and pads plus a panty liner and I would have to change both literally every 15 to 20 minutes. I could not go to school or work. One time my sophomore year in high school I bled through my pad and when I got up out of my seat there was blood on it. Now how humiliating is that. Girls or women should not have to go through that if they don't want to. I bled through my pants at work one time; they were a stone color, so very light colored. That was the day my mom told me I needed to see a doctor. This dumb-ass doctor put me on these pills to shed the lining of my uterus and he told me if they didn't work then I was going to need a D&C (this is when they scrape out the lining of the uterus, often done with abortions but NOT in my case). I was only 17. These pills he put me on made me bleed heavier than I ever had before. They gave me such bad cramps that I couldn't even walk and all I could do was curl up in a ball and cry.

Finally the day came and I had to have the D&C [dilation and curettage] done. Then I was put on birth control pills to regulate my period, which helped tremendously. I only have them for like three days now. For all of you women who are not supposed to be hitting menopause and are not having your periods PLEASE make sure you are seeing a doctor. When you don't have your periods, your blood just backs up in your uterus causing endometriosis (which may cause a hysterectomy) or causing cancer of the uterus. My older sister's friends mother died this past June from cancer.

But in answer to the question would I get rid of my periods and then have it easily start back up again when I want kids? HELL, YEAH! I do want kids, like five or six. But if I could rid of the cramps, bloating, and PMS I would in heart beat. Also, like a week before my period I am so hungry it's like I cannot get enough food to eat and the chocolate cravings - we won't even go there. If I don't have my chocolate around that time of the month I am like a smoker who hasn't had a cigarette. NO JOKE!! It would also be nice to own a nice pair of undies and keep them looking nice. There is nothing nice or cool about periods. They are soooo disgusting, making you feel dirty all day, they smell so bad, and they make you feel run down the whole time you are on it. Well, I guess I have written enough. Cheers!

Ohio, 48

September 2002


"[I]t looked like small animals were exiting my body"

Oh, yes, and did. I was clotting so bad that it looked like small animals were exiting my body. I ruined every set of sheets we owned. Not to mention the clothing. My poor husband was forever being awakened in a pool of blood. Finally, four months ago i had an endometrial ablation and so far, so good. I still have cramps from hell but no bleeding. I am 34 years old and a mother of two children. I am glad that with all that I went through and put my family through that my twelve-year-old daughter who has not started yet is not afraid of it. She is actually looking forward to hers. Poor disillusioned child.

*** in Virginia

September 2002

"Take it from me: it's incredibly liberating to not be bothered with all those 'woman's troubles'!!"

YES, because I already have. I've been on Depo-Provera (injections) since my child was born seven years ago. Since then, I get a medium-to-heavy period that lasts 7-10 days, about ONCE A YEAR (or less)! The rest of the time, no fuss, no muss. ;-) So many people expressed concern about it not being 'healthy' to stop menstruating, so I cornered my OB/GYN and demanded an unbiased answer. She replied that yes, it is safe, because since Depo more or less fools your uterus into a pregnant state, the uterus is not shedding its lining. Hence, no menses to expel. My yearly periods are usually a result of waiting until the last minute to get my shot - my body, while still not fertile, starts up its cycle again. Regarding possible side effects from Depo: I had noticed mood swings, weight gain, and headaches, and, since these are listed as possible side effects, I stopped using it for a year to see if they went away. This was about four years ago. Well, the side effects persisted, even though the Depo was completely out of my system. My conclusion was that the 'side effects' were simply my body and personality, changed from pregnancy. (Remember, I'd been on it since the day my child was born!) Take it from me: it's incredibly liberating to not be bothered with all those 'woman's troubles'!!

September 2002

"I applaud the American medical community. We have the best medical care in the world!"

Regarding the recent posting that said women are being "irresponsible" in the name of "convenience":

I challenge ANYONE to walk a mile in the shoes of someone that suffers HORRIBLY during her period. Each woman has to live her own life and living in America is what FREE choice is all about. NO ONE is going to live my life but me and I have EVERY RIGHT to make my own choices. Don't belittle and mock the pain of someone that suffers. Nothing in this world is perfect. Live long enough, and you'll have some sort of ailment yourself.

Anyone that has ever reached into the medicine cabinet has no call to chastise someone for trying out what the medical field has to offer. Is this the 1800s or what? Don't live your life in paranoia! If Christopher Columbus had listened to the screaming naysayers, we wouldn't have had the birth of this glorious nation. NOTHING in this world is guaranteed. Life is full of risks. You can step out of your house and get attacked. Does that mean you're going to live your life being locked in your house?

I had a discussion with another female about the three-month pill and she gave me the same, "I wouldn't want to mess with my body" comment. That's funny because she's a chain smoker AND a heavy drinker. Gee, I wonder what THOSE are doing to her insides! I applaud the American medical community. We have the best medical care in the world! Medical "experiments" have helped to increase the quality and lifespan of our nation's citizens.

34, American

September 2002

An Australian writes, "Without a second thought."

Dear MUM,

I find it interesting how a large percentage of the "No" replies to your "Would you stop menstruating?" question are teenage females who have only had their periods for a few years at the most. I wonder how they will feel in 10, 20 or 30 years' time - will they still vehemently oppose tampering with their "womanhood"?

I was 14 when I got my period and like most late bloomers I was desperate to start and soooo grateful when it happened, but now at age 29 the attraction is wearing thin. I am one of those unfortunate females who bleeds for NINE days and at least five of those are heavy. I have had a clockwork cycle (every 28 days) since the age of 15 with the only interruption (rest?) being the nine months I was pregnant with my daughter and the 12 months afterwards when she was breast fed.

Add the numbers up and you get:

-Only 19 "bloodless" days per month

-108 (almost a third) of the year bleeding

-1359 days (45 months, 3.7 years) of my life in total spent bleeding - so far

I get ovulation pain for a day in the middle of my cycle. I have awful PMS for the week beforehand. I get crampy and bloated, headaches, I crave sweet things: cakes, donuts, chocolates (bad for my skin and my waistline). I get terribly snappy and teary. I cry for absolutely no reason or the most trivial little things and I am miserable and still crampy for most of the nine days I actually have my period. What all this means is that for 17 days of every month I am a nasty, weepy, hungry, in-pain bitch who can't get into her favourite jeans.

I play "TSS roulette" every month and wear tampons to bed because the alternative of waking up with blood running down my butt crack and finding I am lying in a pool of it is, oddly enough, extremely unappealing. My partner and I have a very healthy sex life but understandably he is not keen on sex while I am bleeding, and during PMS week I'm not interested in him, so for 15 days of the month I am basically "out of commission" and we are two very frustrated people!

I have tried to embrace and "be at one" with my period. I have tried to see it as a blessing of womanhood and viable proof of the miracle of life and nature but in reality I am in fact rather resentful of what I see as an disruption to my normal everyday life.

Would I give all this up? Without a second thought.

September 2002


"To those of you who so rudely are condemning us that no longer want to have our periods, you need to back up and regroup."

Yes, I would definitely stop my monthly cycle.

I am 37 years old, living in Colorado. I have had my cycle since I was 11, and it has always been painful. I used to and still do suffer from extremely bad cramps that use to keep me out of school years ago and now I miss work cause of it. I have had all the children that I intend on having and I love them dearly (ages 16 and 4). I have even asked my doctor if he would help me get a hysterectomy, but of course with no medical problems, he said it was out of the question.

I am sick of having my period. I have it every 2 1/2 weeks. I have terrible PMS the week before and my life and family can't handle this when I am only in good spirits and all one week out of four. Having my period does not make me feel more feminine; by the same token not having would not make me feel any less of a female.

To those of you who so rudely are condemning us that no longer want to have our periods, you need to back up and regroup. That is fine that you want to continue having yours, but let's show a little respect for everyone's opinions. We are all entitled to how we feel and what we think but that is no reason to criticize and condemn others, especially for those like myself who have terrible, painful cycles. My husband and I only get to enjoy making love once or twice in a six-month time frame because I have my cycle every two weeks, and I love my husband so much that if I could put a stop to my cycle I would do it in a heart beat in order to share more of those special, intimate times. If stopping our period isn't hurting anyone than why should any one else care.

September 2002

A Swiss woman e-mails:

I'm turning 40 and I would not stop menstruation if someone would offer me this option.

I had PMS until I started listening to my body and being more careful about what I eat. I also drink a special herbal tea that helps a lot (hyperici herba). BTW: men tell us that we have a hormonal problem every month - hey, for heaven's sake, look at them: they have a testosterone problem all the time!! [!]

I used to have cramps - until someone told me about that muscle going through the lower body. Relaxing the whole lower body released the pressure and after a last "ouch" the cramps were gone. It's inconvenient sometimes. But with today's "tools" we really can't complain anymore. I even go swimming if I feel like it.

I'd been taking the Pill for more than 10 years and I felt like I was cheating myself. After stopping I felt like myself again, really feeling my body. I can tell precisely where I am in a cycle, not because of the date but because of the signals of my body.

Ask a man about the signals of his body: he will only listen if he has a heart attack or prostate problems.

September 2002

"All I ask is that you have the same open-minded attitude toward me and others who don't hold that same view." 

I am a 29-year-old divorced woman, no children. I have been on Depo-Provera for almost five years with no periods. I love it! I wouldn't give up my Depo shot for anything in the world. My periods were always heavy, long (9-10 days of bleeding), and painful. I don't feel like less of a woman because I don't bleed once a month. I understand that future long-term studies of the effects of hormonal control of periods may show negative consequences, but I also feel like I am making an informed decision based on the best information available now.  Everything that we do as individuals has effects, and consequences, both known and unknown. This is no different. I think that women who get offended at the idea of deliberately not menstruating, and angry at those of us that have chosen that path need to chill out and be more accepting of these ideas. I agree that it isn't for everyone, and I applaud the women who feel like it is a necessary and essential part of their being to have a monthly period. Good for you. All I ask is that you have the same open minded attitude toward me and others who don't hold that same view. 

September 2002

"Stopping menstruation?" And birth control: yes!

I'm an 18-year-old from California. Would I stop menstruating if I could? Of course. Would you see me in line for some experimental new drug? No. I don't know these doctors and I'm not about to trust them to pump new untested chemicals into my body that could potentially screw up my entire hormonal system. For all I know this could be a conspiracy by the government to keep the population under control and the ladies who take this drug may never be able to have kids. Not very likely, but it could happen. Myself, I'd rather wait about ten years and see what the side affects of this new drug are. But seriously, the world is over populated and I am steadfast supporter of birth control. All y'all that are saying you don't believe in the Pill are all full of something that comes out of my rear end. There are way too many unwanted children in this world and there are definitely too, too many abortions. You'd better educate your kids about birth control because despite what YOU THINK you know about your kids, in all likeliness THEY WILL become sexually active before they leave high school. By all means, teach them abstinence, but also teach them about safe and protected sex, because humans make mistakes and we are human beings. I am so sick and tired of my friends coming up to me and saying, "I'm so scared, I think I may be pregnant." And I ask them, "Why weren't you on birth control?" and I hate it, I absolutely hate it, when they say, "My parents are Catholic, they don't BELIEVE in birth control." Of course, according to the Catholic religion, the child should not have been having pre-marital sex in the first place, but here's the thing: despite what you teach them, your teenagers will have sex. I cry and cry and cry when I hear girls say, "I need to have an abortion," or yet, the dreaded worst statement, "I need to have another abortion." I cry because I am very pro-life and all these abortions could have been prevented if they had been better educated about birth control. If you can't remember the Pill, there are shots you can take every month or more. If you can't afford birth control, there are some places that offer it for free - try to find a local "Planned Parenthood." And remember, condoms don't always work but should always be used even with birth control to prevent sexually transmitted diseases, especially if you have more than one partner. And remember, people, a lot of young teenagers visit this MUM site, so don't go selling your "I don't believe humans should take birth control" BS [bull shit] here.

August 2002

"Stop the bleeding now"

I am 37, mother of three boys, and began menstruating when I was 11. It took me years to accept the fact that I was getting a new, but not better, body. I spent the next six years, until I was 17, very depressed. And a big factor in my depression, I think, was my period. It was extremely irregular, and the cramping was terrible (Midol did not take away the pain and in fact made my heart race, a most uncomfortable feeling!). I went on the Pill at 21, and stopped after three years because I was married and ready to have kids. Being on the Pill was great for me, no side effects and just three days of light bleeding, no cramps. After my second kid, I started to bleed heavily, lots of clots, which the doctors all said was normal. I nursed my third kid for 20 months, so between pregnancy and nursing spent over two years without a regular period and it was FANTASTIC. I am done with having kids, but do not like the idea of chemical or surgical means of ending this burden - I do not trust the surgeons or pharmaceutical companies to have my best interests at heart. So, here I am, with the time between periods getting shorter (24 to 26 days rather than the old 27 to 28), lots of clots and blood (oh, goody), just waiting for menopause to start. BRING IT ON! After menopause I will be free from this burden.

August 2002

"Proud to be a woman," is the title of this e-mail:

Hell, no, I wouldn't artificially stop my periods! I wouldn't cut off my boobs either, even though I no longer nurse my son and bras sometimes dig into my shoulders! Ladies! Get real! What's next? Will a man discover how to stop us from needing to use the toilet altogether?

See a doctor if your periods are difficult, practice basic hygiene, and stop hating a very important and wonderful part of being a woman!

All American Woman

August 2002

"Yeah, Baby, Noooooooo More Menstruating," is the subject line of the e-mail:

Yes Yes Yes Yes. I would be one of the happiest and stressless women in the world if I would never have another period. I have just finished having a second laparoscopy to see what could be causing my heavy and very painful periods. I have no endometriosis or any ovarian cyst. I have a small fibroid which has been sitting there for years which had not grown at all. Over the years my symptoms have become so bad to the point that I walk around with the pain all the time now. 

I have had a second opinion on my problem and both doctors gave the same diagnosis....Menorrhagia. A problem I am told I will have to live with until menopause. So, yes, if I could have no more periods without having an hysterectomy I WOULD BE OVER-JOYED! 

For all of you women who think women like me are crazy.....I beg you to walk in my shoes for a whole year.  I say a year because if you only wore my shoes for one or two months you would to soon forget what I have to deal with all year around. You are the same women who have a period cycle that last for only 3 days.  Every month when it gets near to my period to start I start to panic because I don't know exactly what type of hell I will be experiencing that month. Well try going for 7 to 9 days and at that some months twice which means I bleed for 14 days or more some months. You try living a stress-free life around that and then tell me how you feel about my shoes. I am 35 years old; my cycle started when I was 11 years old. I SAY ENOUGH WITH ALL THE SUFFERING AND STRESS.

August 2002

"This whole discussion is pathetic. . . . Scientists are doing their jobs: experimenting. You are the one betting your life on it."

I am 30 years old, Brazilian and furious with the absurdities that are done in the name of science.

This whole discussion is pathetic. It amazes me how thick skinned and irresponsible some women can be nowadays in the name of convenience. Have you not learned yet that all the quick fixes of modern age and technologies do not do what they set out to do? After 150 years of blind faith in technology and its answer to all evils and inconvenience of the world we can safely come to the conclusion that scientists and medicine do not have all the answers to the human body or life for that matter. It is about time we started taking responsibility for our health and actions and stop leaving it to doctors and scientists to do that job for us. Years down the line we will watch a lot of these women who manage to survive this absurd experiment going to court against their consultants, drug companies, etc., with the argument that "I was led to believe it was good for me and there was no risk of harm to my health, bla, bla, bla." Just bloody think for yourself and take responsibility for your actions, for Christ's sake! How can anyone in a sane state of mind possibly believe that you can mess about with your body to the extent that you can say that menstruating is not natural?!!! So, what is natural? Taking synthetic hormones every day of your life certainly does not sound natural to me! There are natural ways to control PMS symptoms, but that involves too much hassle such as eating healthy, exercising, taking herbal supplements with the help of a professional, of course, and a range of complementary therapies that have been proved to help with women's issues. But why bother when you can just swallow some magic pill, quick and easy, and go back to eating junk and sitting on the sofa with your range of remote controls?

Women are very quick to believe what they want to believe because it suits them. The same scientific community that is now claiming menstruating is abnormal and bad for you was the one which was certain that you do not need a womb or ovaries and life is much better without them. Now they are saying a lot of the hysterectomies they performed were unnecessary and are many women are having to cope with the complications of this irrevertable body mutilation, with symptoms and chronic diseases that are much worse then the PMS they were complaining about. Furthermore, the growing complaints about the consequences of hormone replacement therapy, which has been prescribed left, right and centre to women who are very well, thank you very much, just because they are reaching the menopause, are a living proof that scientists are very far from understanding how the body really works and the importance and role of hormones in the body. They have no clue! They cannot explain, treat or cure problems such as endometriosis, policystic ovary syndrome or the dreaded PMS symptoms, so what makes you think that they know what they are saying when they say that taking continuous contraceptive pills is good for you and menstruating is wrong!!!? Medicine has been busy trying to cover up symptoms and have put very little effort in trying to get to the root of the problem of most diseases. If you want to fool yourself that all is fine because you do not menstruate or suffer from its symptoms it is all very well. But be aware that you have to face the consequences when they come to haunt you in the future. And you will have nobody to blame but yourself! You have chosen to take part in an experiment. The results can only be unpredictable, so don't come back crying "Poor me!" in the future. Scientists are doing their jobs: experimenting. You are the one betting your life on it.

August 2002

"For those of you on the Pill, please remember there are different varieties and that skipping the fourth week of sugar pills doesn't always work."

Remember to consult your doctor!

For those of you on the Pill, please remember there are different varieties and that skipping the fourth week of sugar pills doesn't always work. Ask your doctor. Always ask your doctor.

For example, if you are using Ortho-cyclen (the variety where the first 21 pills have equal doses), you can skip the last week, start a new pack and "skip" your period. HOWEVER, if you are using Ortho Tri-Cyclen (the variety where the doses vary for the first three weeks, shaded by different blue colors), skipping the sugar pills will only lead to prolonged bleeding and spotting. Each kind will be different.

And, yes, I plan to take a hiatus from menstruation once more research is conducted with the Depo shot and I overcome my fear of needles. I don't need to bleed to be a woman.


21-year-old student from Virginia

August 2002

"I am 15 and still haven't gotten my period and I cry every single day because I haven't gotten it yet."

I'm sitting here reading some of these things wondering where people's heads are these days. I'm crying at some of these e-mails! Most of the people who say that they are happy to have their periods and don't want to give them up - I think you are awesome! The other ones, who complain, need to shut up and get over it! It's part of life and I think it is a wonder thing. One person said it's a disgusting thing - it's not, it's cool! It's what makes you a woman and better than men, because you can have children. I am beginning to think that something is wrong with me because I haven't gotten it yet! Every one of my friends has it, but not me. I feel left out. and alone. Please people, be thankful for your periods and your "youth." Peace

August 2002

Australian: ". . . [F]or the last two years or so I have been skipping the sugar pills and haven't had a period for all that time!"

I have had my period since I was 10, now I am 24, in Sydney, Australia. I have been on the Pill for about five years, but for the last two years or so I have been skipping the sugar pills and haven't had a period for all that time! It's wonderful, they were such a pain in the neck! I used to get painful cramps the day before they would start, and have mood swings and major water retention.

I found your Web site while searching for information on Depo-Provera and Implanon. I am tired of taking the Pill every day - occasionally I forget, and I don't know if there is any medical proof that it is safe to do so, because I do want to have kids at some stage in my life.

Thanks for the informative Web site.

Kind regards,

August 2002

Norwegian: "It's reeeely bad."

Yes!!!!!!!! I would stop my period if I could!!!

I'm 25 and from Norway. I had my first period when I was 14, and from the first moment I had very bad cramps, threw up, had diarrhea and fever. It's worst the first day. I take naproxen for the pain, it helps but it's still there.

On my first day I can't work, and if I get it at work, I have to go home.

It's reeeely bad.

I can't do anything!



Thank you for working with it.

August 2002

Vegetarian writes about her easy cycles and menopause

I am 46 and have just recently stopped having my period due to menopause. I am one of the few women whose periods never were a problem. No cramps, no mood swings, just three days of bleeding every 24 days. I used maroon-colored washable cotton pads. Getting my period, I felt whole and feminine, knowing that my body functioned perfectly. I have never been pregnant and I don't regret my decision not to have children. I admit that I like menopause, and I have no symptoms other than no bleeding. I take no hormones nor have I ever used birth control pills. I want to add that being a long-term vegetarian who takes supplements has caused me, in my opinion, to have easy menstrual cycles and good health in general.

August 2002

"I am proud to be a woman and I am proud of the fact that I am an emotional wreck for a quarter of the year!"

I am 22 years old and started my period just after I turned 11. As far as I was aware I was the first of my friends so I was quite scared but the excited look on my mum's and dad's faces and the fact that my whole extended family knew by the end of the day made me think it was something to be proud of.

I admit that I often dread the day I am due as I know it usually means a morning in bed unable to move. It also usually follows a week of crying at everything I see on TV. BUT the fact that women are able to bear children, carry a small PERSON inside them is just amazing. I am not planning to have children any time soon but I would do anything just to give me that chance in the future.

I have recently been reading about equality of the sexes, something that fascinates me as I get older. I believe that all the ways I am different from other people are characteristics I should celebrate. The fundamental difference between men and women stems from the significance of our periods.

I am proud to be who I am. I am proud to be a woman and I am proud of the fact that I am an emotional wreck for a quarter of the year! At least I can identify with all the other women who feel the same, despite what cynics (men) say, there is a bond there. I have never put great spiritual significance on my monthly bleeding but I can easily understand those who do, it takes up such a significant amount of a woman's life that it is inevitable people will think about it, or spend hours reading web sites on the subject!!

Perhaps in 30 years I will have a different view, it is very likely, although it is also likely that medication will have advanced to a stage where I don't have to think about menstruating at all. I apologise to my body now for any effects I may suffer from being on the pill in my 20s and I leave you with the eternal question, how much more time and money would be spent on oral contraceptives/ sanitary wear if it were men who had periods?

August 2002

"Stop my periods? HELL, YES, and I DID" she entitles her e-mail

I was looking around the Web for sites on "first periods" because my daughter who will be 10 this Friday is starting to change into a young woman: starting to develop breasts, pimples, etc., so I know her period is soon to come - I was almost 17 before I started mine and was hoping she would or will be the same. I had severe cramps, heavy periods and after the birth of my daughter my periods lasted 10 to 40 days at a time. NO KIDDING - my last period was 16 weeks long. That was the last one before I had a total radical hysterectomy at age 23 - and I LOVE IT. I wear a villve [?] hormone patch for my estrogen replacement and don't have to take any progesterone so all the new studies on HTR don't apply - I love it. I don't have to worry about what I wear, when to go on vacation, etc., and my husband loves it too =). I don't know why after we are done with child bearing we have to put up with the mess, and hassle. So to all you women out there who want to be done with it, I hope you get your wish. I love the fact I can wear white pants all month long, I don't have stained undies, sheets, mess in my bathroom, etc.

Loving life in Washington (30 years old)

August 2002

"Yes: IN A HEART BEAT!!!!"

I am a 22-year-old student, and I think it would be great! I would love to experiment with Seasonale or even have a hysterectomy! I don't think it's fair that every women is forced to deal with bloating, cramps, back pain, headaches, and the list goes on. I think that it should be an option, especially for someone who like me, who doesn't EVER want kids! College students need all the money they can get! Do you know how much money I could save if I didn't have to by pads, tampons, Midol, panty liners, douche, and the most expensive thing: YEAST CREAMS! I could probably go on a shopping spree every month!

August 2002

"God did it backwards: you should have to take a pill to start your period in order to get pregnant"

Would I stop menstruating if I could? YES!! I've always maintained that God did it backwards.: you should have to take a pill to start your period in order to get pregnant. I've had my period for 30 years, started when I was 13. It was awful. 9 day periods with cramping so intense I could barely walk. Thankfully (?) that only lasted about 2 years. When I became an adult my ovaries decided to alert me once month when they were producing their eggs and I would get a sharp pain in their general vicinity. Now that I'm closing in on "middle age" (am I there yet?) the fun has increased. I still cramp plus I bloat so much I look like I'm about 4 months pregnant and even though I count faithfully every month, the blessed event never arrives when it's expected. Fun, fun, fun.

My oldest daughter, poor thing, started her period when she was 11. Lucky for her she has an adult half-sister who celebrated the joys of menstruation with her. All I could do was say "sorry honey."

August 2002

"Why should we endure this unwanted pain"

I am twenty-six years old, and I have been having cycles since I was ten years old. For ten years out of those fifteen, I actually have to deal with cramps that last three days out of my six. They only got better when I finally gave birth to my daughter at twenty-one. Birth control pills DID NOT work for me; as a matter of fact, they gave me an allergic reaction!!! I am content with my one child and I do not plan to have any more kids. Why should we endure this unwanted pain, and I do mean PAIN, cause cramps are nothing to play with. Good luck to the rest of the women and if they do come up with anything that stops this madness, send it to the SOUTH!!!!!!!!

August 2002

"Currently, my period comes whenever it decides to - once every two months or so and that doesn't bother me at all."

I am soon to be 37 years old and would gladly stop menstruating. Except when I was taking the Pill, my period has been nothing but trouble for me. Currently, my period comes whenever it decides to - once every two months or so and that doesn't bother me at all. I'm actually happy. At one time, I was disturbed by the changes that my body was going through, but now, I rejoice. I almost forget that I'm "supposed" to have a period.

August 2002

"There's nothing like getting up in the morning and finding a surprise in your underpants"

There's nothing like getting up in the morning and finding a surprise in your underpants every month; so I would do anything to stop that annoying monthly cycle. The cramps and the other effects can put a damper on my day. Plus, I oppose the use of tampons because of TSS, so those pads could be a pain in the @$$! Around that time frame, I feel depressed and empty because of the hormone levels dropping and it pisses me off. Right now I'm on it and I'm so stressed out.

August 2002

"I wouldn't stop it, because, well, let's face it, what else would we have to talk about?"

Well, as far as periods are concerned, I think everyone has their own opinion, and as we know, everyone is different.

From I got my first period, It was heavy from the start to the finish, and I mean abnormally heavy, but strangely enough I rarely suffered cramps, but PMT [premenstrual tension] doesn't last long, only roughly all month.

If people want to get rid of their periods, fine. Personally I wouldn't get rid of it, I would just have it less, like once a year or once every six months.

I wouldn't stop it, because, well let's face it, what else would we have to talk about?

This debate wouldn't be going if we didn't have it. So let's not abolish it, just cut down. Like smoking.

July 2002

"ABSOLUTELY!" writes a woman from Pittsburgh

I told my mom when I first started that I "wanted to go to the doctor and have him stop this." I'm 48, have no children of my own. Because of high blood pressure, I can't take the Pill to help me control my periods. A one-day period wouldn't be that bad. I'm sick of it.

Thanks for asking!

July 2002

She wants to stop, but "I don't know if I trust medical science enough to give the whole picture . . . ," writes a New Zealander.

I am 43 years old, had my period since I was 10 and I'm tired of the hassle each month. The thought of having a period till I'm who knows how old drives me nuts. My mother died when she was 36, my two older sisters have both had hysterectomies in their early 40's (doesn't bode well for me does it??), so I have no one's menopausal experience to draw on. If I could stop my periods without side effects I would. I don't know if I trust medical science enough to give the whole picture though. I am married and don't have any children, have never wanted any so why the periods??? I've felt like this for a long, long time and have given it a lot of thought. I hate feeling as though some one else has taken over my body each month and have tried various vitamins etc over the years with very limited success. The only thing that bothers me about it is having to put something unnatural into my body, but then again we do that every day, don't we? If this pill is ever released in the US, it would probably take forever to be released in NZ anyway!

On the other hand, we live in a throw away society and is this a reflection of that mentality?

July 2002

A German writes, "For several years I had my period once a year - and I hated it. More and more I felt less female."


First of all I must tell you that I find your Web site amazing. It's only by accident that I came across it.

Being a female the question above certainly has come into my mind once in a while. Especially when one is experiencing period pain, menstruation can be a nuisance. I am German, 34 years old, no kids.

Contrary to many women it happened to me that my period stopped for some time due to a tumor on my pituitary gland. For several years I had my period once a year - and I hated it. More and more I felt less female. After therapy everything is back to normal. Period pain and PMS can get on my nerves, but they are part of me. I feel in unity with my body. Another thing I discovered is that sex during menstruation is even better. This is probably something a lot of American women find disgusting, but German women are more relaxed in this matter.

By the way, more euphemisms in German for having once period would be [see the Grand List here]:

- seine Geschichte haben ["to have one's story," as in "I'm having my story."]

- es ist wieder rote Woche ["It's red week again."]

Thanks again for a great site.

All the best from Hamburg, Germany

July 2002

"My thanks to you other women who have spoken out about your horrible circumstances. I felt that I had absolutely NO ONE that I could talk to . . . ."

First, my hat's off to you women who enjoy your monthly "reminder" that you're a woman. It would be a BLESSING for me to feel as you do, but since I never have and never will . . .

. . . I will be in line for Seasonale. I don't need a monthly reminder that I can have children. That's all it is, folks. Each month, your body is expecting you to get pregnant. What female in her right mind would WANT to have a child at the age of 12 or even 50 for that matter????? We get 450 menstruations a lifetime? What woman wants THAT many children?? Also, people saying "it makes a woman a woman" are totally offending women who were born with defects that will NOT ALLOW them to menstruate. Are these people being ousted from the female gender because there's no blood on their panties???

All women can be guaranteed that if men were undergoing monthly bleeding for whatever cause, a "CURE" would have been found moons ago. Blood in almost ANY situation is smelly and gross, and unless you're a vampire, you really don't want it collecting all over you. Free me so that I can have regular emotions; so that I can live without MONTHLY pain and discomfort; so that I can make plans with loved ones IN ADVANCE FOR ONCE IN MY LIFE!!!!

My thanks to you other women who have spoken out about your horrible circumstances. I felt that I had absolutely NO ONE that I could talk to; no one could seem to understand what the heck I was going through, including my FEMALE doctor!!! There seems to be a lot of "well, I had to endure it, so you have to, too." Yeah, so I guess that also since my parents had to walk 10 miles to school back in the 50's, I should do the same thing today. NOT!!!!! Let's advance medicine and move forward, ladies!

34, American

July 2002

"I could be having a period-free life and I ruined it!"

When I had my last child four years ago, I almost died. There was damage to my uterus, severe scarring and they told me I'd never have another period. If I wanted another child, I'd have to have surgery, sort of a D&C. I had the surgery. I AM SUCH AN IDIOT!! I thought I wanted another child, but I have two already and after the second one was a year or so old, I decided I didn't want to do it again. I could be having a period-free life and I ruined it! That was the dumbest decision I have ever made in my entire life! I would never again have to worry about birth control either. If I go back and change one thing in my life, that would be it.

July 2002

Yes: "Thought I would be finished with menopause by age 50, but looks like maybe 60 or beyond."

In a nutshell, yes.

Details: 53 years old (onset age 11), still like clockwork every 28 days. Thought I would be finished with menopause by age 50, but looks like maybe 60 or beyond.

Tired of the mess, the moods, being chained to the cyclical changes. Want to be done with bleeding in particular.

I'm from U.S. mid-Atlantic region. Two abortions, one illegal, one legal. Used every form of contraception (condoms, foam, diaphragm, pills, IUD); several early miscarriages when trying to get pregnant in late 20s, early 30s; one full-term pregnancy resulting in healthy child at age 32. No birth control or other hormones (other than eating meat [!]) for more than twenty years.

Prophylactic hysterectomy is looking better & better. . . .

July 2002


I would SOOO love to stop having my period and I have tried to without success!

I am a Caucasian 32-year-old woman living in the U.S.A., mother of three girls (twins when I was 21, a miscarriage at 25, and a singleton [a single baby no womb-mate ;-D] when I was 26).

I started having periods when I was only nine years old. I hate them. I have been given a horribly short cycle with long bleeds. What does this mean? I have 24 day cycles and bleed for six days heavily. It's so unfair. If you do the math, that means I only have 18 days at best between bleeds compared to normal women who have at least 23 days. Over the course of a lifetime I have to deal with my periods a lot more then them. AND when I look even closer it gets worse - during the 18 days I have between my periods I spend at least a week dealing with the pre-stuff and I really never feel right (physically or emotionally) until about three days after my periods, so I really only get about eight days a month that I feel OK (able to participate in life).


I recently tried taking birth control pills continuously to stop my periods even though I have had my tubes tied for a number of years after the birth of my last child. I took only the three weeks of pills and started a new pack and not taking the sugar pills. After several rounds on the pill my periods were still coming.

Not to mention the fact that in our present industrialized and civilized day and age, we have to use these pads that are costly and totally uncomfortable. I can't sleep with them on and I bleed so heavily a tampon is useless in my case. So I lose sleep and ruin underwear a lot. By day five I can't take it anymore and I just wear my stained underwear and ruin the sheets. Also, as I get older the whole mess has a horrible odor that gets worse as time goes on and I get older.

I actually would love to have a total hysterectomy NOW but fear the side effects and other problems that will result as well as the possible complications. If there was a safe and effective way to stop my periods for good I would do it in a heartbeat, and if it already exists I CAN'T WAIT TO DO IT !

(July 2002)

"Stop menstruating? NO WAY!! The party has officially started."

I'm 13 years old and have had my period since I was 10. For a long time, I was the only person my age who had it (or at least no one talked about it). I once read that getting your period early is like arriving at a party early; you know it's going to be cool but its a little weird at first because you're pretty much alone. Well, that's exactly how I felt. There wasn't anyone my age to talk about cramps, heavy periods, and leakage. This year, everything changed.

All of a sudden, everyone got their periods. We started telling stories, making up codes, and most important of all, made a pact that we would look out for each other when it was that time of the month. It's really been great. I know that if I need a tampon, I can count on one of my friends for one, or if I'm having a heavy day all I have to do is tell someone and they'll watch out for me. The party has officially started.

Maybe the whole party analogy isn't appropriate. Periods can be a pain in the butt (or the uterus, as it be). However, it is one thing that ties all women together in a sacred and special way. Men simply don't have that with each other. [We have football.] I think that having this will always make me feel connected with other girls, and that makes it worth the pain. Also, having my period makes me fertile, and the ability to have babies is (in my opinion) the best part about being a woman. Menstruation is just one unique and special part of a large system that allows mankind to continue existing. Women's bodies are truly amazing things, and I consider myself lucky to be a girl. I intend to keep on partying.

July 2002


Hi. My name is ******, I'm 15 and I think that the idea of stopping menstruation is absolutely great. I would love more than anything to stop it. I just wondered if you actually have been able to produce this product Seasonale, I think it is called. I want so much to stop my periods even for just a few months, or as long as I can. That is just great. If you could e-mail me back with this information I would be very grateful.

[Barr Laboratories is working on getting Seasonale approved - I have no connection to it!]

June 2002

"Why must we endure this useless bodily function beyond childbearing years??"

I'm 43, have had one daughter, and am done with childbearing, so what's the POINT? Why must we endure this useless bodily function beyond childbearing years?? Why must it begin as early in a girl's life as it does anyway? Think of all the teen pregnancies that MIGHT be prevented, although I have heard of teens who got pregnant before they ever had a period. Someone correct me if I'm off regarding my theory.

I have given up on buying any color of underwear but BLACK (and nothing annoys me MORE when shopping for black underwear than to find ones where the crotch panel is WHITE -- whose idea of a joke is THIS?? Couldn't have been a woman's.) I don't have particularly painful periods, it's just a nuisance to have to keep track of how long since you put that last tampon in and making sure you don't exceed the time limit and end up having to change your pants. Who needs the hassle every month??

And as for you who want to be in tune with your body or whatever positive feeling you get from providing the tampon manufacturers a steady (30 - 40 year) income, by all means enjoy it (and learn the words to "I Enjoy Being A Girl" so you can sing it every month when you start). I can understand the younger girls' excitement about this. I was excited when it happened to me at 13, but the excitement kinda wears off after 30 years, and you have no plans for future pregnancies. I don't want a pill that gives me periods every three or four months -- I'd probably be even more annoyed keeping track of which month it's supposed to hit. I am done with having kids. I am ready for this nuisance to end for good so I don't have to worry about what color underwear and pants to wear depending on the time of the month.

There might be even be an increase in women donating blood if they didn't have to be worried about being unable because their iron's too low. I've flunked the iron test quite a few times because of this, but I HAVE donated five gallons in the 16 or so years I've been donating, but by now, it could have been six gallons if it weren't for extenuating circumstances.

I don't know if there are benefits to hanging onto your uterus and its associated plumbing, so I'm not sure if a hysterectomy is the right answer, but it's tempting, especially when you don't know how many more years lie ahead until menopause. If I were having some of the debilitating problems some women mentioned, I would definitely opt for the hysterectomy, with my doctor's advice, of course. I may bring it up during my next visit, anyway.

This is the 21st century. They've solved problems with infertility. There are treatments that allow women to have more regular periods. Why can't we put an end to a bodily function for those whom it no longer serves a useful purpose?

June 2002


I'm a 13-year-old from New York, and I say NEVER.

In my personal opinion, a lot of you people who want to get rid of your periods are out of your minds. I understand that you think it's a pain and everything. And that someone thought that getting rid of your period would get rid of the baby overpopulation. But, in fact, if you thought about it, it could very well possibly make too much of a decrease in the population. I know I'm not as old as most of you responding, but I've had my period for four years. (Yes, I know, I'm an early bloomer.) And plus, how do you really know if those friggin' medical studies are really accurate? My friend went on birth control pills for five years. She's now 27 and is not able to have children anymore. They said that birth control pills "can give you back your period whenever you want it." Um, I may be 13, but I'm not stupid. My friend took those stupid pills and now she hasn't gotten her period in two years. That is one of the dangers of birth control pills. Don't get me wrong, I hate periods, a LOT! I guess I'm lucky cuz I never get PMS, cramps, or anything like that. I think it's fine for you old women who give up your periods, cuz you won't have any more kids. But for the young people, would you ever want to have kids? Imagine if you couldn't adopt cuz there'd be no kids to adopt, and that you took those pills and now you can't have your period, wouldn't you be upset? And if you think you wouldn't want to have kids now, think about later. When your mind isn't so narrow. Do you want to end up a lonely old woman with no family? When I was five years old I dreamed of being an old grandmother with my grandchildren playing around me, as I did around my grandmother. But ending up a lonely old sex-driven hag certainly isn't appetizing, is it? Cuz most women on birth controls hide behind the reason of "getting rid of painful cramps and shit." But the real reason that a lot of women use birth control pills is so that they can have tons of sex without using a condom or getting pregnant. And usually they just do it with people that they don't know, and could have an STD. So either way, if you use pills, you still gotta use a condom cuz you could get an STD if you don't. So wutz the big deal about the pills? Take Midol. God made us the way we are. And we gotta deal with it. God made us strong enough to deal with it. And for those of you who don't deal wit it, guess wut? THERE'S A PILL TO STOP THE CRAMPS AND SHIT - AND IT AIN'T BIRTH CONTROL - IT'S CALLED MIDOL, PEOPLE. IF YOU CAN'T DEAL WITH A PERIOD THEN GET AN OPERATION AND BECOME A MAN.

from Hicksville, Long Island, New York

June 2002

"If it wouldn't completely mess up my hormones, I would prefer to have a hysterectomy now"

I would stop having my period if I could. It is so infrequent and irregular now that I can never be sure when it will come. I hate when it catches me unawares. And I hate cramping and being irritable and messing up my clothes and bed sheets. For once I would like a white pair of panties to stay white! I plan to adopt a child because I am adverse to the whole pain-of-birth thing, so I wouldn't care if not having a period was a permanent, irreversible procedure. If it wouldn't completely mess up my hormones, I would prefer to have a hysterectomy now and I not have to worry about period or child either one. I don't need to bleed or be able to have children to feel like a woman. I still physically look like a woman and think like a woman, therefore I must be a woman. What my body does is a minor detail. I support the choice of other women to continue having their periods--if it doesn't bother them, more power to them--but I am bothered by my period and would prefer to not have it and would like doctors and society to support my choice to not have it.


22 years


June 2002

Yes, I would give it up. In fact, I did!

I'm a 30-year-old single mother of two children and I'm from Texas. I'm on Depo-Provera, every three months I get a shot and my period is gone. I think to myself, Why should I suffer with a period? I used to get horrid cramps, bleed heavy, sick to my stomach, etc. I had all the symptoms. I felt i lived off of Motrin and snuggled with a heating pad all the time. I envied people who would bleed only for three days; my period was always at least seven days. Now I don't have to worry about any of it anymore and it's great!

There were days where I would have to change my pad constantly, feeling like I was going to bleed to death, knowing that I really wasn't going to die though. It was hard to work a 12-hour job as a nurse and constantly have to worry about if I had time to go to the bathroom to change my pad. There were even days I'd have to hurry home to change my clothes and hurry back to work, it was so embarrassing. I never knew when my period was going to hit me. I was always irregular. Even when I was on the Pill, it still would show up whenever it wanted to.

Now i have no need to worry. I do get the mood swings, but that is so much easier to handle than the bleeding, etc. With the mood swings, vitamins help really well. I feel that with no period, I can do many more activities with my boys, also. We can go swimming at any time, camping, canoeing, etc. And i don't have to worry about Oh, my Lord, my period! What am I going to do! I used to cancel many trips with my children due to it - now I have no need to worry and can enjoy my time with them.

June 2002

"Good-bye, old friend."

I live in California. I am 48 years old and have been menstruating since I was 13. I've been pregnant once; I had no periods for 16 months during the pregnancy and nursing. That's 35 years worth of monthly periods, regular as clockwork (more or less) and they haven't slowed down. My mother menstruated into her 50's (not uncommon) and claimed to be "the oldest woman alive who is still having a period." There's no reason why I shouldn't go on menstruating for years to come.

However, as I type this, I am menstruating for the very last time. Due to uterine fibroids, I'm scheduled for a partial hysterectomy in 11 days (keeping the cervix and ovaries). I won't miss the symptoms that are prompting the surgery: severe anemia due to heavy menstrual bleeding, pain and discomfort due to an enlarged uterus (size of a 5 month pregnancy), disruptions in elimination, and fatigue. I've never hated my period, but I won't miss the mess and slight (to me) inconvenience.

Still, I find myself rather sad as I say good-bye to a steadfast and constant companion, a reminder, for decades, of the amazing ability to produce a new life out of my own body. My period has always been a symbol of womanhood to me, but it certainly does not define womanhood. If I could, I'd let nature takes its course and continue into menopause, completing the grand cycle: menarche, childbearing, menopause - like the three faces of the goddess: maiden, mother, crone.

Good-bye, old friend.

June 2002

"Absolutely YES."

That's a no-brainer. In my twenties a suffered (not!!) from sports amenorrhea for a year - I was loving life, until I told my doctor, who freaked and put me birth control pills to regulate me. I'm 38 and would stop it in a heartbeat if I could. American

June 2002

"Absolutely . . . "

I'm 30 years old, American, and had my first period at 12. Almost immediately, I started having it every two weeks, lasting a week, and requiring 1-2 super-plus tampons with an ultra pad every 3 hours. I was passing out on a regular basis, suffered severe pain, and my grades suffered. I was also experiencing near-constant migraines, and what has now been classified as PMDD, entailing severe mood swings, depression, suicidal behavior and acts, self-mutilation, violence towards others, etc. I was put on the pill at 15 and haven't been off it since. I have my monthly migraine, and what has now calmed down to a generalized anxiety disorder treated with low grade Buspar flares up into insomnia and a couple of panic attacks. I've slowly been easing my doctor into the concept of stopping menstruation, and I've almost got him there.

I've become used to my period and have never been disgusted by it or ashamed of it, but neither do I celebrate it or get all hippy and weepy about how it makes me a woman. XX chromosomes and growing past adolescence make me a woman. Everything else is just adornment on the cake. If I do stop, I can still ease back in to the flow, have a kid, then stop again. Not scaring my child on a monthly basis is probably a good thing, anyway.

June 2002

"I find menstruating a messy nuisance."

I'm a 21-year-old woman living in Montana. And if I had the choice, I would definitely decide to not have to menstruate. I've been having my period for 6 years now and I'm currently on the pill. Before I started the pill, I had very strong, frequent cramps throughout my 7-day period. In school, I constantly ran to the bathroom to make sure I hadn't bled over my pad and onto my pants because I was terrified someone would see and I'd be the school joke.

Now that I'm married, I find menstruating a messy nuisance. I won't use tampons because they're uncomfortable, so I'm stuck with pads that are uncomfortable in a different way. My husband refuses to have sex with me when I'm menstruating because it's gross and I hate that there's a limitation of when we can be physical during a month, especially as newlyweds. We don't want kids, but I don't want to get a hysterectomy because my mother did and she's been on so many hormones it's confusing.

In any case, it grosses me out that I bleed. I don't enjoy having a period in any way (except maybe as a sign that I'm still not pregnant) and I seriously wish I could stop bleeding every month.

June 2002

"Heck, yes!!!"the New Zealander titles her e-mail

I started my periods when I was nine! That was bad enough, but even now at the age of 36, and after four children, and after a tubal ligation (four caesareans was a plenitude, thank you), I still get my period every three and a half weeks. Rock steady, set your watch by me. My husband can always tell when I'm about to start, even without looking at the calendar.

1) Mood swings, Dr. Jeckyl and Mrs. Hyde anyone?

2) I lose my sense of taste and can't cook properly.

3) I develop a body odor, something I don't have the other three weeks.

4) I bloat like a blowfish.

5) Justifiable Homicide Day, where even my employers have to let me stay home, or I'll decimate the work force.

Wouldn't you like to get rid of the dang thing?!

June 2002

"[H]ow can you hate something that's so natural?"

I kind of hate periods but I'd never want to get rid of them. It happens to every girl and it's something we can vent about. I think birth control is stupid. Whoever made humans made them this way and I don't think there's anything wrong with it. We're made to be horny and to have sex to make kids, so I say that if someone wants to have sex for pleasure, they should be taking the chances of a child with it, because that's what sex is for. I don't have a problem with menstruation, although it is a bit sloppy and gross, but hey, how can you hate something that's so natural?

By the way, I'm fifteen, in case you were wondering.

June 2002

"I'm at peace with my periods."

Why is it that so many curse their periods when other women cry because they don't have any? I feel that menstruation is something that can be good and bad depending on one's attitude. I will have had my period for three years as of this month. I will soon be fifteen years old. I suppose I got off lucky with a 28-35 day cycle (such a cycle is wonderful when it comes to planning - not) and four days of bleeding. However I still suffer from light headedness and extreme cravings for anything salty. But I know that my period could be far worse if not my healthy diet (okay, maybe a mostly healthy diet) which I supplement with running and rock climbing. I used to hate my periods and curse them as if they were going to kill me. Then I took control by changing my attitude, controlling my diet and exercising (which can reduce cramps). Now I am at peace with my periods. If they stay as they are I do not wish to have them stop until I am married and pregnant. But for all the women who suffer from painful periods I suggest that they do something about it, whether it be an attitude adjustment or seeking medical attention, because with modern medicine there is no logical reason to suffer.

Suffer no more.

June 2002

"What I hate the most, however, is the way men seem to use it as ammunition against us women . . . ."

I am 18, student about to get to university in England. I absolutely abhor those five days out of every 28 where I feel so incredibly bad, that sometimes I'm sick to my stomach, and I just don't feel like doing anything. Sex is difficult, usually impossible, and for once I don't even feel like it. I can't motivate myself because I feel so worthless, and it's at this time I feel more need to self-harm. And this is after I went on the Pill at 16 to control it! Reading the other stories, I escaped a lot, it seems, and I still maintain it truly sucks! What I hate the most however, is the way men seem to use it as ammunition against us women: if we're upset or angry, it's not because we are independent people, capable of controlling our emotions, or God forbid that we have actually been wronged in any way, but because "we're due." On the other hand, I anticipate it every month, as reassurance that I will not become a mother for a good while yet! Either way, women have a bum deal, with or without periods.

June 2002

"Stop the Periods!"

I am a 43-year-old from Kansas, U.S.A. I have four children, and I am so ready for menopause. My periods have never been fun: I started when I was 10 and they were okay until I turned 12. Then they were so painful I would come close to passing out. During the first years of marriage I was always either pregnant or nursing, so from 1977 through 1986 I only had a period a year (including the after-baby period). Now, the periods are not so painful, but I have terrible PMS. I am hoping start early, end early. [But usually it's start early, end late.]

June 2002

"Depo-Provera is a true godsend."

You asked if you would give up menstruation if you could - you can. I've been on Depo-Provera for five years and haven't had a period for the entire time. Depo-Provera is a true godsend. And as far as the question about being able to start again to have kids, you can go off Depo and generally be able to get pregnant within six months or so, but I hate kids so I don't have to worry about it. I'll be on Depo forever.

June 2002

"You're Darn Tootin', Yes, Yes, Yes!!!! from Chicago" she entitles her e-mail

I have recently switched to the birth control pill "Mircette" based on the rumor that periods stop after regular use. I am 31 years old and absolutely loathe getting my period. It's messy, smelly, disgusting and interrupts my sex life for 5 days!!! I am praying that the new pill will at least shorten my period if nothing else. What a hassle. It is so not fair that men go through nothing that compares with what we go through monthly and have no true comprehension of or empathy for the stresses of PMS and menstruation on a woman. I long for the day that Seasonale gets approved or some other solution comes to light. I'll be the first in line for it! We deserve the same physical freedoms as men and I intend to realize them!!!

June 2002


I would definitely stop my menstruation if I could. The thing is, I got my period when I was NINE. I'm fifteen now and sick of not being able to use tampons and having to use pads all the time. I confronted my parents about the Pill and they wouldn't let me go on it. I have horrible cramps which is bad for my job because I need to stay concentrated and it's hard to do that when you feel like your abdomen is gonna explode.

--wishes the Blood demon had come later--

June 2002


Yes. Menstruation has only been a bad experience for me. My period is eight days and very heavy. During my period I get very irritable, depressed, stomach cramps, zits, bloated and many other symptoms. When I was a teen it was hard having a heavy period because I was always worried I was leaking. My period has a tendency to always come during something important or fun too. There were times in the past that I just wanted to die because of it.

Some think menstruation is what makes someone a woman. But I couldn't care less about menstruation or being a woman. I am who I am inside. I am more concerned with being happy than worrying about whether bleeding and being in pain each month make me a woman.

June 2002

"To get rid of this all, it'd be a dream come true!"

In answer to your question, I would most definitely get rid of my period if I had the chance! And I have tried! OH, LORD, how I have tried. I'm 15 and I have decided PILL TIME. I just started today (the Pill and my period, again grr) and am hoping that it will go away soon!

I hardly every get my period. I started last year during summer. I hid it from my mom. I used pads. That felt like diapers for the first four days, and in the end I just used a bit of tissue. Yet it was VERY heavy.

I have gotten it about five times since that, I think this is my fifth. I know I shouldn't complain for the lack of times I've had it, but when I get it, it's HEAVY and comes out of the blue!

I'm not sure if it's my weight that stops it though, as I have read earlier that one person hasn't had hers for two months because she gained a bit of weight. I never thought of it that way. I always thought if you were supper skinny and were fit and exercised a lot you wouldn't get it. Maybe me being over-weight made me not get it, as I am trying to lose weight. Again it has started. Possibly this is the reason why.

But I'm saying GOODBYE to this all, and hope the Pill works for me!

June 2002

Yes - and retroactively!

Yes! If I could, I would stop menstruating immediately, preferably retroactive to when I started at 13. Twenty-six years of this is too long an experiment in futility for me.

Menstruating does not make me a woman - I was born female and nothing has happened in the meantime to change that. Being female and menstruating has not affected my life and job in any way. I have a good job, a house, a spouse, pets, and a good life. I don't need a monthly reminder of my gender. If I were in any doubt, all I have to do is look down at my oversized chest . . . .

However, since I'm not having children, these lovely monthly symptoms are a pain and nuisance for nothing. Every month I get terrible cramps, extremely heavy bleeding, stabbing pain, and mood swings beyond belief. And I don't just get moody like many women. I get angry and violent, or depressed and suicidal. I can't tell you the number of times I've almost changed jobs, divorced my husband, or hurt myself or others in a PMS (or probably PMDD) rage. Then, to add insult to injury, I get blinding headaches during menstruation that impair my thinking and enjoyment of life. Some women are happy that their monthly period tells them they're healthy and their body is working fine. Unfortunately, all my monthly agony does is tell me there's something wrong. The mental and physical suffering I go through each month is of no benefit to me. If I could stop it forever, I would in a heartbeat.

However, I believe most strongly that each person is a individual and is welcome to her own opinion and choices. I applaud everyone who either wants children or wants the monthly reminder of what her body is capable of doing. *I*, however, could do without the pain for something I'm never going to use my body for.

This is an interesting forum. Thanks for having this!

May 2002

Welsh woman: "Abso-bloody-lutely!!!!"reads the e-mail subject line

I would give up my period tomorrow. In fact I would give it up yesterday!!!! No PMT [premenstrual tension], no wondering when it will arrive, no pain, no hassle, no mess! Bloody marvelous!

Age 28 from Wales, U.K.

May 2002

Pagan lesbian would not stop:

I wouldn't stop bleeding, even if I could (which, by the way, one can, through continued use of birth control pills - just don't take the last week's pills and skip to a new pack - or a nifty thing called menstrual extraction). But enough of that. I say it's a beautiful thing, a consummately female thing. Back in the old days - like, WAY back in the primeval mists of time before we became "civilized societies" - menstruating women were supposedly able to blight crops by looking at them, tarnish silver by touching it, sour milk by touching or looking at it - some people say "what anti-woman bull****," but I say WHAT POWER! People can be offended, frightened, downright terrified of our bleeding. Terrified of our female power, the fact that we can change our surroundings without so much as moving our little fingers (stand in the bathtub while you're on the rag and watch as swirls of red appear in the water - magick!). It's proof of just how much more magickal and intricate and mysteriously wonderful (and dare I say, perhaps, better? maybe not) than men's.

If it helps to clarify my statements, I'm a seventeen-year-old feminist, Pagan lesbian. And if you tend to think the way I do about women's bodies (and unless you're a fairly young or fairly old woman, that includes this bleeding business) read "Cunt" by Inga Muscio and "The Vagina Monologues" by Eve Ensler. Totally woman-positive. And lest you think all my periods are pieces of cake, I have horrid cramps. Can't-see-straight (literally) throwing-up pulsing-red-hot-pain cramps. And still I can't deny that menstruation is f***ing cool.

May 2002

No. "I come from a Mexican background and my mother always said to me, 'Don't let guys know that you are bleeding and don't talk about it.'"

I am 16 years old and I wouldn't give up my period. I believe that is what makes me a women. A cunt that bleeds is a beautiful thing. I know it can be painful at times but to me is something I appreciate. I love to know that I am going to have my period - I get happy. I don't believe that a girl should be ashamed of her period or get disgusted by it. I come from a Mexican background and my mother always said to me, "Don't let guys know that you are bleeding and don't talk about it." Why should it stay a secret? I heard a person saying this: girls are unhuman; they bleed up to seven days and won't die. Now I call that amazing.

May 2002


I'm 40 and would stop having periods if at all possible.

Don't like having a stuffed up nose, don't like having ear wax buildup, and would just as soon not have to deal with this bodily mess, either.

Also, having been around animals my whole life, I don't understand why people have to have such relentless cycles. It seems unfair.

May 2002

"I am sick to death of the whole business. God is definitely a man."

If I could stop my periods, I would jump at the chance. I am seriously considering going on the Pill continuously just to stop them. We are not meant to have periods all the time - if we really did what nature intended, we would have a baby every year or two!

I notice that everyone who thinks that it is wrong to want rid of your periods is either male, or one of those lucky women who barely notices when it's that time of the month. I personally spend two days as a weeping, bad-tempered, bloated bitch from hell, followed by a week of downing painkillers by the packet and constantly searching for a toilet. I've had enough. Maybe one day I will want kids, but certainly not for at least ten years.

I'm 18 years old, live in Scotland and started my periods when I was 13. I am sick to death of the whole business. God is definitely a man.

May 2002


My answer would be, No - and I'll tell you why. I just recently stopped taking my birth control pills in favor of an IUD. I had been on the pill for over eight years. I finally feel that I am in tune with my body. You see, when you're on the Pill it isn't real menstruation - so I guess you could say I hadn't had a real period in eight years. I don't plan on having children. But I think that menstruation is something to be embraced - a way to be in tune with your body, and that is cool. Would a guy ever know that much about his hormones? I don't think so! Anyway, the end of menstruation is a sign of youth, and I really don't look forward to menopause. As long as I get my period, I can still say that I am young. And those of you who want hysterectomies, you'd better rethink that - it can cause a whole bunch of other problems (lack of sex drive, painful sex, etc.)

May 2002


There is absolutely no way I would ever give up menstruating.

Granted, for a week before my period I might get a bit emotional, but that's also the time when my creativity soars; I'm most inspired in both my writing and my visual art during this time, and over the last 13 years (I got my period at age 12; now I'm 25) I've learned to cope with the less-pleasant side effects and just enjoy the creativity. Herbal teas and yoga work wonders to relieve any water retention and cramps, and using The Keeper menstrual cup instead of horrible tampons or pads has decreased both my cramps and the length of my cycle significantly. So many people find their cycle to be "dirty" or otherwise offensive. I just see it as a natural cleansing process. All in all, I enjoy the domestic comfort of this time, and am not looking forward to menopause, which tends to come early in my family.

May 2002

Yes!!!! from Norway:


I'm 14 years old, I live in Norway, and I've had my period since I was twelve. I get cramps, mood swings, and I'm afraid it will stain my clothes all the time, so I skip school sometimes because of it, which affects my grades, but I H-A-T-E going to school when I have it. When public toilets (i.e., at my school) don't have trash bins, it really feels discriminating to girls. And I won't have kids till I'm at least in my late twenties, so there really isn't any point to it either! It makes you stay out of activities, and when people ask you why, you have to make up some lousy excuse.

Why didn't God or Allah or Mother Nature or who ever created us make up a better way to do this? When I get older, I am definitely going to take birth control or something, to stop it. God must be a sexist.

P.S.: Thanks for a wonderful site!! :)

May 2002

Disabled woman from the United Kingdom wants to stop

I am a 28-year-old woman from the U.K. I am disabled and have to have my mother help me during my period, with cleaning myself and changing pads. You cannot imagine the humiliation. I have difficult periods as it is but this just makes it so much worse! I am waiting to go into hospital for surgery and am dreading it being during that time. I can't believe that with medical research into every field outstripping people's imagination for decades, more hasn't been achieved in the reproductive area. If it wasn't for the (probably slim) hope that I could have a baby one day I would push for a hysterectomy.

May 2002

Woman with birth defect wants to menstruate


I noticed a lot of comments on your Web site from women about whether or not they would choose to stop menstruating. I'd like to add my own.

I personally would *not* want to stop menstruating, though I think my reasons are a bit different than most women's about it.

I'm 29 years old. I didn't start menstruating until I was 25. This was because I was born with a severe birth defect, the particulars of which I am currently in the process of determining.

My birth defect was so severe that the doctor delivering me pronounced me a male, and my parents tried to raise me as such. Nonetheless, I soon realized that this was not correct. For many years, I wrestled with this, trying to figure out what was going on with me.

Adolescence was a living hell, as my body developed like a male's in spite of the fact that I felt a lot more like a girl than a boy. All the while I was under the assumption that I was a male-to-female transsexual.

However, when I started hormone therapy four years ago, I noticed that I had rectal bleeding. I wasn't aware of it initially, but that was my very first period. I started documenting the bleeding last year and determined that it occurs every 28 days, usually lasting 3-4 days. It's preceded by lower abdominal cramps in the same area of the body as in other women. I have undergone a series of tests that have generally ruled out all possible digestive causes, but I have more tests to undergo yet. Last August the bleeding was so heavy that I bled all over my underwear; I felt like an embarrassed 11-year-old.

Until I started bleeding, I had tried to come to terms with accepting the possibility that I would never be able to menstruate. But now at this point I find it most likely that I am.

I therefore do not take for granted my ability to menstruate. Some women may find it strange that I would look forward to it, but those same women likely were all able to start menstruating at a normal age.

Thank you for your time.

May 2002

"It is just a pain and a bother."

I would definitely give up my period. It is just a pain and a bother. I love being a women, and feel blessed to be able to have children - it's a sacred and beautiful thing. But it would be great not to have to worry about such things.

Age 18, Minnesota

May 2002

"I see no reason to keep this up . . . ."

I'm 46 years old and I would love to stop menstruating. I have one child, and I am widowed. I see no reason to keep this up, it's not like my ovaries or uterus are gonna be used for anything more now. It would be nice not to have to plan things around that time of the month. It would be really nice if I didn't have to worry about leakage and clothing and bedding anymore. I would give this up in a heart beat.

May 2002

"[T]he day I turn 18, I'm getting a hysterectomy! "

I just started my period this February (late bloomer) and I can stand them! My mom just went to the store and I have to give her the stupid, "I don't feel good" excuse. The real reason is these stupid pads - I HATE THEM! They feel like diapers! I have tried to like them, but I can't, they actually hurt me. I want to try tampons but I am sooo afraid my mom will hate me. Lemme tell you, the day I turn 18, I'm getting a hysterectomy!

May 2002

"It would great to say good-bye to the mess, the tampons, and the ruined underwear."

When I was in my twenties, I used to take birth control pills continuously (without stopping to have a period) because I hated menstruating that much. Since I don't take the Pill anymore, of course, I would be more than happy to give up the monthly anticipation (where the hell is IT ?!), along with the PMS, cramps and bloating. It would great to say good-bye to the mess, the tampons, and the ruined underwear. The best part would be that my husband could no longer say, "I knew you were about to start your period, you've been a real bitch for the past week."

39 in Virginia, USA

May 2002

"[P]eriods suck!! It's nature's way to say "screw," entitles the contributor her e-mail:

I am 14, and I REALLY HATE my period. I think that it is waste of time and money. What's the point of having a stupid period?!!! It's disgusting, stupid, and B.S. [bull shit]. The world would be better if women didn't have their periods and there won't be places that overpopulated with babies. If there was an option to get rid of my period, I would definitely do it because this pissed-off female shouldn't be limited because of a crappy menstrual cycle.

May 2002


YES YES YES I definitely WOULD . . .The day before my period and first day of my period are the WORST . . . my lower back hurts . . . my abdomen feels heavy and sickly . . . I feel like I have to vomit and have a bowel movement at the same time . . . I have restless leg syndrome . . . so I CANNOT sit still because my legs feel even more numb . . . like they're gonna fall off . . . I feel weak and shaky . . . all I wanna do is just lie in the bed ALL day . . . but then life happens . . . and a job happens . . . and bills come . . . and I have to try to make it through the day emotionally and physically out of it . . . If I could decide to NOT menstruate . . . until I wanted a baby . . . I DEFINITELY would.

[I left this e-mail mostly as I received it, since it seemed more expressive this way.]

May 2002

"Hell, NO," the 16-year-old Texan entitles her e-mail.

About nine months ago, when I first stumbled upon your website (God knows how!) and read about this subject, my answer was a tentative yes. For the past few years I had been menstruating (four, at the time; I started when I was eleven) I hated my period--it's gross, it's annoying, it's humiliating, and well, it's a symbol of womanhood, and who on this earth in their right mind would want to be a woman?

I've had a hard time liking myself as female throughout my life and especially after puberty, sometimes it just doesn't feel "right" for me, and that's a feeling I'd like to overcome. It's hard to love yourself when you're disgusted with your body, as I have been. How can a woman love herself if she finds something so fundamental about the experience of being a woman--and I do think menstruation is a fundamental part of female experience--disgusting or filthy or even humiliating? (as a side note, since I've seen this talked about so much, no, a woman is not any less a woman if she doesn't menstruate, but then either she has menstruated in the past, or she would be menstruating, were there not some medical reason. Essentially, most all women have periods and periods are part of being a woman).

To me, learning to accept--and yes, even like--my period has become a symbol of growing up and coming to love myself for who I am--a woman. Maybe it's just because of my experiences with sexual identity that I feel this way, but I don't ever want to stop menstruating until I get pregnant or hit menopause. No, my period isn't really a whole lot of fun. It's inconvenient and it's messy and I may sometimes blush when I talk about it, but I don't really think it's dirty or disgusting. Sometimes I get cramps, and all I want to do is lie around whine about it. Sometimes my periods can be pretty heavy and it seems like I'll just bleed all over everything I touch. But at the same time my menstrual cycle adds something to my life. In a way, it helps me feel closer to nature than I think I would feel without it. Menstruation serves a reference point (let's see...that happened the weekend right after my period...it must have been the 14th!) It reminds me that I can do one of the most amazing things in the universe: I can create life. My boyfriend has told me that he sometimes feels, as a man, that he's going to miss out on a very important part of human experience, a part that belongs only to women--he will never know what it is like to have a new life growing inside of him (and hearing that, it kind of made me wonder what we women are complaining about there--poor men!).

So, would I stop menstruating if I could? My answer now is a definite, strong, NO! Then I'd never know what day it is! It may be inconvenient, and it may not be pleasant, but we need to start having a more positive attitude about something that happens to more than half the people on the planet. It shouldn't be dirty and it shouldn't be shameful, and women shouldn't see it as a weakness in themselves because they're women. I find myself gritting my teeth when I hear women say it's male chauvinist and sexist that women have to deal with menstruation. It's male chauvinist and sexist for people to have the idea that menstruation so terrible and disgusting and shameful!

Sorry this letter (essay, maybe??) is so long! It deals with a subject I care about. :-) I'm 16, by the way, from Texas.

May 2002

"Once upon a time I would have gladly given up the 'curse,' but not now."

My menstrual cycle stopped when I got pregnant in March 1999 and it hasn't returned yet. Since then I've suffered post-natal depression, lack of sex drive, serious mood swings and for that matter am still lactating two years after stopping breast feeding. My whole body is in a state of confusion and the I'm wanting to have another child. That can't happen until my menstrual cycle returns. It IS possible, but who's to say it will happen? Once upon a time I would have gladly given up the "curse," but not now.

May 2002

"[I]t is a beautiful burden."

I am a twenty-one-year-old college student from Indiana who embraces the few days I have each month with my period. When I first started (at 12) I was devastated, loathing each menstruation because I thought it would limit the activities I so loved to partake in. I soon found out that these limitations were not natural - menstruation does not hinder me in any way - and that these so-called "limitations" were society's way of trying to subordinate me by saying that I could not fully function. Women CAN function, fully, while mensing. Women DON'T have to take a five-day break from their normal activities while their syrup of life is a-flowin'. Once you learn to look at your period as powerful - seeing it as your own, beautiful potential for creating LIFE - you will look forward to it, as I do. It reminds me of my power as Woman. I can create life, and that is holy in itself. It may seem like a burden at times, but it is a beautiful burden - one that I would not be willing to give up.

May 2002

From the United Kingdom: No. "What's all the fuss about?"

I started my periods at thirteen and have been incapacitated with pain, blacking out, dizzy spells and nausea ever since. I also have polycystic ovary syndrome which stopped my periods for three years - total bliss! Then the doctors found out and put me on the Pill. Great! Back to the all-pain-and-no-gain syndrome. That is until I discovered that you just keep taking the Pill. So 20 years later and with no noticeable side effects, here we are. If I'd known how excited everyone would get over this subject, I'd have published a paper myself. I occasionally have to check I'm not pregnant so stop and have a period, it's as easy as that. Although at 43 I hope the fertility will have faded away by now. What's all the fuss about?

May 2002


Absolutely I would stop. In fact I did when I was on Depo-provera. Highly convenient, especially with all of the military missions I was on. I never had to worry about anything except getting a shot once every three months. I finally went off it when I decided I might want a child in the sometime in the next year. But it really was convenient.

May 2002

"I would never give it up."

I would never give up menstruating. I think it is a really cool thing. When I was young I could not wait for my period to come. I waited for almost two years very anxiously and excitedly. When I started I was so proud. Menstruation is such a great reminder how amazing it is to be in a woman's body. I would never give it up.

May 2002

"I most definitely would!"

If I could stop my menstruation cycle, I most definitely would! I have never had a normal cycle where I knew in advance my exact start date which means for at least 3-5 days I would have to carry tampons around with me to be safe. To be able to stop my period and start it on a predetermined date would be wonderful!

April 2002

Yes and no:

I don't trust the medical establishment, especially not the pharmaceutical industry, to tell me whether a prescription to reduce periods (or eliminate them) is safe, but if I did, I would probably opt out of them if I were ever able to have kids first.

I speak as someone who spent most of her life having only 3-5 periods per year (due to having PCOS - polycystic ovarian syndrome), but now that I am taking Metformin (a medication given primarily to people with Type II diabetes), I am getting my periods monthly. I am also infertile, even with the periods. I'm currently undergoing fertility treatments, so I find that having a period every month a painful reminder of my inability to conceive.

If I successfully conceive and have at least two kids, however, I would seriously consider giving up menstruation on a regular basis. The doctors tell me that my condition makes it extra important that I have regular bleeds (to prevent uterine cancer), but if it were possible to do so safely, I would happily go back to having only a few periods a year. Having to deal with the blood ever month is a pain!

April 2002

"Egads, what are you women crying about!?"

I say bring it on! I have polycystic ovarian disease [read another women's letter about this syndrome in these April letters, below]. I don't get my period and I sit around every month with PMS [premenstrual syndrome] but no period! Egads, what are you women crying about!? I would gladly take your menses off of your lap (no pun intended).

April 2002


I would NEVER give up my period. I mean, I know I will have to, someday within the next few years, but I really don't want to.

April 2002

A 14-year-old writes, "[M]enstruation [is] one of the most impure and dirty things ever."

Yes, I would, because I see menstruation as one of the most impure and dirty things ever. I mean, really, what's the point of it all? I always feel dirty and impure when I have it. I feel like I can't even walk around because something will get stained. (And it's never even heavy either, but still there's a chance.)

There's a good side to it, though: I NEVER EVER get cramps, tenderness, PMS, or any pain or symptoms at all. I have never ever had them either, so I guess that's good.

I'm also very much against tradition, and see menstruating as something "traditional." (The anti-tradition thing isn't "teenage rebellion." I have been that way since probably when I was born.) I also hate it because some people see menstruation as a weakness. (As in "all that women can do is sit around the house, cook, take care of kids, and sit around and bleed.") My goal in life is to NOT do those things for a living for two reasons: 1. I'm absolutely NOT interested in that kind of life; and 2. I do not want to be a part of this eternal stereotype.

I just see it as another way of being impure. Also, I feel like I have to severely limit my activities (I don't do that many things, but still . . .). I always hide all traces of menstruating very thoroughly.

Some people say "stop acting like some primitive person. No, menstruating is NOT impure," but they'll never convince me. It IS. Why? It's just another thing being used to enforce a stereotype and to force people into a traditional life. (Don't get me wrong. If you want to live traditionally, then good for you. I absolutely respect that, but that's not what I want for myself!)

By the way, I'm 14. Yes, not that experienced. I started about 15 days after I turned 12.

April 2002

"Monthly garbage"

I think it would be best never to have something so stupid as monthly garbage.

You don't want to have even one month of your whole life wasted on such nonsense. It makes me so mad that they say we women have so many rights. Well, I feel the women's rights movement isn't doing enough for women. Women should be able to either take something to stop this nonsense, or have a hysterectomy. It horrifies me when I read a hysterectomy should not be done to stop this nonsense or for sterilization. That's not women's rights. That's the old male chauvinist idea; let's get out of the past and go towards the future.

The uterus is so much trouble; it bleeds and if you get raped you can get pregnant. You've got uncivilized animals out there who think women should have babies from such immorality. Yes, I know of a women who says her religion says to wait till after marriage to have sex and this girl craves sex and pregnancy so bad that she wants to get raped and pregnant. I think she's crazy - but don't make other women suffer because of minds like this.

I don't mean to go off into other issues but what I'm trying to say is for example: women should have whatever life they want; if they want a life of periods and babies, so have it. Well, it's time for us to choose what kind of life we want to have for ourselves.

Right now at this point I think that when a women has kids it's best she have a boy because women don't have enough rights. I shouldn't have to think like this, so ladies, let's make some good changes here. If you choose to be a homemaker with children or a working women married or single, fine. A women who wants periods and babies, or a women very liberated without periods and children, then go for whatever life you want for yourselves. I'm tired of some people dictating our lives for us because these people will make money off of our problems. I'm 45 years old.

April 2002

"The idea that menarche is some kind of adult initiation rite is absurd."

You bet. I'm so totally over this monthly interruption to my life - the mood swings, the fatigue, the inconvenience, the bloating, etc., and I don't understand some of the comments made by other women. I do not need to menstruate to feel like a woman, an adult or a human being for that matter. The idea that menarche is some kind of adult initiation rite is absurd. What if a girl begins her period at nine; does that make her a woman? Or, if for some reason, a woman never begins menstruating - does that make her less than a woman or an adult? My sense of self, my identity as a woman and a person is not dictated by whether I menstruate!

April 2002

An Australian mother writes, "I whole heartedly agree with the doctors who have done the research on limiting the number of periods."

After having read an article in "New Scientist" magazine dated March 16, 2002 ("Lifting the Curse," by Sylvia Westphal, which referred to the women's opinions you are now reading), I thought I should write to you.

I am an average 34-year-old female. I have two children aged 7 and 5 and I'm expecting my third child in September.

I whole heartedly agree with the doctors who have done the research on limiting the number of periods a woman has in her lifetime. I had the cramps, the mood swings, the bloated feelings and the lack of energy around the time of the month when my periods were due. I felt as if I had to put my life on hold every three weeks. By the time I had reached the age of 20 I decided to do something about it, so when I had my next visit to the doctor I asked if there were any reasons why I couldn't run my pill packets together (not take the placebo pills). As there wasn't any, apart from the times we decided to have children, I have been having a period every three months for the last 14 years with no adverse reactions.

I am happier, as is my husband, as I have minimal mood swings.

Yours sincerely,


Queensland, Australia

April 2002

Thirteen-year-old: " I think that teenagers, at least, should be on birth control, because it would help us so much."

Some people just aren't listening to "Abstinence! Abstinence!" in sex education, and did it. They're only about 16, and they can't really handle children. Yet we are starting our periods much earlier than before (8-, 9- and 10-year-olds are getting them, and I'm one of them!). We are very active during these years, because we're just figuring ourselves out. Hard to do that, because you can't go anywhere with cramps in bed. I think that teenagers, at least, should be on birth control, because it would help us so much. My friend says that it would make them do it more. I say they're going to do it anyway, we might as well help them. And this world is overpopulated anyway.

How many of those children were "accidents"? The older people who can plan their pregnancy are fine with me. They have it carefully done. And if all they want is children, they can also adopt. The world would be better if we weren't crushed in overpopulated places. I feel lost in my oversized school, which was actually made to help the population. Too many people!

Plus, the kids of teenagers are often sick, because of the greasy food they eat, and they're just not ready. If teens were on birth control, then generations ahead are going to be cleaner and happier.

I'm thirteen years old, and I started at 10 1/2 years, if that's anything to you.

April 2002

"[M]y uterus and ovaries are of no use to me."

I am age 41, white, and live in the USA. I'm healthy except for having epilepsy. Yes! If I could find a safe, "magic pill" that would end my period instantly, I would take it! I never had one kid, never have been pregnant, and don't want to be. My periods have therefore never been important to me. In fact, my uterus and ovaries are of no use to me. I get so sick of women who think a woman has to have at least one baby or she can't feel as a woman. Some of us don't want one kid. Luckily, my husband never wanted any kids either, so we totally agreed on that issue. I started my period at age 11, and never skipped any. It never affected my emotions. I've always had cramps with it, and I'm sick of the chafing that the pads cause, and of the leaks, no matter the pad length. My periods are still regular. My mother ended hers at age 42 and menopause never affected her emotions. She lost some pounds after her period quit for good. She was glad it ended. I know about hot flashes, but my periods cause me to have them anyway. I will feel physically free when my periods stop totally, and certainly won't miss it!

April 2002

"I think [menstruation] is beautiful."

I would not want to stop menstruating! I think it is beautiful, and I appreciate most of it (no one likes cramps). The trick is to understand that it's something amazing that only we women get to do. Men are confused and intimidated by it. It's because it's representative of the most awesome power a human is endowed with: the ability to create life. While you may suffer cramps and discomfort, think of the greater good. As Inga Muscio says: "When our cunts bleed, we are bleeding people."

April 2002


Take my period, please! Never wanted it in the first place.

American, age 28

April 2002

"The benefits of menstruating for me . . . outweigh the negatives."

My period is doing its job just as it is right now. (Present but regulated.)

I don't really remember how I felt when I started bleeding at 12. I was one of the later ones, so I was already prepared: I knew what a tampon was, how to use it, and so I did.

However, my periods were not especially regular (about a 50-60 day cycle, followed by 3-6 days of bleeding). They were so infrequent, in fact, I always got bored counting and never really knew how long they were. I'm grateful they were always light, and that the cramps are only 12 hours of discomfort, which I can either deal with, or get rid of with one dose of ibuprufen. But they didn't give me any feeling of cycle or connection with my inner woman - I just bled every once in a while.

By the time I was 18, I was looking to have more regular periods, and I was also becoming sexually active. So I got on the Pill - and was horrified by five days of medium bleeding every 28 days. Yech! My sanitary supply budget tripled. I didn't like it.

Fortunately, my period has been getting lighter over the past two years: now it's 3-4 days of lighter bleeding. Plus, I've got the original five-day window neatly centered on the work week, so I never have to deal with my period over weekends. I haven't ruined clothing I liked in ages. On the contraceptive side, if I miss a Pill (this happens), there's a definite wait period during which we need extra protection.

So would I change? Right now I'm on Try-cyclen (three weeks of increasing hormone levels followed by one week off) so I can't try the "just don't take the sugar pills" trick to get rid of my period. And given the enormous number of Depo-Provera [Web site] horror stories out there, I'm not planning on messing with my body that way any time soon. A year is a long recovery time for a drug that has good chances of not agreeing with me.

The benefits of menstruating for me, as a 20-year-old, hopefully fertile Ontarian woman, outweigh the negatives. My nice, orderly period tells me my body is healthy, happy, and currently without child. It's cheaper and easier then a doctor's visit: it doesn't make me feel "connected to nature" but it does make me feel more in tune with myself.

April 2002

"I'd definitely stop if I could."

I'm nineteen years old and from the United States.

I'd definitely stop if I could. I started menstruating when I was thirteen. I used to have cramps so horrible that I couldn't move for hours. Although my periods have been much lighter and I rarely have cramps since I started taking birth control a year ago, it's still inconvenient to bleed for up to a quarter of each month.

I tend to be more irritable and sometimes even aggressive in the days leading up to my period, which causes me to pick fights with people around me.

I don't plan to have children for at least another five years, so why should I have to bleed for a total of OVER A YEAR of that time?

April 2002

"I don't think I ever want to have one again."

I am stopping. I have had problems ever since I first started, and six months ago it got to the point I couldn't handle the pain any more. My doctor did a few procedures and then put me on the Lupron depot shot. I received my last shot a couple of weeks ago and in about two weeks I start taking the pill. I feel so much better not have a period that I don't think I ever want to have one again.

April 2002

No: she has polycystic ovarian syndrome

The answer to this question would have to be no. I have read many of these women's responses, and I have to think to myself that most do not know how good they have it. I am speaking from experience. I have polycystic ovarian syndrome and with many other sufferers of this syndrome I do not have regular menses. Some of you think it would be great, but it is not. You have to constantly worry if you will develop cancer over a long period of time, and when menstruation finally happens, I have to go through a period from hell. I think that some need to rethink their position on this topic, and just be thankful that their bodies are working correctly.

If you would like more information on polycystic ovarian syndrome then please go to the site www.soulcysters.com. *Note* not all suffers of PCOS experience infrequent periods. Some have menses that last for months at a time, and still many more have menses like clockwork.

I am originally from South Carolina, but I am now living in Massachusetts.

April 2002

From the United Kingdom: "For two weeks prior to my period . . .I put orange juice in my tea, forget to take my slippers off when I go shopping, etc."

Would I stop my periods if I could?

YES YES YES !!!!!!!!!!!

Right here and right now if I was able to.

I started my periods at 11 and have always had a bad time with them. Friends, family and even doctors assured me that they would get easier as I got older. Ha! They have got steadily worse each month and after each child (I have three).

For two weeks prior to my period I am grumpy, moody, bloated, forgetful almost to the point of senile (I put orange juice in my tea, forget to take my slippers off when I go shopping, etc.), and a nightmare to live with. During the week of my period I am grumpy, moody, tired, irrational and a nightmare to live with. They are also painful and heavy. For one week after that I am a normal human being - and then it all starts again!

So if I could get rid of my periods I would without hesitation - to feel normal for one week in a month isn't enough for me. If side effects are no different than the Pill and fertility isn't affected then I say it is a positive thing for womanhood, not a bad thing.

***** (29 years old)

April 2002

A hysterectomy solved her problem, from Louisiana:

I am thankful to be one of the "Lucky Ones" who was healthy enough to have a regular period - yet bothersome enough to seek a partial hysterectomy. I LOVE IT!!! No hormones and no period!!

April 2002

"Periods are a hassle but for anyone who is thinking about having children my advice is to put up with them," writes an Australian

Be careful for what you wish for. I was on Depo-Provera for 12 months and I was in heaven, but now two years after my last needle I have not been able to conceive children and all the "experts" say as soon as they know I was on that drug, "It takes time" and "You will just have to wait." I fell pregnant with my first child while I was on the Pill so I know I was fertile. Periods are a hassle but for anyone who is thinking about having children my advice is to put up with them. But for those who are certain they will never want children again I would say go for it.

April 2002

Not having children, having menstruation

I'm going to begin with a response to an earlier admission:

The idea that we can and should completely give up menstruation seems to me just another part of this ridiculous message. I don't want to be just like a man, and to give up my feminine cycle would be to do just that. Yes, it can cause us inconveniences that a man will not have, but it is part of the beautiful femininity that allows us a joy a man will never have, childbearing. To get rid of it for the sake of a job and a career, to become male to succeed in a male world, is just wrong.

First of all, no one said you should do anything. No one said we should all completely give up menstruation. Have no fear:) No one could or would try to take that away from you. But I also think that no one should try to take my decision to NOT have children away from me. Many women with great careers are happy and satisfied with their lives. That is just something some women can't understand because they are on a different wavelength. They chose to not have children simply because they didn't want children. ~*Gasp*~ What a horrid thought! How can they say that? Some women are frightened by the thought. They can't accept that another woman would not want a child. That is our power! That is the one power we have over men! We have this Goddess-given gift and you would turn your back on it? OR It is your duty. God has given this gift. He said procreate! It is your duty to God. Both totally different reasons, but both very masculine modes of thought. Our society is run by men, but it could be equal. Equality CAN be achieved with out sacrificing our femininity. By letting us live our lives and be good at what we do. Let those who choose to be mothers be the best mother they can be. It is a HARD job and I respect the hell out of those who do it! And let those who choose to be doctors and lawyers, dentists, gynecologists, scientists, and astronauts be the best they can be. They are HARD jobs and I respect the hell out of those who do it. And kudos to those who can successfully handle both! You do it so well because you are doing it all! A very difficult task that takes a lot of time and energy and courage. BRAVO!

There is no fear that the population will drop and we will die off. There are well over 6 BILLION humans on this earth. That could double in 50 years or less. There are many factors to this problem; but the pressure society puts on women to procreate, the odd looks you get because you choose not to have children (I get asked about kids ALL the time), your mother telling you it's a phase. Well, this is a long phase then because it's been 10 years since I made the decision. This could also be adding to the overpopulation problem. Most of the major and minor problems of society today could be improved if this important issue was dealt better with. The truth is, some women were made to be mothers; it is their calling:) And it makes you fulfilled and happy because it is your calling in life. But it is no longer necessary, nor healthy for society, to have the mindset that all women should answer to this call. Some women hear a different song calling to them, and should not be looked down on just because they are not hearing the same song as you. She has found different ways to contribute to society, or just to be true to herself. She is still very much a woman, and can be very mothering. You don't have to be the mother of a human child to have the power of The Mother. Compassion, caring, worry, fear, uncertainty, love, tenderness, connection, unconditional love: women can experience these things without bearing a child. Wiping a tear off a best friend's cheek, comforting an ill friend, making sure your husband doesn't forget his wallet again, having a loving husband who thinks you are the moon and stars, a ferret's warm little body curled up in a ball beside you as you sleep, or of a dog or cat if that's your bag - or rescuing abused animals, building a community of loving supportive friends, to comfort yourself and others.


I have chosen to not have children for many reasons, overpopulation being a big one. I support those who choose motherhood, but I also respect those who don't - myself included. I have been told that I will never really know the true meaning of love until I have had a child. This is not true. Not for me:) I know true love, you just can't understand how. I am listening to a different call than you, so I understand we are different. But I am happy with my decision, and for the first time in my life, I do not feel ashamed about it. I went and got an I.U.D, which is good for ten years, then in ten years, I can replace it for another ten years. I feel more empowered because I made this choice despite the pressure. I am following my own calling, just like you. I am very spiritual and understand a great many things. I can see many sides to an argument. But no one is speaking of force. This is about personal choice, the will of the individual. We should have the right to choose; whether it involve motherhood, or not. We live in a society that says it is free. Freedom means choices.

NOW as to my menstrual cycle. I wanted to stop it for years. I was on Depo-Provera three years, no periods. Then for various reasons I got off it and switched back to oral for a few years. All in all I was on hormones for 10 years. Now I have the I.U.D and for the first time since I can remember, my natural body gets to do what it is meant to. So I am happy to be off hormones, and welcome observing the changes my body will make. I love not having a period, and may want to get rid of it again, but for now, it is a blessing because it is the real thing now. And I have been more creative. So I will not have children because I don't want them. But I still have my menses, and I still think it is a powerful gift indeed. It personifies death, and life, and this gift can be used in so many ways :)

I guess this is getting awfully long, but I could go on for hours, this is just a sketch . . . .

April 2002

"NO! . . . I want my period back!"

NO! In fact, I hardly menstruate now, due to hormonal birth control, and I want my period back! A few years ago, I went on Depo-Provera [see the company site], and though it had many unpleasant side effects (crying six times a day, gaining 20 pounds in two months), the one that bothered me most and decided me to change methods was not menstruating. Now I am on the good old-fashioned Pill, and even so I hardly menstruate. Maybe for a few hours once every two or three months.

I miss it, I miss my body. I feel disconnected without my period. I know several women in the 18-22 age range who have only menstruated a few times in their lives! 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.

She hasn't menstruated since, in four years! I believe these women are missing out on a primeval part of womanhood, being deprived of the full experience of their bodies, and may have trouble making a transition to womanhood and motherhood. After all, menarche is our initiation into adulthood, and it is so powerful and its meaning so profound that men all over the world have found it necessary to invent something analogous for boys, so that they too can undergo a physical and spiritual transition to adulthood. With what can we replace menstruation? Sex? It cannot be replaced, because it happens from within.

No externally imposed ritual can suffice.

March 2002

New Zealand: "I already have . . . . I couldn't be happier."

In fact, I already have.

I started taking OC [oral contraceptives] continuously four years ago. In that time I have had three periods which happened because, for one reason or another, I stopped taking it for a while.

Honestly, I couldn't be happier. No pain or mess. It's cheaper too! I feel that this is definitely the way to go and I will continue taking OC continuously until I either want children (not likely) or reach the age of menopause.

(I'm 26 years old.)

March 2002

Australia: No. "Mine certainly went from a curse to a blessing."

No, I wouldn't want to stop menstruating indefinitely, but as I get mine every two to three weeks (for the last 24 years) I would really appreciate a monthly cycle. I'm tired of being tired and anaemic but my period is the wonderful reminder that I am capable of doing something really wonderful (having a child). A healthy body image comes with time and the ability to love yourself. I truly believe that self love does lead to a shift in the perception of our periods. Mine certainly went from a curse to a blessing.

March 2002

United Kingdom: Yes!

Yes, yes, yes, most definitely. I am 44 years of age and white, British living in Bucks (although lived abroad for approx. 25 years) and suffer badly every 26 days for a minimum of 48 hours. My partner had two children (previous marriage) and then had a vasectomy, so children not likely.

March 2002

"Already have . . . inadvertently . . . . Fabulous, marvelous," from the United Kingdom:

Not only would, already have, though sort of inadvertently.

I'm 35, and in the UK. After having children my doctor suggested having an IUD [intra-uterine device, a contraceptive] fitted since I really didn't like the idea of having to remember to take a pill every day. I had the Mirena fitted: it releases hormones and they mentioned that it tended to reduce bleeding rather than increase it, which had previously put me off the idea of an IUD.

So I've been mostly period free for four years now, just occasional light spotting. What can I say? Fabulous, marvelous, oh, the relief (no periods was one of the big pluses of pregnancy, too). Maybe I'm just lucky or maybe Mirena (being slow, low-dosage release, merely backing up the contraceptive effect of the device itself) is better than these jabs so many respondents seem to have and have trouble with, but NO problems at all, and my libido has recovered fine from the sleep deprivation and general slog of constant nurturing that damped it down when the kids were younger.

I feel a bit sorry for the women who seem to need this inconvenience (or downright pain) to remind them that they are women. OK, I'm being sarcastic there, but honestly, that attitude is frankly insulting to women who for whatever reason, be it simply their own pattern or a medical condition, don't menstruate. Are they not women? Are we all due to stop being women after the menopause? Stupid.

And I never had a problem with menstruation being something shameful or any rubbish like that either, and it never, but never, got in the way of my sex life. I suspect women think men mind more than they really do (and in my philosophy men who mind periods should be ditched because there are plenty of others around who don't, and a man who minds probably harbours some other, nastier problem attitudes).

Scanning through the responses there SEEMS to be (haven't made accurate count!) a bias of younger and as-yet childless women saying mostly that they prefer to have a period, those of use who are older and/or have done the baby thing saying we prefer to be rid of it. I wonder if menstruating does mostly serve as a comforting sign of fertility (though of course it isn't reliable in that) and having got through another month without being hijacked by that fertility (in which it is reliable and a sight cheaper than a testing kit). I don't know how I would have answered 10 or 20 years ago. [Around 1900, the mothers of certain English factory girls did not want their daughters to use any "protection," just to let the flow go free, for this very reason: to assure young men - potential husbands - by eye and nose that their daughters were fertile. OK, skeptics, read here!]

March 2002

Another from the United Kingdom: Yes

Yes, I certainly would. I am 45 now but I felt like this when I was 14 too.

It's too much for too long for too little purpose. I have two children, and I can't imagine how I might have felt if I had been denied the chance to have them. But how many ovulations do you really need to have a reasonable number of children?

March 2002

From San Francisco: No

NO WAY. I'm 27, started my period at 13, and have only been irregular once, while living for five months in West Africa (when I was 21). Due to dietary changes (and insufficiencies, most likely) as well as other changes and a little bacterial infection, my body freaked and I didn't have my period for three months. Never before did I realize how much it connected me to myself, my cycle, and just knowing what was happening with my body. Though I understood why it was skipping given my radical change in health and living conditions, I anxiously awaited its return and was so happy to have it back! Sure it's a pain sometimes, can be messy and painful, but wow, it is uniquely ours as women and I'll never take it for granted again.

March 2002

Yet another from Great Britain: "Yes . . .

. . . definitely.

I have suffered from "mild endometriosis" for nearly 36 years. I am looking forward to the end of the menopause which is I think just starting as my periods are coming at about once every three months. This is the same as the scheme which is proposed [by the makers of Seasonale; see the intro at the top of this page]. I am feeling so much better these days.

When the endo was at its worst I was having three days off a month from work, and was in danger of losing my job. I was like another respondent eating painkillers without any effect until very high doses. I read an article in The Endometriosis Society Newsletter that said that the body gets used to pain killers. I weaned myself off them using aromatherapy.

My worst symptoms did not appear until I came off the Pill (although I always had painful cramps from the start) in my late twenties, when I was trying to lose weight. I have just read the article in New Scientist magazine (Lifting the Curse, in the print edition subtitled The Cyclic Universe, dated 16 March; the Web site has it archived and accessible) and I have always wondered why there was that gap in the Pill-taking regime. Now all is explained! I expect that like a number of people out there when I was on the Pill I took it some months without stopping when going on holiday, when exams were due, etc., and wondered why I could not carry on taking it and not have the pain and bleeding. I have also been prescribed drugs that stopped my periods for nearly a year, twice. Those went too quickly for me, but I did want children. I was lucky and managed to have one at the age of 35.

I think for women who are fairly certain that their child-bearing years are over and for those who have bad periods (pain and or excessive bleeding) this would be a great benefit. My question is why three months? On what is this based? [My guess is fear, both of unexpected consequences and of purchasers' skepticism.]

I come from Great Britain and am 47 years old.

March 2002

From Chile, in Spanish; the translation from the writer follows:

¡Completamente! eso, si pudiera recuperar mi fertilidad en un plazo razonable (no mas de 1 año). Ahora, hay que tener en cuenta un tema IMPORTANTE. Esta decision debe ser COMPLETAMENTE VOLUNTARIA E INTIMA de cada mujer. Con esta opción se corre el riesgo que se ejerzan presiones contra la mujer que no esta de acuerdo con esta idea (como ha sucedido en varios casos de presiones a usar metodos anticonceptivos para acceder a ciertos trabajos). Para muchas mujeres la menstruacion es una PENA y una CONDENA, para otras es algo NORMAL. Se debe respetar cada opinion y dejar tomar esta decision en plena libertad. Pero asi como se tiene la libertad de continuar la menstruacion, tambien para las que es una condena, deberia existir la libertad de terminarla, no veo inconveniente moral en ello.

******* *********** CHILE

The writer's translation:

Of course!!! - if I could regain my fertility at a reasonable time (no more than one year). But this must take into account an IMPORTANT matter: This choice must be WHOLLY VOLUNTARY AND PERSONAL from every woman. Because having this choice we run the risk of pressure against women who do not agree with this idea (like the pressure to use contraceptive methods to obtain certain types of jobs). For many women menstruation is a PAIN and a CURSE, while for others is something wholly NORMAL. The opinion and choice of EVERY woman must be respected, but they must have the complete liberty to make this decision - liberty to have, liberty to not have. I don't see any moral obstacle to that.

Wonderfully, she added later, in English,

I'm 29 years old, and I have one beautiful baby (that, as I've seen, is the only good reason to have periods :)

March 2002

From the Czech Republic:

Why I hate to be a woman.

The worst thing that happened to me is probably that I started to menstruate. I was twelve or thirteen years old, a naive girl. Suddenly something changed my life absolutely. I started to be ashamed of my body, of my physical processes. I always feel tremendous disgust, shame and I don't know what else when my uterus starts to "naturally" work. I simply don't believe that bleeding is a natural function of the body. I think it's the warning that something ain't in order. Plus the pre-menstrual syndrome or what the hell they call it: my reproductive insides hurt me like hell, breasts hurt me, my face is full of spots, I feel depression and despair. Nobody can delude me this is a manifestation of a healthy organism. I feel totally out for these six days when my female "healthy" body bleeds.

I don't want to take any pills that guarantee me no suffering. It caused suffering to many laboratory animals, it is unnatural and artificial. I reject some artificial things. I have many instructions about what to do when the "natural" process starts; for example: have a hot shower (which I practice), drink Japan, "bancha" or special mixture of herb tea (which I practice), eat raw, vegan food (which I practiced and it was the only thing that worked, but I realized I wanted to try to eat local, vegan food and it is nearly impossible to eat just raw food in the winter), avoid sugar (which I practice, but everything's the same), avoid dairy products (which I practiced for years, but it doesn't seem to suffice).

I don't use tampons, because it is unimaginable for me to thrust into myself something (it is unimaginable for me that one day, a man will be in me). I use sanitary napkins, that make me feel dirty, uncomfortable and . . . .

I avoid meeting people in this period, especially men, because I think everybody knows what is happening with me and I feel very, very bad because of it. I would like to stay in bed for all these days and just shower myself.

I can't believe some women are proud of having menses.

I think menstruation hobbles my creativity, degrades myself and causes me to not accept my femininity.

I definitely wanna stop menstruating.

Czech Republic, 21 years old

March 2002

"Being Wicca, I have noticed that my psychic abilities wax and wane depending on where I am in my cycle."

I would be concerned about the health implications. I'm 34 and my best female friend (also 34) menstruates about once every three or four months. When she does, it is a terribly long, painful, and flow-intensive period; as if all the fluid had accumulated within her body and was being released all at once.

Being Wicca, I have noticed that my psychic abilities wax and wane depending on where I am in my cycle. This is also influenced by the lunar stage. I would not want to give up my monthly peaks just to have a long plateau with no valleys.

March 2002

"If I could have the periods without having the side effects, then yes, I'll keep them."

I am twenty-one years old, and recently married. Before I met my husband I was on Depo-Provera for over a year, and had completely stopped bleeding; I didn't even have spotting. I went off Depo in October, and immediately started bleeding again, but my periods are more terrible than they were when I started my period at age eleven. My cramps are horrible, I lie in bed crying some days. I also have horrible bowel conditions, either constipation or diarrhea, sometimes both in the same three to four days that I bleed. I get nauseous, which has led to some times my husband and I thought I was pregnant. I would have to say though, that after a year of not having my period, I really missed them. Now I wish I could bleed for a couple days each month but not have any of the cramping, and irritability, and sore breasts. Also, my husband refuses to have sex when I'm on the rag, though I get hornier at this time than at any other. So I'm completely divided on the subject. If I could have the periods without having the side effects, then yes, I'll keep them. Someone please find a drug for the side effects!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

March 2002


If it would only go away. I am 46 and still it comes every month like clockwork. I had only one child and not by choice but by circumstances. I am too old to have a baby without worrying about the child's health so why must I continue to have this every month. It lasts for seven day's and is VERY heavy and as another woman said, clots as big as my fist at times. So YES, YES, YES, I would love to have something to make it stop. I had polyps in my uterus and they had to stop my period for a year and that was the most blessed year. I am premenopausel and it seems to have gotten worse since I have gotten this way. So YES I would love for it to go away because it still may be years before I see menopause.

I am Caucasian and Native American mix.

March 2002

Yes, and for all women, e-mails a Dutch woman:

Would stop these good-for-nothing bloodlettings for good if I could, for all women. Considering my age (45, four kids), I hope to get rid of them soon. Too bad that the hormones after menopause, or the lack of them, will have many unwanted side-effects such as osteoporosis, aging, Alzheimer's, strokes and shriveling up in general.

I think I'll go for hormone replacement therapy in due time . . . .

Nothing is ever perfect, is it? [That's for sure.]

March 2002

"I'd love to be able to stop my period!!!!!!"

I'm 40 now. The older I get, the worse my cycle gets. The cramps are horrendous at times (much like labor pains). My cycle hasn't been regular since my early 30s. The upside to this is that I'm more in tune to what my body tells me :-) When my period does show up, it lasts anywhere from four days to four weeks. I've been poked, prodded and biopsied by my HMO [health maintenance organization]. I'm told it's all part of "being a woman."

I look at it this way: I'm through having children, I'm tired of the pain and the mess (not to mention the other little annoyances). I'd love to be able to stop my period!!!!!!

March 2002


I'm 18 and yes, I would definitely like to put a stop to them. It's not just feeling gross five days of the month, it's the planning. It's having to remember to put a towel on my bed so not to ruin the sheets and making sure my dark underwear is clean. It's wanting to have sex with my boy friend and not being able to. It's the pain in my stomach, back and legs. It's the mood swings that I don't notice but everyone else does. My mom tells me that when she was young she wanted her period because it meant she was growing up. When I was young I couldn't figure out why anyone would want the blood and the hassle. I wish I didn't have to have my period!

February 2002

"It depends on the circumstances":

Before I gave birth to my son seven months ago, I would've said yes. My periods were always irregular, heavy (40-count box of super tampons per cycle), and painful (I used to take 1000 mg ibuprofen a day).

After trying to get pregnant for one year and my OB/GYN [obstetrician/gynecologist] (at the time) telling me I couldn't get pregnant because my mom took DES ["DES (diethylstilbestrol) is a synthetic estrogen drug that was given to millions of pregnant women primarily from 1938-1971. Use of DES during pregnancy was thought to prevent miscarriage and ensure a healthy pregnancy. DES did not work, and women who took DES and the children they carried are at risk for certain health problems and may need special care." That's quoted from a DES site.] while pregnant with me (I was born with a clubfoot; I had corrective surgery when I was 2 years old), and two older sisters. One had a miscarriage at 5 months, the other had cervical cancer at the age of 21.

I'd given up hope. I mourned, I grieved - until discovering at the age of 34 that I was pregnant! My periods used to be heavy, 7 days, bad cramps and then went to one pad per day, 4-day cycle, hardly any cramps. Avoid tampons (they make your cramps worse).

My son was born on a Tuesday; the very next Friday I got my 1st Depo-Provera shot [a four-times-a-year contraceptive; see its site], which threw me into a nasty depression. I'm now on a low-dose estrogen pill that I'm happy with.

Have a long talk with your OB/GYN: if they don't treat you right, find someone else - BELIEVE ME!

Very Sincerely,

February 2002

"YES!!!!!!!THAT'S MY GOLDEN DREAM!!!!!!!!!!!"

Hurry up with the answers!!!!

I'm a Brazilian 37-year-old woman, and I hate my periods!!!

[Brazilian gynecologist Dr. Nelson Soucasaux, a frequent contributor to this site - read what he writes about stopping menstruation, for example - e-mailed word of this Web site to the Brazilian newspaper O Globo, which published a short review, and shortly afterwards I received this e-mail, among others.]

February 2002


I am a 14-year-old American who has had her period since the age of 11. I'm not sure if that qualifies me as "experienced" or not, but anyway . . . .

My answer would have to be "yes!" There are times when I don't mind having my period (say, during physical education at school:)) but one time when I really did mind stands out in my thoughts and drives my answer of "yes." A few months ago, I was at school, with business as usual (I remember this so well, I recall that it was a Wednesday). I had my period, and for once, it WAS NOT bothering me. So I went to my morning classes, and all was well until I got to computer class. I sat down, and it felt like someone had a white hot knife fitted between my hip bones. I tried standing back up again, to no avail. I decided to sit back down before people decided I was a freak, and the pain was completely intolerable. I don't think I lasted five minutes before I asked to go to the bathroom. I went to the bathroom, just down the hall, but it felt like I was walking a hundred miles. I got there, locked myself in a stall, and burst into tears. Just my luck, my PE [physical education] teacher (one of the coolest people I've met) was in the bathroom as well and decided that someone who sounded tortured (as I'm sure I did, because I certainly felt tortured) was a bit odd, and took pity on me and asked why I was screaming in pain. I explained, and I got to hang out in her office the rest of the day and play with her puppy. However, the pain didn't go away. and four days later, the hot knife was still fitted between my hips and it wasn't cooling off. FINALLY, a week and a half later, I woke up and COULD WALK WITHOUT PAIN!!!! I was so excited I was, like, jumping for joy. But now, every month that now familiar white hot knife reappears without fail.

My other reason for saying yes is that I ride and show horses, and it would be of great convenience to me to no longer worry whether there was blood showing on my butt every time I went over a jump. In fact, and this may seem a bit gross, but there is a dark spot on the twist (the narrowest part of the seat of an English saddle; your crotch rests on the twist) that is actually a bloodstain from an incident at a show that I have tried my best to block from my mind forever. It has sort of become tradition now that any rider who has her period at a show make a comment to the effect of "Lauren, can I borrow your saddle? I don't wanna stain mine!" It's all in good humor though. Another tradition seems to be that whenever we go to a show, the SECOND the car door is closed and we start to leave, my period starts. It's so predictable that I can actually put a tampon in that morning before we leave, and by the time we get to the show it will be full. Sometimes this amazes me; I wonder how that can possibly work.

Anyway, have a good week, Mr. Finley, and say hello to your cats for me:) [They looked at me as if I were crazy, but that wasn't the first time.] I wish you luck with your Web site in the future. [Thanks!]

February 2002

A reporter for New Scientist magazine, Sylvia Westphal, recently interviewed Professor Patricia J. Sulak, M.D., and myself, among others, for an article about stopping menstruation (Lifting the Curse, in the print edition subtitled The Cyclic Universe, dated 16 March; the Web site has it archived and accessible). Your comments, below, impressed the writer very much.

I asked Dr. Sulak, of Texas A&M University, to send me her ideas about the topic. She wrote,

Having A Monthly Period Throughout the Reproductive Years Is NOT Natural.

- Women of decades ago did not have as many periods as women today because their periods started later and ended early, they had many more children, they started having children at a much earlier age, and they breastfed longer.

- Women today, on average, start having menses earlier, and now the average age of menopause is almost 52 year of age !!! They also delay childbearing, often into the mid/late 30's, have fewer children, and don't breastfeed as long. All this leads to MANY more periods.

- Incessant ovulation and menses, month after month after month, is associated with many health problems, including a proven increased risk of ovarian cancer, anemia associated with heavy menses, ovarian cysts, and endometriosis.

Oral contraceptives (OCs) or birth control pills inhibit ovulation and thus reduce many of the risks listed above. But, the way OCs are designed, they artificially induce monthly menses often associated with headaches, cramps, and PMS. By taking the real pills in OCs continuously women often avoid the many problems associated with their periods. Many articles have been written on this new way to take the pill and one drug company is completing a study of patients taking 12 weeks of real pills in a row [Barr Laboratories with its Seasonale pill].

We have another article accepted for publication to the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology (June 2002) which will discuss the experiences of almost 300 patients who are taking OCs more than three weeks in a row. Future research studies will help us determine which regimen of OCs will be the best.

Many birth control methods now and in the future will eliminate monthly menses and the nuisance associated problems.



Patricia J. Sulak, M.D.
Professor, Texas A&M Health Science Center
Scott and White Clinic
Temple, Texas

February 2002

"A womyn's menstruation should be honored and respected."

I just read "The Red Tent" and it was a wonderful book about Dinah, daughter of Jacob and Leah in the Bible. The ancient ways of menstruation and celebration are lost in this modern world. A womyn's menstruation should be honored and respected. When a girl comes into age she should have a celebration with the womyn of her family and friends, so that she knows her body is special and that life starts there. I am going to do this for my own daughter, Avalon. One more thing: there are herbs to help womyn out there so that they do not have to take hormones for regularity, pain medication, etc. Raspberry leaf is one very strong herb for womyn. Also look into Chinese acupuncture and herbs. I have a sister-in-law who stopped her horrible cramps with a six-month treatment of Chinese herbs and acupuncture. Don't forget that we are womyn, we are the holders of life, we have the ability to cleanse ourselves each month. The menstruation blood should be honored and respected. We should take a day off if we can to celebrate the first day of menstruation and to celebrate our bodies and the magic of life. Menstruation is cleansing, not dirty! Take care and I wish all my fellow womyn the best to try not forget the ancient ways mentioned in "The Red Tent"!

February 2002

"[C]hemically changing something that is supposed to happen doesn't seem right to me."

Although I'm only 14, and have only been menstruating for roughly a year, I have a strong opinion on this topic. I realize periods bring monthly pains and cause inconveniences in a lot of cases, but having your period is part of being female. It is a sign of your fertility and ability to make children. As I get older and have been menstruating for more years, my opinions may change. But chemically changing something that is supposed to happen doesn't seem right to me. If it happens, it should happen. Why change it? For now, I wouldn't quit my periods.

February 2002

"I would never want to give up my period again!!!"

I'm 22, recently married, and "trying" to plan our first child. I have been on the Pill for almost six years. I was having many problems while taking the Pill and wanted a different method while we were still thinking of conceiving. I was nauseous every single time i had to swallow that Pill - just thinking about it made my stomach turn. I was completely fine taking any other type of pill (aspirin, Tylenol) not to mention that I was 21 years old and had absolutely no desire for sex!!!

I knew I had to try something else and no one believed me about the Pill. So I told my doctor that I would like to try something else, and the shot seemed like the best alternative. He told me about the three-month shot and how it might stay in your system for up to one year. Well, I surely didn't want to wait that long, so he told me about the one month shot that you come back for once every month. I did it and that was in November of 2001. I haven't had my period yet and we are ready to get the show on the road. I hate waiting for my body to get back to normal. It just goes to show you, be careful what you ask for!!

from Illinois

February 2002

"It breaks up some of the monotony and reminds me that I am alive."

I'm a 16-year-old from California. I got my first period a couple of weeks after my 13th birthday and I wouldn't give it up for all the waffles in Belgium! Sure, I've only had it for three years but I think I can give an experienced response to this question.

When I first got it I was always thinking, "Why does it HAVE to be blood? Why does it HAVE to come from there?"And yes, sometimes it seems like nothing more than a bother at times but now I realize it isn't all that bad. For me, it breaks up some of the monotony and reminds me that I am alive. A period is only a visual reminder that I am changing all the time, and that I still possess the ability to change. Almost all women since the dawn of time from all around the world have had to put up with their monthly "reminders," - it is what unites all women, you can say.

Maybe it is easy for me to say such things since I've never really had a bad experience with my period. My friends and I even get it at the same time of the month which I explain as a result of our close bond. [See the ground-breaking article about menstrual synchrony]. My guy friend, whom I am very close to, is somewhat queasy about menstruation, but is very sympathetic. He even bought me one of Vinnie's Tampon Cases (which are quite fun) [see it]. So in conclusion, No, if there was some magical way to rid myself of my "curse" (as some people would call it) I would not engage in it. Why would I want to lose something that simply tells me that I am a woman?

[The writer contributed to Words and expressions for menstruation: "I'm just bleeding to death."]

February 2002


Please hurry up with that pill.

****** Age 33 from Queensland, Australia

February 2002

"I don't understand why God decided that women should be punished every month with the burden, but we can definitely assume that God is male and doesn't really give a darn about women and the pain."

Dear Museum,

I am 14 and I hate my period very much. Sometimes at school I have to go into the bathroom between every class and change my tampon, and people always look at me funny when I walk out of the restroom for the fifteenth time that day. Needless to say, its a hassle. Boys always make fun of girls when they are on their periods; that's not fair and they have no right. Boys don't know what we women go through every month. I complain to my mom often that I want everything taken out. I don't mean to sound cruel, but children aren't worth the hassle for fifty years of your life. After the devastating 'breast-development' young girls aren't quite looking forward to another bad change, especially since guys don't get anything except hair (women even get that too). I don't understand why God decided that women should be punished every month with the burden, but we can definitely assume that God is male and doesn't really give a darn about women and the pain. Not to mention that the media tells us women that it is necessary for us to 'hide' our period and that it is a nasty disgusting thing that we should be ashamed of. If only the media would advertise it like a delicious chocolate cake, maybe women would get a new perspective of the burden. But I am proud to say that a woman is also the stronger of the sexes. No man could ever live through those cramps in the middle of English class without howling in pain. They would whine and complain the whole time for the whole week.

:) luck with your research,

February 2002

"Yes, I WOULD!!"

I have always dreamed of that (never seeing a period again) since the first "flood" at age 11.

They went for 8-14 days till my third child and an emergency C-section [Caesarean section] (also cut and burned the tubes at same time) at age 29! Now at 35? They are 5-10 days long and just bothersome. But the pills described wouldn't make me happy - I would like a blocker for life! Something I didn't have to constantly take or go in for. I wouldn't mind to be given the choice of taking it all out! But hate the thought of daily pill taking too :-) Never satisfied.. Wanting it all and in my own way - perfectly!

February 2002

"No way - never again!"

I was taking DepoProvera and I stopped one year ago. Still no period and I am starting to wonder if it is ever going to return. My husband and I were planning a pregnancy and were assured that it would only take a short time for fertility to return after the last shot.

Completely disappointed and heartbroken.

January 2002

A Croatian living in Germany writes, "I'd prefer I hadn´t ever got it at all, but I'm not up to bother with extracting it."

I'm 18 and I've been having periods since I was 12. I usually don't have some special pains, only maybe half an hour of really bad pangs on first or second day. My problem is that it lasts for seven days in total and I usually bleed like hell. I always hated that feeling of constant dampness underneath, which I solved by using tampons. Then I hated it for coming in such an unusual times. Now it's quite regular thanks to contraceptives (that I actually started using as a hormonal therapy).

My husband, thankfully, is in a complete opposition to my father, who doesn't want to see a trace of menstrual evidence and in front of whom I always had to hide my "hygienic products." My husband keeps tracks of my cycle and he even gets amused when he finds out if I get it when the moon is full or so. He also doesn't mind having intercourse with me during my period, and still it doesn't feel too comfortable on "those" days. It actually hurts, even if I exclude all the mess.

Of course I'd choose not to have period if that would be possible, but still, somebody should inform me about that in advance because I get very alarmed if something's wrong with my cycle. If I miss it, I immediately think something's wrong. Even sometimes during the sexual activities I get contractions that cause strong bleeding even a week before actual period and that worries me.

I hate it, but still every irregularity about it worries me.

I mean, who would like to bleed anyway? I'd prefer I hadn't ever got it at all, but I'm not up to bother with extracting it.

That's my opinion.

Later, she added,

Imagine Lawrence of Arabia, Columbus, Darwin, and all of those other men exploring, living in wilderness/tribes/nature with no trace of civilization at all. How did they look like after month or two out there? They were smelly, dirty and unshaved (and some men that enjoy the luxury of the civilized world still look like that, though). And how would a woman look like after a period? Or, to say, THOSE periods? I think she would be dead. She would commit suicide because of the lack of hygiene she must have gotten used to. I would. I give my right hand for that.

For that reason I often think of poor Jane Goodall and her kind. I'd like not to have a period mostly in order to be able to be spontaneous, free to do whatever I want, WHENEVER I want.

January 2002

No. "I guess I also wanted to be part of the club again."

This is probably an old subject, but I just stumbled upon it as I was researching menstruation for my own reproductive curiosity.

I was on Depo Provera for about three years. During which, my period waned and eventually dissapeared all together. It definitely had its benefits. It was clean, first and for most. Secondly, it elminated the need for serious pain medication once a month.

I chose to stop taking Depo Provera, however, for many reasons. I wanted my period back because I wanted to become reassured that I was still capable of reproducing. I didn't like the feeling that hormones were blocking what wanted to happen in my body. I guess I also wanted to be part of the club again. To have that connection with other menstruating women.

That's all.

January 2002

"I certainly would!"

My periods have always been irregular and heavy. I have to use both tampons and pads at once--super tampons and "ultra" pads. I never do know in advance whether I will have cramps, but when I do, they are extremely painful and make me sick to my stomach as well. I was on the Pill for contraceptive purposes for a year and it was great. Granted, I still got my period but it was regular and maybe a third or fourth the amount of a usual period. I plan to get back on the Pill soon, but I will try to get the new one Seasonale, that you only have a quarterly period with. Sounds good to me! I am 23 and American.

January 2002

"I would if I could."

At 38 with two children and a husband who has a vasectomy 10 years ago, I wonder why I have to go through this torture every month. I tell myself only 15 more years and this will all be over. I have always had very heavy, long cycles with lots of depression beforehand. When I was still in a time frame when I was having children, I could see the point of having cycles; now they just interrupt my life and not in a good way. I have periods every three weeks and they last 7-10 days so I have one week without my period. I usually ovulate 5 days after my period ends.

January 2002

A New Zealander writes Yes!

Would I?! I have classical migraine every month. Went away when I was pregnant, came back worse afterwards. I am quite convinced that my periods are the major contributing trigger and would so gladly get rid of the damn things!

(Age 33)

January 2002


I am a 31-year- old mother of one stepson. I hate periods. They interrupt everything about my life and make me a grouch. I've spent my day off doing research and stumbled upon your site. I would love to go without the cumbersome "diaper" or tampon ritual every month, and I would love to have the freedom to enjoy my husband anytime of the month.

Having never given birth to a child, the possible health benefits are wonderful, potentially reducing my risk of cervical and breast cancer? Please send me more info!!!!!

Thanks for your site and the extremely helpful information!

January 2002

She uses "Reiki"to reduce pain

I'm "stuck" home today because of my period. I have always been a heavy bleeder with lots of cramping from clots. I'd like to hear that the three-month pill kit is available. [I've heard that it - Seasonale - may appear next year.] I have toyed with the idea of a hysterectomy.

I'm now 31, over the past few months I've been exploring methods of pain reduction that do not use over-the-counter pain killers (or prescriptions). I've been using a system called "Reiki" (uses energy transference) before the bleeding begins on my belly. And on my lower back after bleeding starts. And I've dramatically reduced the use of pain-killing pills. Even when the flow is the heaviest and the possibility of harsh cramps is evident.

Mind over matter - no matter what the 3D picture is.

Hope more and more women explore the possiblities within to stop the pain instead of seeking validation from an outside source to stop it for them.

Thanks for the site. I found it today from being frustrated with my body; I had to read some funny things to bring my mood up. I like the power of humor [click on the link to the humor page at the top of this page]. Glad you included some. :-)

Good luck in life,

from New York State

"You bet!" writes a 34-year-old woman from a small Texas town

I came across this article online while looking into iron-deficient anemia and arguments for ceasing to have a menstrual cycle.

I am constantly anemic, even with taking 277% of the recommended daily allowance of iron. My migraine headaches flair up at that time as well.

This is even with me taking Mircette, which has reduced the placebo pills to just two. I HATE migraines! It is just not worth it to me. I want to be pain-free and healthy so I can enjoy life everyday, and not just when it's not "that time of the month." I would give up my periods in a heartbeat and never look back!

January 2002


Yes, yes, yes. Somebody please make it stop!!!!!!! Age 41.

January 2002

Yes, hypothetically

Of course, it's a personal choice, but if it were possible to stop menstruating through the use of perfectly safe medication that has no side effects, I would. I am child-free by choice and don't see the point of having a period. Of course, such medication doesn't exist so my answer is in response to a hypothetical question. I like hypothetical questions, though.

January 2002

"How much money do you want???"

I would stop in a heart beat with no second thoughts . . . EVER!!

Cramps? I've had them all my life from age nine until now, age 42.

Blood Clots? Big as my fist every month, sometimes I spend hours in the restroom, and can use an industrial size box of tampons every month.

Darn right, I'd stop. I have been wishing to stop for what seems like my entire life, but in all reality it's only 33 years. I can't wait for the day. It can't come soon enough.

January 2002

Yes, from Ontario, Canada


Thought I'd add my comments to your survey asking whether I'd stop menstruating if I could. I'd have to say yes, I could happily do without my period! Like my mother, I started menstruating at 13, and if I continue to follow her example, so to speak, I'm looking at another 20 years before I hit menopause (I'm now 38). My teen years were an intermittent hell of abdominal cramps, thighs which felt like lead, and at least three days of heavy (I'm talking HEAVY) flow followed by another six or seven days of lingering inconvenience. I guess I should be grateful, at least, that I have never really experienced PMS [premenstrual syndrome] symptoms.

Things evened out in my 20s, when I was on the Pill for a number of years. I was spared the cramps and, for the most part, the heavy flow, though the inconvenience still lasted a good seven days. My period definitely put a cramp in my social life, too (that must be where that expression came from!), as I'm not one of those women who's comfortable having sex during my period. I mean, ick. It can't make a positive impression on the average male who's already suffering delusions that he should be dating Cindy Crawford (I'll bet she doesn't menstruate). But at least with the Pill you do have some flexibility. You can, in essence, schedule your period when it's going to be least inconvenient.

When I hit my 30s, the problems began again. I developed uterine fibroids, the curse of middle-aged Causcasian women. With the fibroids came a return of the cramps (fortunately I find I can relieve these with naproxen sodium, provided I take the pills at the very first hint of my period starting), plus heavy clotting which was, frankly, revolting, not to mention hard to keep up with, hygiene-wise. (I smiled in recognition when I read the message from the woman who is an endurance rider; I'm also a competitive rider, and having cramps and clotting when I'm in the barn, trying to work with my horses, is just a joy. Not.)

I explored treatments for the fibroids, but they all seemed pretty extreme: drug therapy which essentially triggers an artificial menopause, or hysterectomy, both of which came with side-effects (I'd be looking at starting on estrogen therapy or risking osteoporosis, also a family trait).

Finally, my gynecologist recommended Depo Provera, which in most women stops menstruation. My reaction? "You mean they've had a CURE for it all this time and no one told me??" Though I'm not keen on injections, for this fringe benefit I was willing to endure it.

Alas, I was not one of the lucky ones. Apparently most women find their periods taper off over the course of a year once started on Depo Provera, but in the two years I was on the drug I never got there. Instead I'd go six or seven weeks without menstruating, then have the PERIOD FROM HELL: three weeks of heavy bleeding, clotting, cramps, migraines, the works. Eventually my doctor decided I was going to be one of the 15% or so of women who never cease to menstruate on this drug. Bummer.

So now I'm au naturel (my social life currently being a little, er, disappointing) and just enduring the best I can. Could I do without my period? In a heartbeat, given a medication without too many nasty side-effects. I'm not suffering any illusions that my period defines me as a woman or makes me feel more in tune with the earth or the moon. I'm already reasonably convinced of my femininity, thanks! I'd definitely prefer to be like most of the rest of the animal kingdom, and do without this messy, inconvenient, sometimes painful, and consistently annoying ritual.

Submitted with candor,

January 2002

She can't menstruate, having Mayer-Rokitansky-Kuster-Hauser syndrome:

Dear Mr Finley,

I came upon your site while looking for information on Sophie Laws, the lady who wrote "Blood Issues," which I came across while in Australia and thought to be a very courageous, fascinating and unusual book. I have also read the comments in the section "Would you stop menstruating . . . ," perhaps with greater interest than other women, because I have MRKH, aka Mayer-Rokitansky-Kuster-Hauser syndrome, a congenital absence of the vagina and uterus. I have never had a period (obviously), I can never bear children and until the age of 19, I was physically unable to have sex. Through a long and patient process, I managed to fix that part.

"No periods! How lucky!" it seems that the large part of your respondents would cry. It may seem like a great thing on the surface, and I admit it has its advantages. No mess, no cramps, no physical symptoms. But the emotions are there, only I have no physical means of tracking them, and the emptiness inside me is a sucking black hole which yearns for answers on the true nature of this condition, my sexuality and the thousand emotions that his condition embraces. I would love to bear my own child, but I can't. Nothing comes for free - if we want the good things in life we must pay the price. I envy all of you who can have children, but then, the grass is always greener on the other side.

She later added:

MRKH is a struggle - some days I feel cursed and other days I feel blessed! If any of your visitors are interested, there are a growing number of Web sites on the condition, including http://www.mrkh.org/ and http://www.mrkh.net. The second has an article written by me (a shameless plug there... ;-) ), along with lots of useful info and links. There is also a group on Yahoo! (http://www.groups.yahoo.com), I think, called mrkh-grrls, where anyone suffering from the condition can find support - they are an amazing group of women.

Lots of luck with your fascinating and very enjoyable Web site!

Yours sincerely,

Fiona Peterson

[The writer is 29, from Scotland, and lives in Italy]

December 2001


I would JUMP at the chance to not have a period any longer. I am done having kids and medically have no reason to menstruate each month. Please - release this terrible part of my life!

December 2001


Yes, I would at any time. It sucks.

(age 18, Connecticut)

December 2001

"YES! I am sick of this pain, sick of my reliance on massive amounts of painkillers . . . ."

I am an 18-year-old American student. This morning I woke up with my period. Usually, I take anywhere from 12 to 18 ibuprofen a day to dampen the intolerable pain. It makes my head feel dizzy and absentminded, and I know it can't be helping my kidneys any. So today, I decided to try naproxen sodium. I took two of them, and the pain refused to go away for four hours. During that time, I was doubled over with intense pain, I wanted to cry, and I was physically shaking. This is what my life would be like two days out of every month if it weren't for the massive doses of ibuprofen that I'm sure are killing me. So in response to the question of "Would I give up my period if I could," YES! I am sick of this pain, sick of my reliance on massive amounts of painkillers, sick of my inability to function during the first few days of my period. If my periods could come lightly, only last a few days, and not cause me pain, that would also be great. But no, I bleed heavily for a week and get severe cramps and lower back pain. I spent today curled up in bed crying and being antisocial and bitchy. My breasts do a good enough job of reminding me of my gender. I don't need severe pain and excessive bleeding to do that.

December 2001

"No," from Queensland, Australia:

No. I started menstruating a month before my 14th birthday. I used to feel depressed when I got it - but only because of the pain and the inconvenience (my periods were quite heavy). I think I would have felt more positive about it if my Mum had been more understanding about my period pain and the heaviness of my periods. It took a lot of persuasion to get her to buy me the "Super" pads rather than the "Regular" ones. And she wouldn't have anything to do with tampons, so there was no swimming for me those weeks! (She didn't believe in period pain).

I am 26 now. (And from Queensland, Australia)

I have been on the pill for a number of years now, (for gynaecological reasons, not for contraception - I use abstinence). I have found that with being able to use pain relievers for the pain and have control over whether I use tampons or pads, and which ones I use, and, of course, knowing when my period is going to come, I see it in a much more positive light. I don't mind having my period and sometimes I even look forward to it, because it makes me feel more feminine.

I think it's a pity that most of the other women who have replied to your question feel that having periods is such a negative thing. They look upon it with such disgust - and yet this surely can't help their period pain. It would be great if someone could come up with a drug to cure PMS and period pain, so that women could be free to appreciate their femininity, rather than being controlled by their monthly cycle.

December 2001

Anther "No" from Australia

No, I wouldn't stop the physical sensation of having a period which I believe is what this board is about as I don't get bad cramps any more or really get that bloated. I hate the idea of taking a pill to suppress the period, that is so wrong; I don't believe in the pill. Also I like having a personal time clock. The only thing that I would change about periods though is the hormonal legacy of it. That is just plain unnecessary. It explains why women are more prone to depression than men, whether it be before the period, after childbirth, during pregnancy and during or after menopause, it really is a minefield for women, emotional ups and downs are the norm for us as this is how we have been created but WHAT IS THE BLOODY POINT!!!!! It makes us feel crazy, alienates those around us, there is nothing positive about it. If I could take something to stop PMS, in a natural way now THAT is what I would like.

December 2001

A warning from the United Kingdom:

I would like to offer a word of warning on using drugs to avoid having periods.

I spent about 12 months on contraceptive injections. These are great in theory: you get a jab every 11 weeks and then don't get pregnant and in some cases (including mine) never have a period while you are on the drug.

The disadvantage is that if you react to the drug, it's there in your body and you can't get rid of it: you have to wait 12 weeks for it to wear off. (and, as follows, rather more than 12 weeks in some cases.)

I loved not having periods. I don't particularly hate my period, but they can be very inconvenient. They have never been regular unless artificially regulated (I went on the Pill at 18.)

My first two doses were stress-free. I bought a much smaller handbag, as I no longer needed to carry my pills or emergency sanitary products.

The third dose brought with it a weeks moods swings and a serious need (no, really. I thought I might die) to go shopping with my S[ignificant]O[ther], who responded heroically by dropping what he was doing at my weeping phone call and immediately taking me out to buy earrings, perfume and dinner. It also gave me acne.

The fourth dose brought two weeks of more extreme mood swings and a premonition that this symptom would get worse. The acne persisted in the face of a determined onslaught of skin cleansing and peroxide acne cream.

The fifth dose confirmed my suspicions and led to my decision not to have another.

It has now been just over a year since my sixth dose was due, and I have just about shaken off the last of the effects.

My libido is much reduced. I have nearly, but not quite, got rid of the last of the acne. My cup size is variable, and I need to have three different sizes of bra around because no one bra will always fit comfortably. And my menstrual cycle is shot. I have very heavy periods (in some cases having to wear tampons and pads and change both every two hours) which are sometimes painful and always tiring. They go on for ages (up to 10 days) and happen irregularly but frequently. This can be very embarrassing, because they start suddenly and heavily and I find myself having to get and use products in about 10 minutes before I soak through my trousers. This problem with my cycle shows no signs of going away, and I am worried that I have now permanently altered the nature of my natural cycle. I am also worried about my fertility, as while I don't intend to have children in the near future, I would like to have the choice.

This probably won't happen to you, but nobody told me it could happen at the clinic and I would have appreciated being given this information before I got the first shot.

December 2001


I just read to article "No more periods, Period," by Josh Johnson and Kalia Doner, and I must say that I was very relieved by the reports findings. I currently take Nordette and have been eliminating the placebo pills, under the guise of my gynecologist, to eliminate migraine headaches. I have taken the Pill perpetually, thereby eliminating periods for the past year and have NO COMPLAINTS. I haven't noticed any side effects.

December 2001

"[Y]ou were still a female (young girl) before you started you period and still are after menopause (woman)"

I am 35 years old and started my period when I was 10 years old. I was in school, the 4th grade, when a boy came up to me and said, "Hey, you sat on a red marker!" He pointed it out to everyone on the playground and laughed along with the other children. That, I think, was one of the most embarrassing moments in my life, but wasn't the last. I too like other women have had painful and not so painful periods; however, I think wanting to stop them is not going to make me any less of a woman. I gave birth to both of my children by caesarean section; does that make me any less of a woman? I think not! It's not the period that makes the woman, it's the woman that makes the woman. Think about it, you were still a female (young girl) before you started you period and still are after menopause (woman). To want to stop your menses in no way turns you into a man-wannabe. If I could spend more time with my family instead of being in bed bleeding, I would jump at the chance.

Unfortunately, my daughter has inherited this awful curse at the same age I did. I cried uncontrollably the night it happened (not in front of her, of course). So tell me, is she now a woman? No, she's a little girl (female). She will not be a woman until she has gained the maturity that a woman has, until she has had the experiences that a woman has, until she has lived the life that a woman has. That, my dears, is what makes a woman.

To mense or not to mense, it's a personal choice.

November 2001

Yes! from Michigan:

I found your survey through a Yahoo search and I hate periods! If I could, I'd never have one ever again!

Age 25

Yes; she has endometriosis

As a 30-year-old child-free woman with a bunch of medical problems, including stage four endometriosis, I have spent the last 15 years trying to build the better mousetrap as far as period pain control was concerned. I have been on six different types of birth control pills over the years, then on Depo Provera for a while, and eventually the endometriosis overcame them all and I was back where I started, with excruciatingly painful 8+ day-long periods, at least three of which I would spend curled in a ball in bed or on couch begging someone to just shoot me. It has finally come down to the wire as far as non-surgical remedies go, and I am having a hysterectomy in December. I CANNOT WAIT!! Especially since the gonadotropic hormone inhibitor I am on in preparation for the surgery (Lupron Depot - it shuts down the ovaries and the pituitary gland, thereby shrinking the ovaries, uterus, and any cyst/tumors/lesions, makes everything easier to take out) has had me bleeding off and on for the last two months! I will let you know how I like being permanently and irreversibly menses-free in a few months.

November 2001

You're damn right I would

. . . and I have!

I have had Implanon implanted recently and now I no longer have to worry about periods, sex is an anytime thing, and I save money. What could be better!

[Name withheld], age 30

Victoria, Australia

November 2001

Her boyfriend writes that it's from his computer but written by her:

It's a pain, I don't particularly enjoy it, but it's just something that happens.

November 2001

Yes, I would.

I would save money and hassle by not having to buy pads/tampons, not having monthly migraines, and never having to say "of course I'd like to have sex, but just to warn you, I'm on my period."

[name withheld], 23 years old, Australian living in California

November 2001

A scientist writes, "It's a pain"

I am 37, have been menstruating since I was 13, and if I am like my mom, have another 20 years to go. I was on the Pill for seven years, and I forgot what a "normal" period is like. Now that I have them again, it's kind of interesting to track it, what happens each month, when there is pain, what consistency is the flow, can I tell if I ovulated on my right or left side, etc. (I'm a scientist, can you tell?!) I also use it as an excuse to be nice to myself, even when it inconveniences people around me.

The only thing I would change is the horrible acne I get about 1 week before each period.

November 2001


I stumbled upon your site today while searching for information about women's health issues online and spent several unexpected hours perusing it. I had many reactions to the various topics, but the one I most wanted to share was to the question about menstruation.

NO! This is an example of something that has bothered me since I was probably eight years old, and still does today. While I am pleased that we are pushing for greater and greater equality for women, that women who wish careers may have them, some of it saddens me.

The message I often perceived, even as a girl nowhere near puberty or womanhood, was that to be equal in status to men in our society women must essentially become men. We must make career plans and follow that same road to success and succeed in the man's world to prove our equality. The world was telling me that motherhood is just a burden I must bear for several years of my life, between careers, or that I should give up motherhood to someone else to continue my career because that would prove my equality in this man's world.

My response to this message has always been vehemently negative. One of my most important aspirations is to be a mother. As an 18-year-old college student in Pennsylvania, this is not something I wish for soon. I do want to have a job and a career before I have children, but I do not see the interruption to have children as a burden. Motherhood is a beautiful gift that we should celebrate and embrace, not put second to our careers. I want to have a job more so that I will be able to give my children the childhood I want to give them and support myself than for notions of an abstract career. I have always wanted to teach, and I think that it is a natural outcropping of my maternal instincts. Our mothers are our first teachers.

The idea that we can and should completely give up menstruation seems to me just another part of this ridiculous message. I don't want to be just like a man, and to give up my feminine cycle would be to do just that. Yes, it can cause us inconveniences that a man will not have, but it is part of the beautiful femininity that allows us a joy a man will never have, childbearing. To get rid of it for the sake of a job and a career, to become male to succeed in a male world, is just wrong.

Think about it. If a women must give up those things which make her a woman and not a man, and imitate men in every way, to have an equal status in our society, then are women really equal? I don't think so. What we see is much less increased female equality than increased chances for women to act like men. It's not the same thing. Not to say that female equality is a hopeless dream, but before we achieve true equality we have a long uphill battle.

For those of you who suffer extremes, I have sympathy. But those cases are not the rule, they are the exception, and each should be treated individually with the circumstances in mind. Otherwise, the desire to get rid of your menses is just succumbing to this masculinization of the feminine. Mine has been a nuisance on occasion, but everything good in life comes with a price. The occasional nuisance of menses is worth the joys of being a woman!

November 2001

YES! with humor

There was nothing pleasant for me about having a menstrual period. I was 10 years old when I began it and I hemorrhaged every month for 20 years.

I was a manic-depressive personality. Now it's politically correct to use the terminology "bipolar."

The only difference between a pit bull and me with PMS [premenstrual syndrome] was


The first week I was euphoric. I was so charming and witty!

The second week, I compulsively cleaned. (My "nesting" week)

The third week, I cried uncontrollably at everything. Nothing was pleasant. EVERYTHING depressed me.

And the fourth week, I had to stay in bed for three days and hemorrhage.

Then it would start all over again! What a lucky gal!

Euphoric, compulsive, depressed and pain. What a blessed gift


Fortunately, at age 30, I was informed, by a male doctor that I had ovarian cysts and he recommended a hysterectomy. I cried with joy! "Where do I sign? When can you do it? I don't want it! I don't need it! Take it ALL out! Please!!!"

And that was the beginning of my terrific life as a fulfilled woman.

Back in the late 1950s and early 1960s, the good nuns tried to tell us girls, "Menstruating was a gift from God." I grew up thinking God must hate all women.

In 1959, I was forced to attend Girl Scout camp in the beautiful Redwoods of La Honda, California. Of course, I started my period! Here we are on a three day hike, roughing it out in the wilderness and I start my period! I just don't "start" to spot. I bleed through my crummy jeans! Saturate them. So what does an embarrassed 11-year-old girl do? I buried them! Yep! I buried my bloody jeans. That ended the hike for me! I couldn't very well walk through the forest loaded with poison oak, spiders and mosquitoes without a pair of long jeans! So I was returned to the base camp with a counselor and spent three days napping, laying around the pool and eating all the food out of the mess hall refrigerators. No other Girl Scouts were around the camp besides two counselors, me and the cook. This was one of the few times that being a woman worked to my advantage. I often wondered if they had ever found my jeans and thought that someone had been murdered out there among the Redwoods?

Another time having a period work to my advantage was 1964. It was my sophomore year at Notre Dame High School in Belmont, California.

My first class at 8:30 a.m. was physical education and P.E. included swimming. Now, who the hell wants to get up out of a warm bed, drag their butt to school, put on a damp bathing suit and jump into water heated to a cozy 76 degrees? My parents were paying good money for the nuns to inflict physical and mental anguish on me! So, I learned that saying "I have my period" excused me from having to suffer through the Chinese Water Torture. [Name deleted] also followed my modus operandi. We were both finally banished to the tennis courts for unsupervised P.E. class. Just the two of us and we actually played tennis during that class time. [!]

So there you are, Mr. Finley. Those are my renditions of my "Menstrual Memories" for your Menstruation Museum. Some may call it witty. Some may call it emotionally painful. I'm just glad I don't ever have to have a period again. And I considered myself very lucky to have relinquished this "gift" from God at such an early age. It was not a joyful expression of my womanhood. It was a pain in the ass and I am free. Free to be a wonderful, fulfilled woman who loves life!

I hope my memories can add some humor to your Web site. It is an interesting Web site.

November 2001


I'm 28 and I dread my period. Luckily (I guess) I've put on some extra weight and I haven't had one for two months and I LOVE IT!

November 2001

"I don't trust drug companies."

All the comments I have read have discussed this issue from the point of view of whether or not they like their period. I would like to address whether or not our periods and this drug are safe for us. I have not read the specific article about this but I did read something the other day about this subject.

The gist of the argument is this:

1. Women today have more periods in their lifetime than any other time in history.

2. We wonder whether it is the cause for the many reproductive health problems faced by women.

3. We hope to reduce these problems by giving women drugs to stop their periods.

#1 There is no doubt that we have more periods today than before. Women got pregnant at an earlier age than us and they breast fed longer than us (two years or more). For instance, I began my period at 12 and am now 33. If I had given birth to two children and then breast fed them for 2 years, I would have had only 186 periods by my current age. Because I have never been pregnant, I have had roughly 252 periods. That's 66 more periods.

As for item #2, I also question what effect the increased number of periods has on our health. I can't really imagine that there isn't some kind of difference between having 252 periods and having only 186. But we are not yet sure what are the results of this and exactly how important (or unimportant) they are.

It's item #3 that I have a problem with and on several points. I would have to read the study before making very specific arguments. Basically, I don't trust drug companies. My boyfriend worked at a law firm that was suing several drug companies for knowingly selling drugs that kill people.

November 2001

"Love my period? No!"

Monthly reminder that I am a woman? Well I think I could do without that! I guess some people that do not spend the first day of their periods in bed, might think so. I myself would love to be without my period indefinitely. Even at 23 if my doctor would offer me a hysterectomy I would gladly accept. I have tried anything that would make my periods shorter, lighter or less painful and all that I can do at this point is count the days to menopause! I have already had two children and even though we have talked of having a third, the monthly "curse" as I call it is as painful as labor to me. I could never imagine that so many women would not want to end periods and actually enjoy it. But it's a decision that we all may someday be able to make. Yeah! And to not be sick one week out of every month would be a WONDERFUL thing!

November 2001

"I'd jump at the chance to never have a period again."

If it was possible, I'd jump at the chance to never have a period again. I'm 21 years old, have been menstruating for six years, and I have also never had a consistent cycle. I would have a period every few months, ranging from 40 days between periods to up to 15 months. I hated never knowing when to expect it, never knowing how heavy or light it would be, or how long it would last (bleeding for over two months is NOT an enjoyable experience), so I'm currently trying out the Pill. I'm at the end of my second month, and I still haven't had a "normal period." I've pretty much bled all through both cycles. It's also not helping out my cramps at all - the only difference now is that I have cramps all the time, instead of just the first week. Perhaps a change of Pills is in order, but it just reaffirms my desire to never have a period again. I would take a chance to try a Pill that would eliminate menstruation, even at the cost of losing my fertility. If I ever decide I want children that badly, I'd rather adopt anyway.

November 2001


I am almost 42. I had it since I was 13. I don't want children and I would do anything to get rid of it all. It is a pain that I don't need. So if you know a doctor in the Midwest I would love to have whatever it takes.

November 2001

"Final rating: menstruating=good, breasts=bad"

I am 20 and I don't remember when I started because my mom always embarrassed me about everything and then she would lecture me for days every chance she got. Anyway, though, besides that I have never really had a problem with it. I have only had cramps two, maybe three times and the worst one only lasted an hour. I find that if I stand up it goes away quicker than if I hunch over. I really only have problems when it bleeds through and stains my clothes because sometimes I just don't bother with a tampon (I refuse to wear pads, they're just uncomfortable). But I have several pairs of cheap underwear that I hate (they are like granny-panties) and I just wear those for a couple of days. Only the first day is really anything to worry about anyway, the rest is just trailing off. I never even have PMS and if I do I just get horny, not bitchy. So it only really affects me for maybe three days every month, that's not even 40 days out of the whole year. And actual inconvenience time is only about, tops, 10 minutes every month. That's two hours every year! Wow, I am lucky. That's probably why I don't really have a problem with it.

About the "natural" issue. I am into a lot of the natural things like using herbs instead of prescribed medicine and stuff like that, but in my opinion we have evolved making things like razors for our legs and building things like cement sidewalks and cars, so technically that is natural because it is a part of the homo-sapiens natural evolution. And even people who believe in the Creationist view can see that we have changed a lot even in the past few decades.

But in the end I think I would probably keep it even though I am not currently planning on having any children, ever. If I were to get rid of one of my female-defining attributes I would have to say my breasts. Size "A" can feed a child (if I ever have one) just as well as these monsters. And at least a period only lasts once a month! These things are here ALL THE TIME! preventing me from running and playing games and all kinds of fun. They aren't good for anything except a nice show when I dress up.

final rating:



October 2001

"I actually enjoy getting it now"

I just wanted to tell you that in many ancient civilizations such as with Native Americans and with the Celts, a menstruating women was no one to be messed with. She had a lot of power at that time. Also, with the Celts, a woman with red hair was greatly honored because her hair was the color of blood, which signified fertility.

It is true that many women hate their periods. I for one did, until I read things and thought long about it. Your body gives you so many signs, such as a pain when you're ovulating, which is probably the egg bursting out of the ovary, and cramps which are muscle contractions of the uterus telling you that you better be on your guard and avoid wearing light clothing. I think it's special because I've been listening to my body more, and it seems to me that we women have a greater connection to our bodies because of our menstruation.

Now this might seem weird, but I read somewhere that the moon greatly affects the cycles of a woman. Or at least it used to. That a woman's period usually came around the new moon. Now the weird part. My period is really punctual, and not just by day, but around the same hour too. I really wanted to get my period on the new moon, which was on August 18th, but my period was supposed to come on the 25th. To my surprise and great delight, I got my period on the 18th. I thought it was so cool, and I felt closer to nature. The next time I got my period on September 15th, 28 days after the 18th of August. I was disappointed because I wanted to get my period on the new moon again which was on the 17th. I put my mind on it this time and hoped to get my period on the 16th of October in the morning. I put it off for a few days and got my period today (October 15th) at half past noon.

This whole thing gives me a feeling that there's more to it than what may seem apparent about a woman's menstrual cycle. I actually enjoy getting it now and maybe we do have a little more control over our bodies than we originally thought we had. And I'm feeling contractions of my uterus as I write this, but it's a prelude to giving birth, and what man can ever experience that?

Thank you for listening to my menstrual story.

(October 2001)

Yes, but "the whoosh and plop as it leaves the vagina are a positively sensual thing."

What annoys me about menstruation is the fact that there are ruddy great taxes on sanitary products which are medical essentials and about as far away from being a luxury as one could possibly imagine.

I probably would have stopped menstruating if I could have done (have just gone through the menopause so nature has done it for me!) when younger - being in the medical profession I used the Pill lots of times to make sure I wouldn't have a "period" - at one point when living in the Middle East I went nearly three years without a period as the sticky inconvenience of a combination of bleeding, heat and physical activity was just too much for me to put up with.

Certainly if I hadn't had the inconvenience of menstruation I know I would have done far better at my chosen sport of endurance riding - dealing with sanitary protection during the course of a 100-mile horse ride is not exactly easy. I have stained saddles and breeches to prove it.

Having said all that, sometimes the feeling of the blood sliding down from one's womb, the slight cramp as it emerges from the cervix and the whoosh and plop as it leaves the vagina are a positively sensual thing. Just depends on the convenience factor, though - that was always the big thing for me. I didn't mind the menstruation, just that fitting it in around the rest of my life was so damned inconvenient!


She later added,

I'm English, resident in New Zealand, but about 30 years ago, when Value Added Tax was imposed on tampons, etc., in the UK I went out and bought about five years supply before the tax was imposed. Turned out to be about 15 years supply because I started controlling my bleeding with the Pill.

I can tell you a heart-warming true story about sanitary pads and my days in Saudi Arabia if you like. [Even after I wrote her "Yes!" she still hasn't sent her story, darn it!"]

October 2001

"Absolutely yes! . . . I have looked forward to menopause since my first period at 11 . . . ."

I am an American who will turn 52 in a few days. I had my first period at age 11, and my last at age 50 in January, 2000, welcoming the new millennium in for me in the best imaginable way.

It's all well and good to read the comments about women loving their periods, but I would bet anything that they have no firsthand knowledge of how it feels to suffer from severe dysmenorrhea for nearly 40 years! For their benefit, I will provide some of the specifics of living with dysmenorrhea: relentless abdominal cramping so severe it equals labor pains (and I know about labor pains; I am small, but bore an 8-1/2 lb. baby, and then a 9 lb. baby who became stuck on her way out); repeated vomiting; severe headache; disabling pain shooting down the back of the legs; lightheadedness; fainting; and those are just the basics.

Add to the dysmenorrhea a menstrual cycle so unpredictable in length that periods range from 18 to 36 days apart. Also add such heavy bleeding and clotting that wearing two tampons simultaneously, plus a maxi pad (all of them changed every 30 minutes for the first day of the period) is not enough to guarantee no leaks onto your clothes. Toss in a few D&C's, prescription hormone therapies, holistic methods, and natural approaches for relief, none of which were ultimately useful. And put yourself through this experience for 80% (!!) of your life before it finally ends at menopause, and then tell me how wonderful menstruation is for you.

I have looked forward to menopause since my first period at 11, when I was first introduced to the agonies of dysmenorrhea (the symptoms of which began 12 hours before my bleeding first began). With many of my fellow sufferers, I entertained the fantasy of hysterectomy simply for relief. When I realized I had entered menopause I literally thanked God. I am grateful every day of my life that my periods are over. I have been given the gift of being entirely symptom free with menopause - including not one single hot flash. I believe this could be due to my viewing menopause as a very much positive event in my life. I also think of it as sort of a consolation prize from God for the suffering I endured for 39 years.

Had there been an available way to eliminate my periods early on without endangering my health, I would have shamelessly pushed and shoved my way to the front of the line. I am happy for those of you who, like my own mother, had uneventful menstrual cycles and consequently see no reason to wish to eliminate them. But please understand that many of your sisters suffer miserably and pointlessly for decades through a process for which there is little for them to rejoice about.

October 2001

"Not again"

Would I stop menstruating if I could? Not again. I was on Depo-Provera, a birth control shot, for a year. One of the side effects is reduced or eliminated menstruation. Wow, what a concept. I would no longer have to carry sanitary supplies everywhere I went; I would no longer have to plan every two hours to change my tampon or wake up in the middle of the night to change a full sanitary napkin in those first heavy days. No more days of sore breasts, unbearable cramps, and fourteen days of bleeding. I have been off the shot for two years and haven't menstruated in three. I miss it terribly. I miss the monthly reminder that I'm female; that there are days when I need to cry every fifteen minutes - for no reason; that if I want to lay in bed all afternoon and read, that's exactly what I should do. I think of my Indian ancestors who would go to moon lodges and sit together while menstruating and have woman time. I don't have that woman time. I can't relate the way I used to when a woman talks about menstruating or cramping. I haven't had those comforting feelings of "I think I'll give myself that extra twenty minutes in bed today" or "Take it slow, your body is dealing with a lot." Instead, I push harder, run longer, and burn out faster. I wonder what's wrong with me when I cry all day for no reason. I'm different. I'm a woman; everyone assumes I menstruate. Well, I don't. And I miss it more than I ever imagined possible.

I'm a white American living in New England, age 24.

October 2001

"Menstruation is a life-affirming process."

I am 44 and live in the U.S. However I grew up in Europe for 29 years and just moved back here 11 years ago.

I love having my period and always have. My lack of resistance to menstruating is probably the reason I have never had much problems with cramps or other symptoms.

The reason I like having my period is that my monthly cycle makes me feel connected to the greater cycle. The ovulation and menstruation rhythm keeps me grounded. I dread going into menopause for that reason.

The monthly menstruation is a cleansing process on both the physical and emotional level. I am much more in touch with my emotions during that time. And though it can be cathartic through mood swings and PMS, it's my impression that those feelings are usually kept under control. My period gives me a chance to purge them.

There seems to be a huge hang-up about having sex during your period. I love having sex during my period! I am much easier aroused and it feels great. I've been fortunate to be with men who haven't had a problem with that.

This male dominated society has taught us that our natural functions are dirty and sick. Menstruation is a life-affirming process. When men bleed they are either sick or injured. But women when women bleed on a monthly basis it's a sign of their fertility.

My experience is that women here in the U.S. have a very negative attitude towards their bodies and the female bodily functions. The whole "chop it off/cut it out" focus saddens me because it reflects the belief that our bodies and their functions are not good, not acceptable, not desirable.


Helen of Troy had a wandering glance;

Sappho's restriction was only the sky;

Ninon was ever the chatter of France;

But oh, what a good girl am I!

-- Dorothy Parker

October 2001


I am 23 years old and I don't want to menstruate anymore. My period has always been light, lasting 4-5 days and not too heavy. I have been cycle-free for four months, however, until today (and naturally I had "plans" for tomorrow night). So I am on this site to find any way possible to quickly stop my period. I think it's my right and as soon as an anti-period drug comes out, I'll be on it.

October 2001


First of all, your site is a wonderful thing! I've been doing a lot of personal research on the topic of menstruation, and yours is a wonderful resource. I encourage all my friends to visit.

I don't think I would stop menstruating if I could. When I was at the age of menarche, and perhaps for two or three years afterwards, my answer would have been yes. I was the first of my friends to begin menstruating, and even though my mother and other older women in my life were very supportive, I still found it embarrassing. I think my friends were excited to begin theirs, but it really wasn't a topic that we openly discussed. I didn't even tell them I had begun out of fear that they'd ask me questions or perhaps even tease me. I didn't want anyone to see the bulge of my pad or wonder why I started carrying a purse or even to hear me unwrap a pad in the bathroom.

Now that I'm 21 and surrounded by peers who are much more open, educated, and in tune with the topic of menstruation, I'm able to appreciate my period. I especially appreciate the fact that since I had my very first period, my cycles were regular: every 26 days. 

I was on birth control pills once for three months. My cycle had already been regular, and though the pills didn't cause me any noticeable side effects, it just didn't feel like my cycle. Sure, it became so regular that I knew what day of the week and time it would come at, but with my own cycle, I knew simply by the way my moods and body felt how many hours away my bleeding was. Especially after reading so much more about the possible effects of the Pill, I was determined to find other birth control methods that did not mess with my body's natural cycle.

I don't believe that my cycles control me, but rather that I've begun to live in harmony with them. For instance, I never used to keep track of my cycle on a calendar, as it was so regular that I never saw the need. Now I do so in order to plan for what my moods may be like at a given time of the month. I like to stay in for a couple days before I begin bleeding and for a couple days after I start. I'm pretty emotional during that time: that can mean everything from totally ecstatic to totally bummed out. I like being by myself during this time. I'm happy just getting some library books ahead of time, coming home from work and curling up with some tea and reading, writing, or working on art or craft projects. I feel entitled to Me Time during this portion of the month, owing no obligations to anyone else. I know that when I do have unavoidable obligations during my period, my mind is usually turned inward and I have a hard time being social; I'm a little aloof. When I reach my period and I don't have a lot of stress eating away at me, I also don't have cramps and my mood is very cheerful yet calm. If there is something that has been stressing me out, it demands resolution before this 'quite time.' If I'm bitchy, it isn't something that should be passed off as PMS. It means that there is a real and pressing matter than needs to be taken care of.

I've heard there is a meditational art form in which one, if truly dedicated, can even make one's periods stop. I don't think I'd like that. I don't even plan on having children in the future, but seeing my blood every month is a sign that everything is going okay. I know what my blood is going to look like, the variations in the color and amount and the consistency, from the day my period begins until the day it ends. It's been okay for the last 10 years, and I hope it's okay up until menopause decides to make it okay for it to stop.

I've read the book "Honoring Menstruation," by Lara Owen. It is very insightful, and I highly recommend it to every woman. She talks about the ways one's "irritable mood swings" and cramps are actually a benefit, a way of telling you what your mind and body need. 

Much love,

Minneapolis, MN

September 2001




I'm a 20-year-old American and I've been menstruating since I was 12. I can't agree with all the women who wanted to get rid of their wombs because I want children, but then it doesn't give me too much trouble. But I could do without the mess and tampon changing and worrying about leaks or feeling like I'm wearing a diaper, especially when I go running.

I've looked at menstruation as normal bodily function I have to deal with to be a woman, like going to the bathroom is normal bodily function that comes from eating. They're both worthwhile side effects. (Some people see spiritual implications in menstruation? Geez it's just another way you get rid of bodily waste.)

But if someone offered me the chance to eat all I wanted (chocolate! pizza!) without putting on any weight, I'd take the offer. Likewise if someone offered me the chance to stop menstruating and still be a woman, you're darn right I'd pass on my period.

Menstruation isn't even necessary to be female, unlike some necessary side effects of eating (going to the bathroom). Of all the other mammals, none but primates menstruate and only human women add blood to the mess but all those other mammals still have females. I think they have females. If they don't, my biology and sex ed teachers lied to me. :) [In addition, I believe a certain lemur and bat menstruate.]

Ceasing menstruation would make a good thing (sex! womanhood!) better. So yes, I would certainly take the opportunity if someone offered and I could still have kids and be healthy, like not lose bone strength.

September 2001

"Yeah, stop them PLEASEEEEE!!!!!!!!!"

I have no wish to have children.

I started my periods when I was 8, and I'm now 14. it's such a pain, I have really bad cramps and PMT!!! I'm a nightmare to be around, and they always come about 10 days apart now so it's really bad.

Yeah, stop them PLEASEEEEE!!!!!!!!!

September 2001

"I dread menstruating"

Just so you know, I'm 25 years old. Fearing the return of my Mars for all the astrologers out there. I've been on DepoProvera for 8 years now. I miss having a period sometimes, then I have my quarterly day of actual bleeding and I don't miss it one bit. By my 17th birthday, my daughter had been born. I started my period when I was 14, the first day at a new school, and have never had a "normal" cycle. I don't think such a thing exists, but I didn't believe in marrying your high school sweetheart either until I did it. I feel like I'm lying on the pre-pap paperwork when I say that my periods have been normal. What's that??? Plus, the cramping, the bowel problems, migraine headaches, mood swings (horrible mood swings), a general anxiety disorder that PMS turns into full blown paranoia, and the back pain. I remember staying home from high school because I couldn't stand up straight, the pain in my back, hips and lower belly was so bad. My stepmom used to stay home and take care of me for two days. Now, I only bleed one day every three months or so. It definitely reminds me why I considered Depo in the first place. I don't want another baby now and I dread menstruating.

September 2001

"It sucks."

I think I would. I don't know how all of you deal with it but I just turned 13 this month and had my first last month. It sucks. But I guess that means I can have babies now, so I guess it's just becoming a woman. I wanted to have it to fit in, though, and ended up lying to my friends for the past six months or so.

Thanks for listening.

September 2001

"I will enjoy what I have been given - a break!!!"

Well, that is an interesting question. I am 20, and have not, for unknown reasons, had my cycle in two years. Now, I was never regular to begin with, but once it was gone, I first flipped out, having such questions as - Am I normal? Can I still have children? What's wrong with me? Am I any more a female now as I was then?

Then I decided to take action after about six months and I was put on the Pill. The Pill, I understand, is supposed to help in such situations as these, as well as with the regulation and suppression of the cycle, or better yet, an organized and timely way to know when to become pregnant.

I know that my time with the "all powerful" Pill was not pleasant; I honestly felt dirty in taking it, and knew it would not work at the end of my trial period of three months. It worked during the months, as it should, but then it all together quit again.

Now, after this hassle, I have to admit that I forget that I am to have a monthly cycle. It is nice in that I can openly wear whatever I want, whenever I want, without a second thought. But, I still have the medical worries on my mind as to why. But, after my three-month escapade, I have made no attempt at trying to retrieve my cycle. I figure that if it quit naturally, it will come back naturally, when the time is right, but for the time being I will enjoy what I have been given - a break!!!

September 2001

No way!

There is no way I would stop; it is a natural (though sometimes inconvenient) cycle that has gotten a bad rap. But I find that though my moods can get their lowest at this point, it is only this time of the month that I am really in tune with my most raw emotions. I can feel the roots of my sadness and the very center of my happiness. I feel sorry for men who need to find a different, less raw way of feeling their emotions.

The end of the month for me is a time to reflect, and I am very grateful for this natural cycle. I become more sensitive to everything around me. Yes, a lighter flow would be more convenient, but it helps remind me of my fertility, and that is beautiful, too.

September 2001

Pluses and minuses, but she'd keep on menstruating


I'm a 17-year-old girl in the United States. I have mixed feelings on this issue. On one hand, I would love to get rid of it because it can be inconvenient and although tampons are great, they hurt so much (taking them out and inserting them). I'd love to get rid of tampon pain and not have to deal with monthly flows. However, I don't get PMS (if I do, I don't know it), and the only cramps I get are cured instantly with tiger balm [the writer explained that tiger balm is "a balm you can spread on your skin to relieve pain. It's available at health food stores and is generally used for aching muscles. I recommend it!"] I guess I got off lucky. On the other hand, if I didn't have a period, I would feel as if something of me was lost.

However, other than painful tampons and a lack of comfortable eco-friendly ones, I don't have much to complain about. I think i would keep it in the end.

September 2001

"I enjoy not menstruating."

I'm 17 years old and have had my period since I was 11 and, well, I basically don't menstruate for months at a time, yet in the future I will have a child (probably). I am on DepoProvera, the three-month birth control shot. I would not recommend this drug for everyone because it can have bad side-effects - however, it is perfect for me. I enjoy not menstruating. I participate in many outdoor activities that although previously I also enjoyed, I had to plan ahead for my period or I would run into being hours or days away from a place with feminine hygiene products (being forgetful, that happened a lot).

September 2001

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