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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?
Yes, but "I wouldn't consider using The Pill because it's, well, a pill."
Yes, "especially when u have a dude."
"Who says that being a woman means to bleed??"
No. "To the women who want to stop, I would challenge them to instead listen to their bodies for a while."
Just less often. "Hooray! That means I would be more available for sex."
"If someone offered a hysterectomy . . . I would kiss their feet. Anyone feeling generous?"
"I hate the smell of blood, any kind of blood, mine included. So basically I always somewhat make my ownself sick."
"Embrace pain. . . . I think that pain increases character."
"And what on earth has suffering to do with strength??"writes an Austrian nurse
No, but reluctantly
No, but "I do believe a woman should have a choice, without judgment!!"
Yes. "When your body turns into an enemy every month, you don't want to celebrate it, you want to declare ceasefire and negotiate release of hostages."
If I had an opportunity to stop it, most definitely I would.
I began that lucky monthly cycle when I was 11 - they started irregular and stayed that way and have went six months no period for no reason other than it's just me. I have taken birth control and ended up pregnant with twins; had the Norplant inserted and although it was effective birth control, it also had some adverse mental and physical effects on me (class action suit was filed and was paid by a law firm when I had it removed); and I've had the Depo shot once. I have come to the conclusion that there are risk factors of different kinds and varying degrees when foreign objects are inserted into the body or otherwise the reproductive system, in some fashion, is tampered with. After the birth of my last child, I had a tubal ligation. It's not a surgery I have much faith in either since I've known so many women who have gotten pregnant who also had one. Being fertile myrtle, I do a lot of praying until we get up enough for hubby to have a vasectomy. I just don't trust my luck.
I'm also glad to know I'm not the only one who didn't think to mention to the doctor during my c-section, "Oh, and btw doctor, gimme a hysterectomy, will ya?" I wish I had. Now I'm dealing with this thing for no reason worthy of the money spent. However, it wouldn't be from taking pills or anything of the sort. I believe as long as these parts are in me, I'd better leave it alone. If the opportunity should present itself and I can get them removed, I'll do it in a heartbeat and by someone who can close me up better.
It really doesn't matter to me one way or the other otherwise. I have had it be nothing and I've had be bad. It's kept me in bed and it's got me out of doing things I didn't want to do. I've been taken by surprise and I've had a few hours notice. With my body, I can never tell; however, my husband seems to know it's coming before I do. Talk about perceptive.
After reading all of these responses, I would have to say I've been entertained, informed, surprised, and completely grossed out and some of these. I mean, if ya gotta look to the way your body acts to feel you're: alive, female, feminine, in touch with other women, or something of the sort - let me suggest some therapy. Shock treatment? Good gravy.
In conclusion, I want to say that I think anyone who uses PMS/menstruating as a good excuse to be a bitch is a whiny assed coward. That's just childish and it makes me sick. Don't put up with things that make life miserable for you; BUT don't jump too soon without knowing all you can. What you're risking could be worse than what you're thinking. Read, people. Find some facts and get some answers. No one is gonna do it for you.
34, Caucasian, mother of four, Indiana. U.S.A.
I just found out why I am having heavy horrible periods. I have been diagnosed with fibroid tumors (one as big as a grapefruit and multiple smaller ones) and endometriosis. I have been fighting these damn heavy periods for years. I have taken BC [birth control] pills, assorted hormone pills, shots, you name it. I always had trouble with wearing tampons (doc says my vagina is too narrow and short) and I just kept flooding pads and a couple of weeks was the final straw. I was working at my office and my boss (another female, thank God) asked me to go smoke with her outside. I stood up and I absolutely flooded myself. It came out so quick it passed the pad and my undies straight to my pants and my chair and she seen it all. She let me go clean up and then told me she had a similar problem and had a hysterectomy and never regretted it for a single minute. She did tell me a little secret which does work and I am so glad I did it. She told me a about the adult "pull ups" or undergarments. They were originally designed for bladder and bowel control. But they are wonderful for periods they feel like soft cozy undies (and no they are not bulky) and no leaks (unlike pads and panties). I always had the problem and I will be blunt (excuse me) the blood running up and out the crack or my arse and nowhere near the maxi pad (usually my clothes and furniture). Diapers solve all this and they do not chafe or irritate (and why would they? People wear them all day every day of their lives). Just so much more comfortable and clean! I can't wait till I get the plumbing ripped out but, in the meantime I have switched to diapers!
In response to the menstruation question, here is what I have to say. I am single, 19, and still young and alone. I don't think menstruation is bad; in fact I know it's normal. But to stop it? At what cost? A much heavier flow to make up for the many months or years of loss? I am a woman and I am NOT embarrassed about buying my own tampons and pads.
BUT. I am a woman in a lot of pain. Each month, a week is wasted constantly feeling physically filthy because part of me is covered in my own blood. And every month is accompanied by gut-wrenching menstrual craps that have significant measures on the machinery they use to monitor contractions for birth. They are mid-level birth contractions for menstruation. If I could stop menstruating? If my pain would end, I would welcome it.
I started at 12 on my 12th birthday (Happy birthday, feel miserable!) and have always been very regular. That means that I have had 84 menstrual cycles and am approaching an 85th. I have wasted 84 weeks in pain. That's 21 months, which is one year and nine months wasted in miserable pain that mothers experience to birth their own children.
To make matters worse, I have a severe case of endometriosis, and I will never be able to have my own children birthed from my own womb. Why should I continue to suffer without need? I will never use my womb to nurture a child, my breasts will never carry milk. To stop it all? Gladly.
I'm a 22-year old, from China.
When others are making their most efforts to get rid of the pain and trouble during menstruation, I am looking forward to have them.
I had my first period at about 17, and seldom have had them ever since. Weird thing is I'm generally a healthy person, no pain, no troublesome syndrome like other girls do. But I am desperate to have them all.
I went to different doctors, but either they prescribe me some pills that make my period regular for three months and then never come again after medication OR they prescribe me some Chinese medicine that never takes effect.
I don't trust doctors here any more and I've almost lost hope of having a baby even though I am just 22.
Ironically speaking, I cannot understand why the act of stopping menstruating would be considered immoral or unnatural as some people claimed [below], since there is already a case here - me - naturally born without menstruation or with extremely scarce menstruation.
I'm a 29-year-old child free married black female from Alabama. What the hell is all this about drug companies somehow getting into our heads making us think that our periods are nasty and disgusting? They have done no such thing. Millions of women (NOT womyn, for Pete's sake) hate their periods and would rather not have them at all. Drug companies are simply marketing to them. Barr never came to my door, held me at gunpoint, and forced me to take Seasonale. Seasonale users made the choice themselves to use it.
I skip my period by not taking the reminder pills. It is great! I run 4 miles 4 times a week, eat clean, lift weights, and rarely drink, and I would still experience vomit inducing cramps. So much for that "if you take care of yourself during the month you won't have painful periods" crapola. Not having to go through that is the best. THIS is how I control my body. I tell it how I want it to function. If that means no periods, then it will have to get with the program.
All you women who go on about the Pill not being safe should analyze the source of this misinformation. More than likely it is from individuals and organizations who are hell-bent on making sure that women shoot out babies like an automatic gun. All over the world there are forces that don't want women to have total control over our bodies and would spew as many lies as possible and will employ any scare tactic to make us feel that we do not know what is best for ourselves. The pill is safe. If one formulation doesn't agree with you, work with you gyno to find something that will. The "discreet packet insert" plainly states who should not take the pill.
This question is irrelevant since I am a man and have never menstruated. However I find your site fascinating and would like to add my own observations.
If you read through both the comments as well as "Words and expressions" used for menstruation you cannot help but conclude that on one hand a girl does not want to let her boyfriend/brother know that she is having a period but that at some later stage complains that an older man is unsympathetic. You cannot have it both ways; if it is something secretive how do you expect the same man later to be understanding?
I am not one of those illiterates who assume that if a menstruating woman pours your beer that it will be flat or that if you have sex with a woman who is menstruating my testicles will wither (although that my explain why I never had children). A few years ago a friend of mine who had two daughters and a son asked about explaining sex to her son and I replied tell him everything you would tell your daughters.
I have an e-mail friend who I would like to send you her horror stories of menstruation from the age of 13 - 37.
I live in Western Australia.
I hope this is the right way to add my comment to your site. This is the first time I have ever been inspired to comment on something on-line.
I would not stop menstruating. I remember hating my periods like everyone else until my friend gave me some 'goddess love your period book' when I was 20. It is not so much what the book said but the notion that just because I've always been told to curse my period and be ashamed of it, I didn't have to.
I have since come to pleasantly except it. I have switched to natural products: the keeper and gladrags, (since then my period has shortened by 2 days!) and I have never been on the Pill nor do I have any desire to be. I've gotten really intimate with my period blood, I'm not ashamed if I get a little here or there or on my boyfriend (who wonderfully doesn't care). I don't really enjoy my period, but it is pretty novel. I feel like a woman and I am delighted to know that I have the capability of bearing children and also pretty darn happy knowing I am not pregnant.
Luckily, my periods have never been very bad. Mild cramps, fairly regular. So I can't speak for the women doubled up and vomiting. But personally, I'll keep it. I don't trust doctors and medication enough to give up something that is a mild inconvenience, which makes me feel human and womanly. Plus, it is great plant fertilizer!
24, Oregon (U.S.A.)
Well, let's see. I'm 46 years old and had a complete hysterectomy right after my 40th birthday due to uterine cancer so I don't have it anymore. However, it never really bothered me to have it. It reminded me each and every month that I was able to have a child (I have two :) ) and that was a good feeling. I was mostly always on birth control pills unless I was trying to get pregnant so I was regular with little cramping and was able to easily manipulate cycles if they interfered with things like camping or really important vacations that I didn't want to deal with the bleeding. It worked great for me!!! This was not so when I was young and I dealt with severe cramps but still, I managed and didn't mind it. Since my hysterectomy though, it has been REALLY nice not having a cycle any longer. I'm sure it's because the year prior to the cancer diagnosis, I had incredibly bad bleeding that was off cycle and so bad that sometimes I could not leave the toilet. Because of that experience, I think this is why I'm so glad I do not have my period any longer.
My daughter just turned 15 and the day after her 15th birthday was the first day of her first cycle. She is thin with little body fat so the doctor knew she'd be later. She is excited to finally be considered a "woman" and we celebrate the fact that she is.
So ... would I stop it if I could? If I still had it, probably not!
I suppose it would be nice to not have periods, but it would also be nice to be able to freely pee standing up, so I guess I'll live with my periods like I live with my camping bathrooming limitations.
I'm one of those lucky women who have cramps maybe once every three or four months and even then they're only likely to keep me in bed with the Midol and heating pad one or two days every year. My courses are almost always very light. In fact, last year I called my doctor because for the last two months I had been having "heavy bleeding." The exceptionally heavy flow that sent me to the doctor would barely soak a super tampon - a size I had never had to use before - in about 6 hours, which is well within normal for many women. (We did discover because of those complaints that I had some scarring on my Fallopian tubes. I had a laparoscopy to remove the scarring, and since then my cycles have returned to normal.)
I've been on oral contraceptives since I was 16 (I'll be 30 this year). Like every other girl who got them without parental knowledge from the local health department, they started me on the OrthoNovum 7-7-7. I had breakthrough bleeding with those pills and the next prescribed dosage; since the docs there insisted that you stay on the dose for six months to make sure you're not going to get over these little inconveniences before they would prescribe a different pill I essentially had my period every other week for about a year. Yep, you read that right: I was on the rag during the second and fourth weeks of every pill packet. That was a rather cranky year for me, but luckily my boyfriend at the time wasn't shy about it, so I didn't have to go without half the time! I finally got on a pill that worked without the breakthrough bleeding at 17 (thankfully they all succeeded at their primary objective of keeping me free of motherhood), although after about five years I started breakthrough bleeding again and had to switch again. By that time, of course, I was no longer a minor hoping my mom didn't find out about it, so instead of the spotty care at the health department (sorry, couldn't resist the pun) I had a gyno who helped get me on a good dose within just a couple of months, and I am still on that one with no ill effects so far.
I know that for many women it really is a "curse," but for me it is luckily only a minor inconvenience.
I would not stop menstruating if I could - for a few reasons. I don't think it's natural to use drugs for every little thing; especially if its a sign of health! It gives me power that men don't have and cannot have over me. It gives me a feeling of individuality. I have always felt intense cramps with my periods and when I first started getting them I was embarrassed and disgusted with my body. I went through years of self-loathing until I learned about the feminist movement. I wanted to be a man because I thought they had life easier. Now I realize that life really might be easier for men than for anyone else, but I can be an individual instead trying to fit into one category. I don't act or dress femininely but the fact that I menstruate makes me feel feminine. Everything I am, put together, makes me an individual and I wouldn't take that away.
Dear Mr. Finley,
I found this website several years ago while I was in college and not taking the Pill. It helped me a lot and I tried GladRags, menstrual cups, and daily temperature taking as a result of my journey here. My period was a much more important part of my life then, probably because of the craziness, mood swings, cramps, unpredictable bleeding, and ovulation libido peaks I experienced. I haven't really thought about my period since taking the Pill removed the unpredictability, the pain, and the crazy, horny days from my cycle. I don't miss the pain or soaking through a pair of shorts because I wasn't expecting to bleed, but I miss the feeling of being natural, fertile, female. I even miss the mood swings a little, because I don't feel as intense love, anger, or sexual desire as then.
I had an irregular cycle from about 10 to when I started on the Pill at 20. I'm 25 years old now, married, and thinking about getting off the Pill and starting a family. I wonder if all of those side effects will come back and if it will feel more like a curse or a blessing to let my hormones take control again. My unpredictable cycle made me feel more alive, made life kind of interesting. I wouldn't stop menstruating if I could, but my answer may change when I get older and my cycle changes.
American living in Germany
I have never had painful cramps or great discomfort. I started having mild cramps upon turning 30. I've felt that somehow I was "cheating" in not enduring what many other female persons go through.
But cheating on what? Nature? Feh. As a feminist, trans-identified person, and a pro-transgender activist, I hold that biology is not destiny. I don't see why humans cannot change their bodies for the greatest individual comfort. Whether that's on a survival level, as in "cannot live with this body as it is" or indeed on a "would prefer not to" level.
It's something like a vaccine against smallpox for some people - utterly lifesaving - and for others, like a cure for the common cold - for them it's much preferable not to go through it, but endurable.
Others may revel in it - utterly their option, I feel. Perhaps most people who are capable of menstruating should be recommended to do so, for awhile, to connect with the power of reproduction. However, that established, they should certainly have the option of ceasing it, if that's possible without damaging their health. Indeed, some danger of long-term health damage might be worth taking a risk, for certain individuals for whom periods are torturous.
Natural? Sure. But so are human brains, and using those brains to create tools for our survival and comfort.
Age 35, New York City
You betcha your life! I am a stripper and I dread the monthly demon. I have to work very hard to conceal my period. The club where I work will not give you time off for your period so here I am trying to find ways to conceal my period while dancing nearly nude. I have clipped the strings short tried different brands but always have trouble with them working there way out. I have really bad cramps which are made worse with all the dancing (no, exercise doesn't relieve cramps - makes them worse). I don't do drugs as a rule but during my period I have to take Vicodin or Percocet to survive. I hate my period but most gyno's won't even consider giving me a hysterectomy since "I have nothing wrong." I tried the Norplant, Depo, and now the Seasonale pill. I still have my period on all those things. The demon prevails even though it should stop.
I am 20 years old and although I do not have a problem with my periods I have been on the Pill since I was 15. I started on Cilest, but due to migraines I had to stop taking it. Apparently there was a link between that and strokes. I changed recently from Cilest to Mercilon. Both these pills mean you have a break in which you do have a period. However, I was so depressed, i went back and they put me on Cerazette. Although I have been on Cerazette only two months I can see why they call it the superpill. I have not gained weight, my skin is the same and I have no mood swings. The only thing my mum pointed out was that I am a bit more aggressive. However, I was depressed for nine months and I live away from home at Uni, so I think she just forgot what I was like! Cerazette completely stops your periods. It is amazing and according to the nurses and doctors, completely ok for your body. When I want a period again, or a child, I will stop taking it. Simple as that. Having a period is part of me, but so is not having a period! It's my choice.
I am a 39-year-old woman and yes, I would stop having it if I could. I hate my uterus and would gladly sacrifice it for any reason. Men have it so easy in so many ways! Who wants to stink and bleed and suffer horrible pain for no good reason!
I've never had anything but trouble with my periods. Although they were regular as clockwork, they were a full week long, really heavy (to the bleeding-through-jeans extent--and I have relatively low iron to begin with), they made me extremely emotional, caused me a great deal of gastrointestinal upset (diarrhea, bloating, nausea), and put me in so much abdominal pain that I often could not go to school or do homework or concentrate on much of anything. No pain relievers did much of anything towards helping my cramps, and it didn't appear that diet had much to do with it (I've never drunk much caffeine and am a very healthy eater). Birth control pills helped a great deal with the bleeding, but after being on a couple different brands of pills I found that after a while my period would be shorter but the moodiness and physical pain was no less debilitating that it had been originally. Now I'm currently taking birth control continuously (that is, skipping the sugar pills), under the supervision of my gynecologist, and life without periods (or at least with very, very rare ones) seems very safe so far and is a great relief.
****, age 20
Well, considering that I came across this website through a Google search for ways to stop menstruation, I would have to say YES. In an instant. I hate getting periods. Mine are extremely irregular. I'll go for six months without one and then have it for three months without stopping. It makes me feel icky, and it worries me that there's something wrong, something serious. When it continues for a long time I start worrying that I'll get anemic. When I don't have it it's a relief. I feel normal and right and happy when I don't have it. I feel alien when it comes. It's like my body is waging war against me, I hate that my body would do something that I don't want, and I can't control it.
Detroit, Michigan (U.S.A.)
I'm 34 and I've never been pregnant. I don't want kids, and I've had my period since I was 10. I would GLADLY! never menstruate again if it could be arranged. It's been 20 years already and I probably have 20 more to go. I've never fully adjusted to it and every month it would catch me off guard. I would invariably stain something or just walk around messy. I was never particularly regular unless I was on the Pill, so I frequently didn't have stuff. After five days or so, I would stop, and then start bleeding one last time on the sixth day. I found it messy and tedious and it offended me tremendously that I had to deal with something so incredibly time consuming every single month, and that I had to lose a whole week as well. I bled heavily and spent most of the week in supers, which is expensive, and I'd still be in the bathroom every couple of hours.
In 2003 I learned from a co-worker that I could take the Pill non-stop and I wouldn't get a period, and I did that until I was fired and lost my insurance. Not having had a period for a year or so, I was really caught off guard when it happened again, and really, really angry. Since I've been employed again I've gone back on the Pill and I intend to take it non-stop until some circumstance completely outside of my control forces me to stop. Although I'm not looking forward to the physical changes that accompany menopause, I think I will be delighted to know once and for all that I don't have even think about a period again.
Oh, if it helps, I'm black and originally from Texas (Houston), though I've lived in a few places since then and I call California home now.
I read many - but not all - of the varied and interesting responses to this question and wanted to add a different perspective: that of a woman who has never had a period.
In 5th grade I watched the ubiquitous "movie" about the amazing changes that would soon be happening to my body, including the mysterious event called "menstruation." Phonetically it sounded like a dozen ooos were sandwiched between the first and third syllables- menstrooooooooooooation. It was a word I replayed in my mind for several nights after seeing the film.
The following year, still eagerly anticipating puberty and the onset of my period, my world came crashing down when one afternoon my mother summarily explained that I had been born with twisted ovaries which had been removed at birth to prevent them from becoming cancerous. The upshot: no periods, no puberty, no children.
I later learned that what I had been told was a lie. In fact, I did not have "twisted" ovaries but instead had been born with a rare genetic disorder known as Androgen Insensitivity Syndrome. Although I look, feel, and act female, in fact I am genetically male, and was born without ovaries, a uterus, cervix, fallopian tubes, etc. I have XY chromosomes. The reason I don't look (and don't feel) in any way male is that my body does not respond to androgens due to a genetic receptor defect.
At a time when all of my friends were experiencing the coming of age rite of menstruation nothing happened for me. Not having a period was a huge deal. I was afraid of any of my friends discovering that I was "different," and so regularly lied about having started my period. I carried pads and tampons just in case someone should ask me for one.
While I realize that for many women having a monthly cycle is a nuisance, I would have given anything as a teenager to be "normal" (or, as I prefer to think of it today, "typical"). There is a cultural imperative which causes teenagers to want (and perhaps even need) to be like their peers. Having never had a period, it was difficult for me to see myself as having traversed the threshhold to womanhood. In many respects never starting menstruation was a more profound loss than never being able to have children.
Now, at age 46, it all seems silly at one level to even think about this. Indeed, I appreciate not having the complications associated with PMS, bleeding, etc. But at a deeper level there is still an 11-year-old part of me aching to experience the mystery of menstruation.
Hell, yes!!!!! Oh HELL, yes!!!! Those moon-womyn with their raspberry leaf tea just make me tired. Menstruating smells. Get over it. There's an odor and it isn't raspberry tea, sweetheart. Menstruation is messy. Ruining clothes and sheets and towels no matter how much care is taken because I don't seem to be the one in charge of how hard the fire-hose is turned on, or when. I'm either a total bitch for a week or a total weepy flake instead. Who needs that?? Gender is mental. If you think bleeding out the coochilotta every month makes you completely female then I have a transgender friend I'd like you to meet who could give you a whole nother perspective on the matter. I'm in mid-menopause and it's GREAT!! Every month the bleeding gets a little less along as does all the attendant crapola-cramps, pissing bucket-loads, smelling like raw hamburger ass et al. I come from the generation that TOLD its girls that 'becoming a woman is beautiful' but BELIEVED it was dirty, secret and shameful. After having gone through all the conscious raising and liberation and reclaiming your body stuff in the sixties, seventies and so on I have settled on the realization that while womanhood is good, menstruation just blows goats. Period!
I would never stop having my period, even if it can be painful sometimes, and messy. Having my period is part of being me, a female human. It's the way our bodies are supposed to work and it is not a disease. Periods remind me of what I am, and I'm proud to be that: A Woman.
Sadly for me, my periods have never been regular, and so I can't expect them, and that can lead to some accidents and a bit of a mess but that doesn't bother me. Neither do the spots, and the nasty stomach pains. After all, I know there's nothing wrong with me and they'll go away soon enough, and sooner when I don't dwell on them. Periods only happen once a month (or in my case once in a random length of time) so it's not like they happen everyday or anything. However good periods are, I wouldn't want them everyday -that would be serious overkill. Periods, like all things, are only good in moderation.
I'm a Wiccan, and I think my period is a Goddess given thing that is a good thing. It is our bodies cleaning themselves of the old uterus lining, and a reminder to the women that she is a woman, a person capable of having kids if she wants them, and being female, a lot like our Mother Goddess. Periods also mark the step in the circle between "maiden" phase and "mother," and in my tradition of Wicca, this even has it's own special rite of passage: a celebration of becoming all that is Woman.
Maybe having no periods would be good for those who have very horrible and distressing periods, and for those who really hate them, but no periods isn't for me. I'm not going to jump up and down screaming that no one is allowed to take this period reducing pill, because it's their bodies. Me interfering in their personal decisions wouldn't be very nice nor very Wiccan of me, so I'm just stating my opinion on the matter.
Brightest Blessings and Peace,
Cat, from England
I think hysterectomies or at least this balloon thing should be available to all women after they have had children. Once you are done having children you periods serve no earthly purpose. I think that women ought to demand these procedures. I had both my children by age 21 and I am now 40 years old. I have spent 19 years having periods for no reason (I have been sterilized) so why should I have to spend all these years in misery? I think periods are punishment from God they are certainly not any type of blessing.
I think of the pain I have had. As a matter of fact I am on my period now and have to go beyond Motrin for pain relief and I too need strong narcotics and experience mostly back cramps. And yes, they are much like labor pains. I feel as if I give birth seven times each month (I cramp every day of my period) without pain medication. I am usually in severe pain sweating, puking, cussing the pain. I know some men will say that women are babies and can't take pain, etc. I am sure if they experienced the pain women have during their periods the drinking water would be spiked with morphine (regardless of what it would do to babies, children, the elderly). It would be perfectly legal to use drugs of any sort of type during your period if men had them. Maxi pads and tampons with be lying out in massive amounts free for the taking if men had them. But because it's all in our heads they treat women like second-class citizens and deny the existence of our pain.
Just last year, at the age of 33, and seven months into a prescription for a new-generation oral contraceptive, I experienced massive, multiple pulmonary emboli [blood clots in her lungs].
Other than the contraceptive, no other indicators were found.
Ironically, through my entire 20's I was a heavy (40+ cigarettes a day) smoker and I took the oral contraceptive Nordette regularly for 8 years. Often I would skip the sugar pills, to extend my non-period windows.
I also spent 6 -7 years traveling every two months, from Australia (where I reside) on many long-haul flights to Europe and North America for business. And in the five years preceding the thrombosis, I'd had two children. Despite all of these factors, I did not, at that time, experience any sign of clots, nor is there a family history.
My specialists concluded that one possible explanation was the new generation oral contraceptive I'd been taking. They also cited three other recent cases admitted in the 12 months prior to me, at that one major metropolitan hospital.
It concerns me greatly that there is fast becoming a noticeably casual tone in campaigns for new generational oral contraceptives. Women's periods are sold as 'messy,' a 'nuisance,' and an inconvenience to the young, upwardly mobile child-free woman of the new millennium. As such the trend seems to be toward longer-cycle drugs, the type of four periods a year such as Seasonale.
I feel that just as much focus needs to be directed toward educating women of the potentially fatal risks involved with oral contraceptives (and not just some discreet packet insert). After all, a period is the most natural thing a woman can experience, and I prefer it a whole lot more then the near-death experience of a pulmonary embolism.
This being the case, I am eager to contribute my own first-hand experience in any way I can to the education and awareness of these risks.
I would stop menstruating if I could, provided I would still be able to have children.
I am a Wiccan and I believe in the holiness of the changing moon phases and our bodies' natural attunement to it through our menstrual cycles. I respect the views of women who love getting their period every month for whatever reason. But my periods just plain hurt, and I don't believe my loving Goddess wants me to suffer if I don't have to.
When you think about it, women are not naturally supposed to menstruate. There are cultures even today in which many of the women can count on one hand the number of periods they have had in their entire lives. In the natural course of things, women are supposed to get pregnant and have a baby and nurse it until it is weaned, and then get pregnant again. I don't want to do that. But I also don't enjoy birthing a good 3/4 cup of uterus lining for a week out of every month, to the tune of cramps, headaches, diarrhea and other joys brought on by the hormonal changes.
And probably most of all, I don't like having my husband be so disgusted by my menstrual fluid that he will not have sex with me during that week. That hurts my feelings, and the worst part is it's not his fault. He was raised by women who were disgusted by their own bodies, and through them he was taught to be disgusted. He can't help it.
My doctor recommended I try skipping the non-active "period" pills in my birth-control pill pack and just start a new pill pack immediately, and I tried it and the periods came anyway. So I don't think this Seasonale stuff will work for everyone. But if I thought it would work, sure, I'd try it.
No, I wouldn't NOT menstruate.
I can say that because my uterus "talks," it doesn't "scream curses." Maybe two ibuprofen over the week, that's all. And quite regular. Though I would prefer less bloating and pimples.
I call it "being on self-clean" It does help conceptualize the event a little better for me. I try to imagine trash and things unwanted, flowing down the shower drain. Congestion is clearing up. I consider it a maintenance function. I don't like the mental image of a uterus that has waited a little too long to get cleaned. I do like doing "belly rolls" from Middle Eastern dance to encourage it all to flush itself out.
I'm 35 and I'm in New Jersey.
I am 30 years old but at age 24, I had a problem and my doctor told me that it really is not necessary to have my periods - in fact it would make my problems worse. I was diagnosed with cervical cancer and was told that each month with the Pill I have a hormone change that triggers my period and changes the cells of my cervix and would possibly keep having problems with cancer each time my period comes. She put me on a low estrogen Pill that was not triphasic - it was the same all month. After the month I was on this Pill, when I got to the sugar pills I was to go directly into my next Pill pack and not stop the pill at any time. I constantly took a Pill everyday; in turn I never got a period. For 6 years I was footloose and fancy free of cramps, moods, back pain and best of all, saved so much money on pads and tampons!!! I was loving it!!!
All of sudden now six years later on Easter Sunday I woke up with horrible pains in my stomach and was feeling that all too familiar wetness below and wouldn't you know it, I had my period!! I was so upset, although it was very light and really barely nothing, it was still there. I called my doctor because I figured that it was possible maybe I had a miscarriage and this was what I was seeing. She said that she would have to change my Pill again. Although now this one was not strong enough anymore, it might be impossible to find another one that would stop my periods again totally. I am devastated. I loved no period, the only drawback was you never had that telltale monthly annoyance to tell you that you are not pregnant. So I would just purchase a pregnancy test when I was suspicious. Now I am going in to get an IUD put in but that still may not stop my periods totally. If I had to do it all over again, YES, I would go with no period for years!!!!
Thanks for listening.
****, Pennsylvania, U.S.A.
NO WAY would I choose to stop! I've even boycotted the Pill because it lessens the intensity and duration of my periods, which feels unnatural and disruptive. This is probably extremely unusual, but I ENJOY getting my period! I celebrate it, it makes me feel young and female, fertile, and desirable. This positive attitude must have come from my mom who always insisted that I and my twin sister feel good about our bodies and not to feel ashamed. My Dad is the only male in the family, so I often felt like a girly club with my mom my sister and me. But we were never euphemistic about bodily functions, always referring to "vaginas" and menstrual periods. Looking at your site, though, inspires my to be more whimsical and humorous about terms, though.
I'm 30, and I grew up in Wyoming, though I live in Colorado now. But my mom's side of the family is Italian; I don't know if that has anything to do with it.
I LOVE your site!!!!!! It means so much to me to see menstruation and women's bodies portrayed in such a matter-of-fact, respectful, and positive way. Keep up the good work! Will one day come to see it in person.
I'm currently taking a human sexuality course at a university in North Dakota and this site was a suggested look-see. I found this question and was very interested. I can think of all the times that I wished that I wasn't having my period (like my wedding day!). I have skipped my period with the use of hormones to avoid having my period on an anniversary (I only thought it was fair). I have to say that in the following month I never got the relief that is provided by having my period. I was moody, I was bloated, and I just didn't feel right. After getting my period the next month, I felt right again. I don't enjoy my periods, I have lower back pain and I'm moody, but I can't imagine not having one. I just think that it is the way it is suppose to be. I already feel like I'm messing with my body by taking birth control pills. I get migraines during my period but they are not from my period, they are from my birth control pills. I'm worried that the hormones I'm putting into myself will cause more problems but at this time, I just cannot risk another pregnancy.
I thought that I was unable to have children. For seven years I didn't get pregnant while not taking birth control. I now have a 3-year-old who is the light of my life - I call her my miracle. I have to say that I felt at my best when I was not taking hormones and I don't like taking them now, but I would never consider taking them so that I would have a period at all. I fear that I'm already interfering with nature too much!
- 32 years old, North Dakota, U.S.A.
I never would have started. I was unimpressed with the whole thing at 15 when I started, and now at the age of 23, periods have only gone down in my esteem.
I'm at the point where I'm about to start waging the "I want a hysterectomy battle" with my family doctor, since I don't want children (haven't since before I was physically capable of having them), I have a history of abnormal pap smears, and I find the whole period to be a waste of time, energy, money, and life, since my uterus has no purpose. It seems a shame that we aren't allowed this choice, since obviously a lot of women have very personal feelings on each side of the issue.
Thank you for the Web page. I feel a lot less weird than my mom makes me out to be, now.
After silence, that which comes nearest to expressing the unexpressible is music.
Which of us can say what the gods hold wicked?
I would love to only have a period four times a year. The cramping, bloating, and need for feminine products would be alleviated. My only questions are, does this mean that you only ovulate every three months? [Yes, when it works correctly.] Does this negatively affect your chances to conceive when you wanted to start a family? [Not normally - but sometimes it does.]
I read most of the comments on this page and I have to say that I saw myself in many of them. I used to despise getting my period. I'm 39 years old, have had three children and breast fed all of them. My periods are just as heavy as they were when I was 12. I don't have the cramping any more, but the fluid output is the same. I used to be frantic for the first 3-4 days of my period because I would wear a super absorbency tampon, PLUS a huge overnight sized pad, and would STILL leak all over the place. Then, 3 months ago, I decided to give a menstrual cup a try. I figured if it worked, great, if not, at least I'd know.
I absolutely, positively cannot believe the difference! The first two cycles were tricky, as I was still learning the correct placement and insertion technique. But last month, it was a snap. My whole entire period, which lasts 6-7 days faithfully, I did not use ONE SINGLE pad. Not one. In fact, I even forgot I was having my period! I will NEVER go without my cup, ever again. It is the most wonderful thing ever invented and I wish I had bought one 25 years ago. I strongly urge all of you women experiencing difficulties to at least try it for a few months. Yes, it can get messy, and you will get blood on your hands. So what? It's YOUR blood. It washes off! I've even come to be fascinated by the whole thing - I find it interesting to monitor the fluid levels in the cup.
Please consider using a menstrual cup. You won't be sorry. The one I purchased is called a Diva Cup and is available online at www.divacup.com. I'm not related to that company in any way, and there are others out there to choose from. I'm just one extremely satisfied and happy customer who doesn't dread her periods any more!
I get so frustrated when normal female cycles, like menses and menopause, are considered medical ailments. Mind you, I am not talking about endometriosis or other abnormal conditions. Those should be treated, and that's fine.
I just don't understand why you'd want to stop your body's normal cleansing process if your body is indeed normal.
I'm 30, with no children as of yet, but I still have plenty of time - but instead of artificial hormones for birth control, I have an IUD and each month, all of those little cramps are pretty intense since my uterus is squeezing my IUD. But I am seriously concerned about the implications of unnaturally stopping my period. I have a friend with PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome) and she has to take drugs to induce her period because her doctors have said there is an increased rick of cancer from not having the lining of the uterus renew itself regularly.
I'm not going to get all mushy about womanhood, or anything like that, although I have found the more in tune with my period I become, the less painful they become. I like being a woman, and since my body is working normally, I won't give it up - nor will I force it to continue by taking hormones when my body decides it's done being fertile.
Being a woman is not a disease.
"Follow your Bliss" ~ Joseph Campbell
When I first started my periods when I was 12, I would have said yes, without a doubt. When I came off birth control pills at 16 to start trying for a baby I realised my periods (which had been perfect 28 day cycles, the bleeding lasting 5-6 days heavy but not too painful before the Pill) were no longer regular (often only coming every 3 or 4 months with a few normal length thrown in for good measure) and longer and heavier than they had been. I haven't had that much longed for a baby in these 5 years that have passed.
I wouldn't want to get rid of my periods because having them reminds me of being normal. Infertility has in some ways taken away my femininity which my period restores. When I get it, I feel female, healthy and human again. I don't mind the bleeding, am no longer worried about the embarrassment of discussing it with others - it's nothing in comparison to saying 'actually, I can't get pregnant because I don't have normal periods.'
****- aged 21
Hello. I had a friend who referred to her period as "reasserting her femininity," which always struck me as hilarious. I currently live in Ohio, I'm originally from Michigan, the person who told me this was from Illinois, and we were both living in Texas at the time. I'm 38 years old, and if I could go back in time and give my 12-year-old self a hysterectomy in order to prevent all these years of bleeding out the hoo-ha, inconvenience, pain and mood swings, I would do it in a heartbeat.
Oh, and my mother always just referred to it as "that time." I often refer to tampons as "corks," or say I need to "stick a cork in it."
Interesting article I've just read [here]. I'm approaching this from a slightly opposite point of view.
Because of hormone imbalances to do with polycystic ovaries I haven't had a period for over 10 years. Being 28, that's quite a while. Recently I had the opportunity for surgery that would help my periods start again but I decided NOT to take it because at the time I was offered a job working abroad and if they had started again when I wasn't prepared . . . . Could have been horrible (also other life-altering events have been going on).
As it is, I have kind of gotten used to not having them after all this time.
But don't think that being period-free means no mood swings!!! There are still other hormones buzzing around the body - chocolate beware.
I came across your page quite by accident. I have an 11-year-old who by all symptoms will be starting in the next year or earlier. I was actually doing research on the best tampon for her to use when she's a bit older. I started to read some of the e-mails sent in from various women around the world answering the question "Would you stop menstruating..." Frankly I was a bit flabbergasted.
I'm surprised that women have been putting up with symptoms of fibroids, PMS, migraines, mood swings, hot flashes, etc. for this long. I do not consider myself highly educated, but at least I do know that this is not the way that it's supposed to be. So I started some research. I found that Dr. Lee was right and progesterone cream counteracts the symptoms of estrogen dominance. Everyone I know who uses a good progesterone cream which does not have an estrogen base has had wonderful results. Personally I use Bellatude and will start my daughters on it as soon as needed.
Good grief, let me give you a good example: I live in the South, Mississippi to be exact, and we have mosquitoes, lots of them. We also have dogs. Mosquitoes plus dogs equals heartworms. So, what do you do? Buy heartworm prevention and give it to your dog once a month. It's common sense. Hormone imbalance is the exact same thing. Too much estrogen plus not enough progesterone equals all sorts of bad things. Use progesterone cream to balance the estrogens, end of all kinds of evil. But instead women complain and nag and suffer through it because they think that it will martyr them? Don't know why, but if they're smart, they will at least look into it and what can be the harm in trying it?
Just thought that you might want to know that (probably telling you unnecessarily, but I know that these women are suffering needlessly). If so many women come onto your site, maybe you need to address the issue more widely; and not only women, but I know several husbands who buy Bellatude for their wives and insist that they use it. I must say that they like the increased libido! I'm impressed with what you have done. You are to be commended, sir.
Yes, in a heartbeat.
I'm happy for women who feel that having their period connects them with the moon and the tides. For me, though, all that my period connects me with is a 500-count bottle of Advil and a heating pad - -and that only helps the cramps and the headaches and the backache, and doesn't touch the fatigue and the mood swings. Every month I threaten to rip my uterus out with my fingernails, and I mean it. I don't plan to have children, so I don't see why I should have to put up with this much pain for ten days out of every month and consider it normal.
I am 37 years old and had a period since I was 13 years old. In my teens I had cramps so bad (in my lower back, never my stomach) that were as bad as hard labor (did not find that out until adulthood), and vomiting and eating strong narcotic pain pills for one week a month. Bleeding so heavily that your pad or tampon can't handle it. I have stood up after sitting or lying down and the blood rushes out so quickly it bypasses your pad and ends up down your legs on the floor. I still have painful heavy periods and I think all these folks going on about their "Moon Time" are full of it. They have never had a painful period nor does it prove your femininity. Hell, if I want to get in touch with my feminine side I'll look in my heart and mind, not at the red blood in the toilet. Yes, I would get rid of it forever, and I am counting the days to menopause! I will be glad when it's over forever!
I'm 22 years old and have hated having periods ever since I got my first one at 12. They prevent me from so many things at inconvenient times. Camping, hiking, going for long rides, traveling at any time I feel like it, etc. They are the worst and the only thing I truly hate about being a woman.
When my period started, it was pretty painful. I had to take painkillers several times the first day to be able to function. I also had mittleschmertz, the twinging pain when some women feel when they ovulate. That was pretty bad too. Then, in my freshman year of college, I read a wonderful book called Cunt and it changed my life (seriously). The author, Inga Musico, suggested not taking painkillers, and sure enough, within two months the pain was close to gone. I have light or no cramping now. I have also come to appreciate my period. When it starts, it's the beginning of a new month for me. It feels like all the stress of the previous month is flowing away. I am sexually active, so it's nice to know I'm not pregnant, but it's more than that. My boyfriend actually heard about this Seasonale thing and asked me about it, and I said no, I don't want it. It's nice to have a cycle, to have a rhythm. I don't get upset when I see it on my clothes anymore. I like to paint on my body with it (my boyfriend isn't used to that yet!). It makes me feel connected to every other woman on the planet. I would never give that feeling up.
I'm not really convinced about stopping menstruation. I mean, it's annoying and uncomfortable sometimes but I would feel weird, as if I was denying millions of years of evolution, if I were to stop it.
Also, I wouldn't feel entirely safe using all those hormones to stop menstruating. Maybe if there was absolutely no risk (like types of cancers, infertility, etc.), and there was proof that there was no or negligible risk, I might want to stop menstruating. The biggest issue for me though, is definitely the hormones that would be required. It's just not natural.
At an earlier stage of my life I would have said yes. I hated getting my period, but I've learnt later in my life (I am in my early thirties) that our moon cycle is a gift from the Goddess. What sort of a gift is that you ask? In ancient times women were revered and respected because she could bleed without a wound. The blood was given to Mother Earth to nourish her.
There is a fabulous book called "A Blessing, Not a Curse" by Jane Bennet and Sally Miller, available from this site where you can also buy material menstrual pads http://www.radpads.com.au you can also buy really nice menstrual pads at this site http://www.wemoon.com.au.
May the Goddess bless you.
I live in south Florida.
I would loooooove to stop the period hell! Ever since I started as a kid I have had very bad cramps and bleeding up to 7 days each time. The first few days I am stuck in bed with such pain that I can't even talk and the mess. Every half hour I go through a super-plus tampon and an over-night pad. The doc cant find anything wrong with me and says I am fine, that some go through this more than others.
I am now 36, have two kids and had my tubes removed almost 13 years ago. I begged for them to remove the uterus but they would not. What is the sense of having a uterus that bleeds so uncontrollably and so painful when I will never get pregnant again? I hope one day there will be something out there to stop it....(shoot....even thought of using a shop vac on myself to get it over with - that is how desperate I am!)
I would most assuredly stop myself from menstruating if possible. Why? For 6 days each month, I am forced to either be miserable with pain and aggression or doped on 1000 mg of over-the-counter painkillers every 3-4 hours to simply cope with life. I use the Keeper [menstrual cup], meditate, practice much holistic healing, love myself, am a massage therapist, but for some reason, my cycle completely truncates the life I would otherwise enjoy. I am 24 years old. Have been bleeding irregularly for the last 14 years. Pain and complications follow. Anything from massive spells of vomit and diarrhea to migraine headaches and the inability to stand from the cramps. I want to never have children, because I have believed since time immeasurable that our world is completely overpopulated and yes, I would adopt, but never procreate myself. Yet I am unable to have a hysterectomy because I am too young and inexperienced in the ways of the world to know what I do and do not want in my reproductive life. HELLO! I have not had a male sexual partner in the past 5 years of my life because I do not believe I have met one who could understand the miserable existence I attend each and every moment of my life due to the unholy, uncontrollable contractions of my unnecessary uterus. I might love her and respect her, but she is the goddess I never wanted. Forcing me to supplicate to her whimsy. Christ never clutched me, and he has millions and billions. You only control me, why should you win?
It saddens me that so many womyn would, although I certain sympathize with those who experience profound physical and emotional symptoms. Since switching to cloth menstrual pads and taking a cup of raspberry leaf tea every day, my periods are pain-free. I enjoy the regular reminder of my power as a womyn and of my connection to the moon and the tides.
I am 34 and began menstruating at age 12. I do not and will not have children. I will treasure the end of my menstruating years when that time comes naturally, for it also has spiritual significance to me, but I have no interest in an artificial hastening of the process.
(Firstly: I discovered this site ages back and still love it!)
Would I? Ambivalent currently. Had you asked me ten years ago I would have shouted YES from the highest point on campus. I didn't have the heaviest bleeding, the worst mood-swings, nor the worst cramps, and I was blessed with utter predictability, but knowing I was going to wake in pain at 5 am once a moon (after spending the week before trying not to commit mass homicide or dissolve in tears) was not my idea of a good, or even normal day! And they tell you,"Oh, it's just old brown blood"- my Aunt Fannie! I looked at my first period and thought "It's RED! It looks like a car wreck!"
Once when I was working at a Girl Scout camp a camper had had her first period, and we we were discussing it late one night, lots of cooing "Ooh, she's become a woman!" to which I replied "Oh, good, doomed to a lifetime of blood and pain. How wonderful." This horrified my co-workers, who obviously had not experienced dysmenorrhea.
Oral contraceptive has been good for the pain, good for the negative end of the mood swings, but has also nixed my sex drive. They SAY humans don't go through "heat," but my husband would beg to differ.
All things considered, I get a bit concerned if I skip or have a light flow. I also notice all these fake chemicals seem to have nasty side effects - read I just tried a different birth control and hated it.
Not bleeding, Wonderful! But leave the body rhythms in peace.
**** Fayetteville, Arkansas
I have had the most unpredictable cycle since I started at age 12. Even having two children didn't make me "regular." I am now nearly 40 and done with having babies. I don't need a period anymore and I too hope every time that it will be my last.
It is such an annoyance. And it sneaks up when I least expect it. I am not sure that I would take meds to make it go away. But, I did enjoy the year and a half that I was using Depo Provera for birth control. I didn't have a period for nearly two years. It was AWESOME!!!!!!
Bleeding like this isn't normal or natural. It's certainly the reason why my health has crashed, and despite a normal diet I (like so many other women) have had to start taking iron tablets.
In tribal societies women pretty much get pregnant as soon as they start menstruating and after that they're either lactating or pregnant so they don't go bleeding 12 or 13 times a year the way first world women do.
Aside from the obvious downside of the cost and nuisance of having to plug the damn' thing up somehow, there's all that pain, the cramping, the headaches, the weight gain, the bloating, the PMS, the having to get up twice a night to change my super tampon because otherwise the bed is going to look like a murder was committed there. Why would I want to keep that? Why would anyone in their right mind want to keep that? Yuck.
I remember how bad I felt when I first got my periods, how disgusting I thought they were, how embarrassed I was at the sight of the garbo extracting all those carefully wrapped little newspaper packages from the bin, his expression of bewilderment. I remember how I would put on a fresh super pad and walk to school, and by the time I'd got there I'd have leaked out onto my knickers. No swimming. Even with tampons I can't swim because they still fill up and feel as if they're going to fall out.
There are far, far better ways of celebrating my femaleness than bleeding. My son used to say "anything that bleeds for five (seven, in my case) days and doesn't die is WRONG." But this has caused me health problems and I wouldn't wish them on anyone.
Yeah, if I could make it stop RIGHT NOW you bet I would. If I could have saved my daughter from the feeling of humiliation and dirtiness she felt that time she forgot to bring a spare and bled all over her jeans and the car seat I would have. And don't go telling me I needed to be a better mother. When stuff leaks out of you and you don't want it to, and it soils your clothes, well that makes you feel DIRTY.
My name is ****
I come from Melbourne, Australia.
In a heartbeat! I have had this inconvenience since I was 9, I am 42. I think it should be we have to take a pill TO get pregnant.
I have had dysmenorrhea since the beginning. It has always been heavy and embarrassing, never mind painful! God forbid I don't go to the ladies every 45 minutes to change things. But more than the bleeding to death for a week at a time, it's the other issues that come with it! Constipation, blocked ears - tell me how they're connected - the very stiff neck, the loss of concentration, the nightmares, the insomnia, the inability to carry on like a normal person for 5-7 days out of every month. I either cry at the drop of a hat, or can go into a rage. Try to hold a job with that pressure.
I went on the Pill when I was 15, it helped slow the bleeding, but OH BOY, the mood swings! And another problem? I had three children on the Pill. I am one of those "special" 0.4% of the female population.
Now, I have had my tubes tied. I was too young to have a hysterectomy (38), but that hasn't helped anything other than prevent more children (which was a high priority for me). I have also entered pre-menopause. That is that wonderful state where your period and symptoms change every month, you have really no idea when you might get your period (usually earlier than you expect) and you also get to experience night sweats and hot flashes. Whooppee! I keep hoping they find something (other than cancer) wrong so my uterus HAS to be removed. Lucky me, I'm healthy and so is it!
In this day and age, with modern medicine, don't you think they could do something about all this? Since the majority of the doctors, scientists and researchers have been predominantly male, I don't really think they have tried. You would think they would want their lives to be more pleasant and help their partners out.
Can you tell I have PMS?
For one, GREAT site :) It's really neat that MUM exists! I just found it today. And as the owner of three demanding felines, I found your cat section about Mack C. Padd [here] hilarious. His name alone made me laugh out loud. So thank you :)
WOULD I STOP MENSTRUATING IF I COULD?
I heard somewhere that women bleed monthly as a sympathetic move toward Christ's suffering on the cross. I, however, think it's purely scientific. And I'm a mildly religious person :)
I would not want to give up the PMS. I feel that the PMS week is my week to be mean to certain people, well, two. My mom and my fiance. And they have to take it. And it feels good. If you could only see the looks I get from my fiance when my acid tongue really rips him a new one. Anyhoo, he said if I was nice all the time he'd be sick of me. What a patient fella. The PMS era balances out my niceness with the meanness. Sort of like a "yin yang" type of deal.
The week before the PMS is the "horny week" or my ovulation (I think). I really like that week. I've done some really neat and fun things that week. My fiance also benefits that week. I've gotten lots of lingerie presents that week.
And what the hell is up with MiTtELSChMIRz? I get that every other month. Feels like someone is digging a dagger into my right ovary. I could probably do without that.
The bleeding is nice and uncomfortable. Mine is always pretty heavy on the second day. It isn't so bad if I get to stay home and pamper myself, but I'm a bartender and I have to work nearly every day and deal with people and stand on my feet all day. I work at a bar called "LUNAR" oddly enough. LOL
Ok, so in conclusion, I would NOT want to stop menstruation. Only the bleeding part. My whacked out hormones make me the bitchy sex tiger I like to be.
I'm extremely embarrassed about my periods. Always have been. I hate them. I dread that T.O.M. My older brothers who are in their LATE 20's still tease me about them! What the fuck is their problem? Whoever thought periods should exist should be tortured! I mean, it's as if our hormones think we are a slut who tries to get pregnant every blimming month. What is the point of having a monthly bleed? Most of the time we DON'T get pregnant! My PMT [British PMS] signs start on DAY 11/12. By day 11 I start to feel slightly moody and quiet. Then by the time day 15 comes, I get even more snappy, I snap at my family, anyone! Then in the fourth week of this stupid cycle (days 21-29) I get very emotional, angry, my body temperature goes up, and I get awful cramps! I feel like bursting into tears over NOTHING. My PMS lasts through to when my fucking period ends. So basically, I'm a moody cow 3/4 weeks in the month! I can't believe that some women think menstruation is a "beautiful gift" or "it makes us feel like a woman." What is so beautiful about blood pouring out of a private part of our body for 5 or 7 days? It's disgusting! I'm not saying women are disgusting for it, I'm saying periods are disgusting. I'm so ashamed when I come on. Like most of the other females on this page, I don't have to frigging bleed every month just to "remind" me that I'm female! So what some of you are saying is, when you are a baby, toddler, kid, etc., as you haven't started yet, you're not female cos you don't bleed every month? RUBBISH! People always remember what gender they are! You just need to look in the mirror if you "forget" what gender you are. Another thing what gets my goat about fucking periods, is the way some women in other cultures are treated, because of a "normal" body function. Women are seen as "filthy" and "unclean" by Christians, and I've also heard that in some parts of Africa, women are forced to stay in a tent or something during "that time" What these males are forgetting is, if women didn't get this disgusting monthly bleed, they wouldn't even be on this planet. But more to the point. Would I stop menstruating if I could? No! Yes, I HATE that time of month and everything, but I'm not prepared to go through all that fuss! If I'm a few days late, and I know I'm not pregnant, I get worried thinking something's wrong with me, and when it finally arrives, I'm relieved that I'm "normal," but then I get depressed that I have this blood coming out of me for 5 days. I'm not planning on having children just yet. I'm only 19, and I haven't met the right man for a start. But No, I'll just wait till menopause age! I really can't be bothered to go through all that hassle, just to get rid of this disgusting body function.
I began menstruating at the age of 11, and back then I didn't really know what the function of this monthly bleeding was. I knew that it was related to sex, and that boys had their own Pandora's box of hormone-related issues to deal with.
I never loathed it, regardless of how much pain I was in and how uncomfortable it made me. It was just part and parcel of being what I am: a woman.
In my late teens my periods became less regular, much lighter, and eventually stopped. There were no real medical reasons, it was nature's way of saying "girl, you are too stressed out to carry a baby at this point in life" and it was true, it would have been an awful time to even consider bringing a child into this world.
Being without menstruation was like having an integral part of my identity missing. I didn't feel female, and I didn't feel comfortable in my own skin.
Eventually, my life settled out and three years later I began to get my periods again. It was like breathing a sigh of relief. I felt like part of "the club" again, instead of some androgynous being.
I feel that my body is now functioning in the way it was intended to. I'm female, therefore it is natural that I should ovulate, that if conception does not occur then my uterus should shed it's lining during the monthly cycle.
I have had cramps that have been so bad I have been bedridden. I have bled so much that I've soaked through a super-size tampon and super towel within an hour. I have been grouchy, angry, uncomfortable, bitchy, emotional but after all, I'm a woman and this is all natural.
Sometimes I think that too much is made of cramps and period pains. It isn't the most pleasant experience, but we're women and this is what we do.
Would we all chop our breasts off if we couldn't find a bra to fit? No! Then why should we stop menstruating to suit our lifestyle?
****, 24, England.
Hi I am 27 years old. I had to have a hysterectomy when I was 25. I suffered from chronic pain constantly due to very heavy bleeding, and endometriosis. I have two beautiful children!! I have had four surgeries for endo. After my second child I bled for 10 months straight heavily. So my doctor opted for a hysto. I am glad that I did it because now I am pain free and have no period to worry about. It is awesome. I have to take estrogen and calcium pills daily now, but it is well worth it!! Hallelujah!!
I have been plagued with extremely painful and long menstrual periods since my teens. I have tried many things to combat this feature of my cycle, since it puts me out of commission each month and how do you explain that to an employer? I finally found methods to deal and only once or twice a year does it get so bad I cannot function. But because of this, I did not have a great attitude about being a woman and felt "cursed" by this monthly onslaught, sometimes fantasizing about removing my uterus for a few days.
But, last year I gained a new appreciation for what my period actually does for me.
I was traveling in some stressful conditions for a few months and just stopped getting it. I felt so strange, bloated, emotional, and uncomfortable. This went on for two months. I went to a doctor who told me that I had stopped ovulating due to stress. I went on some hormones to correct the situation because I would be traveling for some more months and could not avoid the stress on my body. When I finally got my period, I was overjoyed. I felt such a release and so cleansed.
Although my period is by no means enjoyable or special in any obvious way, I have found the less obvious benefits of a monthly cycle in how renewed I feel afterward.
I do not believe that getting rid of your period is natural or good for your body or that it will make you more successful in your career. Instead, I would recommend making an effort to find the positive: take advantage of the down time, catch up on some reading, soak in a bath, relax. You may only be able to have the excuse once in a month.
**** from New Haven, Connecticut, U.S.A.
Actually I've already stopped. Due to medical conditions I went into early menopause when I was 35. I'm now 40 and thrilled to bits about not having periods anymore. I had a period recently, last September, and it scared me! After not having a period for five years, I thought something had to be wrong. Went to see the doc, got tests, and all is well.
I started my period when I was 11 and had experiences much like many here have mentioned - embarrassment, pain, discomfort. My periods were irregular from the very first. The only time I had 'pleasant periods' was when I was on the Pill: no cramps, light periods on schedule. I was taken off the Pill in my early 20s and tried an IUD. This resulted in extremely painful and heavy periods. I finally decided to go for a tubal ligation. I was young at the time, 25 or 26, had no children and wasn't married. So instead of telling me about possible side effects, the docs spent all their time telling me about reversibility options. I already knew I didn't want children, but hadn't chosen the surgery sooner because why close doors if not necessary, and why do any surgical procedure if other methods will work? At first I was very happy with the tubal - no worries of pregnancy, and my periods were lighter. But gradually, over the next few months I started to experience super-painful periods. Actually, the pain started about two weeks before the period, and it got to the point where I was eating aspirin like candy - no other pain pill worked for me. The pain of a normal period for me, no pill, all natural, on scale of 1-10 would have been about a 7, now the pain was in the 25 range - on a scale of 1-10. After many invasive tests, it was determined that the pain stemmed from scar tissue on the tubes, with no options, no cures, no choices. At this point I would have given my right arm to stop the periods. I could not go back on the Pill, for the very reasons I had been taken off them in the first place. I had to live with the pain, essentially, not living for two weeks out of every month! Fortunately, my irregular periods started getting more irregular, and I could sometimes go two or three months without a period. By the time I was in my early 30's my period would go away for up to 6 months. By the time I was 35 they tapered off altogether and I was very happy. Yes, I worry about osteoporosis and other post-menopausal issues, but those risks are so worth it now that I don't have to live with constant pain!
Experiencing a period after being five years free from them reinforced my delight in not having them anymore!
It saddens me that so many womyn would, although I certain sympathize with those who experience profound physical and emotional symptoms. Since switching to cloth menstrual pads and taking a cup of raspberry leaf tea every day, my periods are pain-free. I enjoy the regular reminder of my power as a womon and of my connection to the moon and the tides.
I am 34 and began menstruating at age 12. I do not and will not have children. I will treasure the end of my menstruating years when that time comes naturally, for it also has spiritual significance to me, but I have no interest in an artificial hastening of the process.
It amazes me how many women hate being women. They want to be men. They say they want equality and separate isn't equal. Well, maybe being a woman is better for the woman, and being a man is better for the man and what's wrong with that! Yes, my period can be painful, but so is my back. And my back isn't on any particular schedule so I can't plan for it. We are almost as much afraid of pain as we are of womanhood. I enjoy all aspects of my being a woman and wouldn't have it any other way. I got my first period when I was 12, and believe me, I really wanted it as most girls do. I'm now 42. Thirty years of adulthood, one daughter (and I wish I could have had five children, they are so wonderful) later and I still feel being a woman is great, all parts of being a woman. And menstruation is only one small part.
**** from New York City
I am 22 years old and into gender research (politics and anthropology). I consider myself a feminist. My menstruation lasts about six days and is painful indeed, although not so bad I can't stand the pain. The point I want to make is that in all the articles published here, hardly anyone is concerned about health. No one is asking, "Is it healthy to stop menstruation by medication?"
I am surely not with the ones who make claims because of "nature." The term "nature" has been used to construct certain social worlds that are limiting women's possibilities to live lives that they value greatly. It doesn't matter using it in favor of or against women, because in favor or against is always determined by certain interests. "Nature" has no ethical implications, and shouldn't we try to limit ourselves to ethical values that are open to discussion rather than the so-called fact of "nature" that suppresses all discussion? Living in accordance with nature must not imply being determined by an alleged "nature" if we don't want to become animals that aren't responsible for their actions and behavior. I want to be free in my decisions to choose whatever I consider good and I don't want anybody to tell me what "nature" tells me to do. I am no animal without responsibility.
But to see menstruation as a process of purification and time for yourself to remember your body is what I call in accordance with nature. "Celebrating" menstruation as time to allow yourself to lie back, be with yourself and to keep in mind that this is something that concerns all women may be a good way to cope with it better. In societies where people live a lot more in accordance with nature than we do, menstruation is attached to various rituals that focus on the connection to "mother earth." I don't think that one should consider it ridiculous if women in western societies try to do the same, though it might be difficult to get along as well with working and the every day life - but that is everyone's personal choice. We all want to find a way to cope with menstruation that is fitting for us and a bit of openmindness can't be too bad for that.
In fact, I don't think that it is sensible to make an issue of feminism out of the question, because the only question important here is health. A question like "Would you stop crying if you could?" is heading towards the same wrong direction. First, health must be considered, then one can choose for herself freely, which is the main principle of feminism: free choice, not "what is femininity in general." Rather it must be "it is up to you how you define feminine for yourself."
Greeting from Vienna, Austria
I love my period. It's my Moontime, my time to relax, pamper myself, and be creative. I am an artist and a feminist article writer and I come up with my most powerful, eloquent, meaningful pieces during my Moontime. I listen to female musicians, read female authors, admire female artists, and chat about intimate issues with my female friends. I eat healthier and indulge in the richest, darkest chocolate. I also feel a greater spiritual connection during my Moontime. I wouldn't give up my period for anything (except for pregnancy and cronehood).
"The hot flashes are discomfiting, but guess what: I sure don't miss my LITTLE VISITOR!"
Great Web site!
Well, I'm 54 and my period is on the way to becoming a "fond memory." After reading your site, I thought to myself, "Hey, I forgot all about my Little Visitor and what it was like. The hot flashes are discomfiting, but guess what: I sure don't miss my LITTLE VISITOR!" That's right. I'm sure glad to be rid of it, and life has been a lot easier. For instance, packing for camping trips is a breeze.
On the other hand, my period was handy for figuring out whether I was ovulating or pregnant. Hey, I don't miss THOSE things either!
Well, certainly when I'm got awful cramps I wish for menopause. I think that's normal while living in a patriarchal society and a patriarchal world. At the same time though, I definitely enjoy the visions I get the week before my period. I find that although I am grumpy from the hormonal changes, I am also more clear headed and driven by my own best interests. At other times in my cycle, such as day 14 when I am most fertile, I am more inclined to dote on men and crave children.
I have no children. I am 30 years old.
I started my periods when I was 13. I feel stopping periods would be a crime against my own body. I think we need that monthly cleansing; in my experience the period isn't just physical but psychic as well. I feel spiritually clean after my bleeding time is over each month. I think it would benefit women to research the way that females felt about their blood in Paleolithic times when society wasn't dominated by the evil ways women are treated because of the religious fable of Adam and Eve. Yes, it's smelly and it feels gross, but think of it as a inner healing and you'll soon be friends with your womb, and that much closer to true self love. As we all know when you love and appreciate you female body, you can then own your power as an adult.
My answer would have to be, No.
And it's not about "femininity" or "womanhood" per se. I've never been one to fuss about those things. I don't see the point of how people always feel they need to prove or somehow hold onto some idea of "femininity/masculinity" or "manhood/womanhood." I've always considered it all to be pretty silly.
For me the bottom line is that I don't generally consider menstruation a big deal. It's part of life, and I don't really like or dislike it any more than say brushing my teeth or having to urinate every few hours.
That may be familial attitudes (relatives are the same for the most part) or I may just be lucky for never really having had much in the way of cramps, PMS, or any of that junk. Or simply the fact that I don't have very heavy periods most of the time.
I generally use a silicone cup, because it seems the easiest and most environmental method. On hikes it can be a bit tricky to clean, but better than carting dirty pads or tampons out of the forest. And it certainly beats all the washing associated with sponges or rags.
If some of the medical technologies offered were used, I might be suspicious of some possible side effects. I did not have great experiences on the Pill, and wouldn't be quick to assume that the "more numerous periods" are going to be worse than messing with my hormones. (Mini Pill was better.)
I don't see treating any such technology as anything other than a personal choice, provided that it is well studied and the health pros and cons are fully reported. But I am suspicious of the way most doctors treat most female specific and/or hormone related medical issues, and wouldn't want to jump on a "no periods are good for you" bandwagon prematurely.
Age 30. Seattle, Washington, U.S.A.
I would tear out my uterus and beat someone with it!!!! I seriously think that this is God's way of being an asshole!!! It's bad enough we have to have kids, but stick us every month with this pain and discomfort. I haven't had a period in three years, thanks to DepoProvera, but recently had to go off of it. Today I got my period for the first time and feel like crying. I haven't been this much of an emotional mess since before I went on Depo. I feel disgusting and people who feel "proud and honored" to have their period should be locked away somewhere. I would say bearing children would be an honor, but dripping blood for a week or weeks at a time - that's disgusting and dishonorable. That's like stabbing someone everyday for a week (several times a day) and for those unfortunate women whose periods don't end the way other women's do it can range from one week to two or three. What an honor, huh?
The part that makes us female,
Isn't shopping, cooking, or skirts,
Or dating a man
Or wearing a bra
Or getting the monthly hurts.
We are much more than that, and it would take more than a poem to explain the greatness of women. However, I don't understand why people associate periods with femininity. I do not feel feminine when I have 7-9 days of cramps, headaches, nausea, and a snappy attitude because of it.
-122 periods and still hating it.
Age 44: no, never. I like the time when my deep parts feel heavy, weighty, mighty full and volcanic. It is a monthly reminder that life is mysterious and awesome (in the dictionary sense). It's a reminder to look inward, to take a little extra time for thinking and coordinating mind, body and soul.
Also,I think menstruation is one of the last domains of intra-women sabotage: the rage that comes up against having one's period, and against women who don't complain, or who appreciate it. I can't give a number to the myriad of times when I have been shouted down for liking my period by all kinds of women (including ardent critical thinking feminists -- whose work I otherwise generally respect.) There is something frightening or threatening about not going along with the usual bashing. I know that many women suffer profoundly and their discomfort certainly warrants their unhappiness and/or search for alternatives. But often there seems to be just a sort of lagging mass (un)consciousness that sweeps in and it is only "cool" to be 'anti-menstrual.' Why not try getting Zen-ish about it all and explore the alternative of going towards it the way athletes or builders go towards their own physical limits and embrace them? It's been an interesting companion to me and at my age I think that I will miss the company when its gone.
I have had my period since the age of 12. I am now 37 years old and wish for menopause every time I get it. I have the worst PMS and I am on antidepressants to make sure that the symptoms don't get too out of control. And what makes my periods worse is that I have Hashimoto's Disease which makes my period come more frequently. I already have one child and do not want anymore. So why should I still have this every month? Women who think that this makes them feel like a woman are nuts. Having pain, constant heavy bleeding, something stuck inside me for a week, and feeling very nasty and dirty down there, does not make me feel like a woman. Would it for you?
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.A.
Would I stop menstruating if I could? Damned right I would. I am 50 years old and my periods have been as regular as clockwork since I was 12. This is bloody ridiculous (no pun intended. Okay, maybe I did intend it.). Enough already! I have no children and at this stage I certainly don't want any. While I never had excruciating cramps or anything like that, I now get migraines just before my period starts. Stop, stop, stop! I'm 50! I don't need this any more. Mother Nature, lay off already.
That being said, I don't want to use drugs to artificially end my periods. I just wish they'd stop on their own!
Bancroft, Ontario, Canada.
Yes, I would get rid of it. I am 29 with no children and not planning to. I started when I was 15, now I know I am lucky compared with other women. I never really had cramps then, it just happened. I did play sports, which wasn't fun while playing home games (white uniforms). The only problem I had during college was extreme fatigue. I could sleep 10 hours a night, get up for about two hours and sleep another five hours. I still have that problem but it seems worse. It feels like someone sucked all the energy right out of me. Well, about two years ago I started getting really bad cramps. So bad that I am missing work and laying in bed all day. I know they were bad, my husband, the first time they got bad, standing over me in bed with eyes like saucers asking me if I was going to be ok. I never knew they could get that bad. I was the only women at my work place. I would call my boss and make up some something. I think it is just disgusting. I have the same feelings as the girl going to the keg in the woods (May 2004). I just don't see how something that changes, about three days of you're life every month is a thing of womanly greatness. I don't have to bleed to know that I am a women. If anything, I learned a lot from this site, more from talking with any of my close friends. They really don't even talk about it. That is great that other women think it is great, but I am glad to see that I am not the only one who thinks it is horrible, gross, and so on. This site is great I learned a lot from the other women who wrote in. I have to ask this question: I don't understand why there are women out there who hate the sight of blood? How is that, when they on average see it once a month. Ponder that one. Thank You.
Oh, holy squeezy Jesus, YES. I hit menarche way late - at 14 - and for a while didn't have much of a problem with my periods, but in the past five or six years they've been getting steadily worse. When I got mine for the first time I was vaguely excited - the whole "I'm a grown-up" thing was still floating around in my mind - but the second time it rolled around I realized that I would have to go through the dull weariness, the pain, the feeling that linebackers are ramming their helmeted heads into your lower abdomen repeatedly, the diarrhea, the nausea, the hypersensitivity, and the stupid goddamn bleeding until I hit menopause. A sobering realization, to say the least. I now have to carry around ultra-hyper-huge-Hoover-Dam style tampons and change them five or six times a day, plus down a cocktail of prescription painkillers and Imodium for the first three days of the flow. It sucks. Big-time.
Even then I knew I'd never want children; ten years later I still don't want children, and neither does my girlfriend, and quite honestly I just want the entire works taken out and donated to some less-fortunate infertile woman. I'm never going to use the uterus or its attendant bits, and I have no desire to go around for the next thirty years or so suffering for no reason. Since I know perfectly well that hysterectomies have undesirable side effects, I'll settle for getting my uterine lining ablated and my tubes tied. I really don't understand why people go on and on about the Mystical Power of the Woman's Moon Time, et cetera. It's just discharge, like having a runny nose, and about as pleasant.
-24-year-old, currently residing in the eastern U.S.
Like the mother in Nevada, I, too, have dysmenorrhea. It has gotten better over the years (I am 34) but was horrific when I was in my teens and early twenties. Curled up in bed (or on a bathroom floor at school) vomiting and crying, I felt like I was being cut open from the inside out with a knife. I have never yet in my life met a woman who has experienced this. My (female) friends have always been shocked and many have witnessed me in the midst of the pain. I took Naproxen, herbs; got acupuncture; went on the Pill for a couple of years (which worked wonders, by the way!) but in the end, age is what is decreasing the pain. I still feel nauseous and very tired, the basic PMS symptoms, but I am amazed at how easy it is now; THIS is what most women go through? Well of course, now I understand why most women say they wouldn't stop menstruating. After what I've gone through, this is a joke! Haha. But to all the women who claim it is "part of being a woman" and defines you - that is not true. For women with severe cramping and endometriosis and years of memories of being a scared young girl and not understanding why OTHER WOMEN don't understand what you are going through, not menstruating once a month is a gift, a dream. As a teenager I would have given ANYTHING to be free of that pain; now it is so diminished I say sure, no problem, I don't mind the sleepy feeling and the food cravings - they're great, bring them on!!
- Vancouver, Canada
I'm 33 and have always had awful periods. PMS that makes me a moody wreck anywhere from a month to two weeks before it starts. I occasionally get premenstrual cramps and bloating. I hate to be a moody bitch around the people I love when everything in my life is going right. I do take herbal supplements that help most of the time but there are times that nothing will restore my sanity and I have to wait until the red tide decides to finally show up.
Then, once my curse arrives I bleed like a B horror movie, which has lead to me being very weak and passing out on occasion. Even with taking iron supplements. Of course with this heavy bleeding I have to be careful what I wear because I just might ruin it. Not to mention the cramps that accompany said period. They are so bad I have considered looking into a hysterectomy even though that might be worse, but it's one of those "grass is greener" type things.
If men had periods this issue would of been taken care of years ago.
I hate it, it does not make me feel womanlier, it does the opposite. I hate being at the mercy of my monthly visitor. I consider myself a strong woman and to be bedridden by something like this is embarrassing to say the least. I'm not having children so I have no reason to go through this misery every single month. Not to mention the fact that it jumps around so I cannot even plan activities around the cursed thing. I just have to pray it doesn't show up before or during a vacation when I'm trying to enjoy myself.
So yes, I would rid myself of this curse once and for all if I could. I'm so happy they have come out with something like Seasonale. It's a step in the right direction for women like myself who want to take their life back from Aunt Flo.
Thanks for the opportunity to say that and for having this poll.
I'm 40 and just had a hysterectomy for fibroids and extremely heavy bleeding and pain. During the hysterectomy the doctor found extensive endometriosis, which will be an ongoing problem. I still have my ovaries, and unfortunately some of the pain that I had before the hyster. The endo has attached itself to the bowel.
Returning to your question: I don't regret not having periods though I am only 8 weeks post op. and still find it a little weird going through the motions of a period without the blood. My only regret is not having a hysterectomy sooner. When I was done having my family I would have liked my periods to stop then, but without the side effects of menopause.
I'm lucky, my periods are regular and pain free, although even if they were an issue there is more than enough knowledge in my head to put a stop to them. I use a menstrual cup so I can forget my period altogether if I wanted to but I don't want to. I would not stop menstruating even if I could. It saddens me that only now, post "sex education," after my GP automatically put me on the Pill and after an abusive relationship I discovered feminism and menstrual activism, and in turn I discovered my body.
I love my period, I love that it enables me to one day have children. I am always excited about getting my period, looking at my blood, touching it, smelling it and experiencing it. I love my period because it reminds me I have a positive powerhouse between my legs, it reminds me I am a woman and that being a woman means so much. I'm 21 years old, I started to menstruate when I was 13 and let so many years go by until I was 19 and discovered exactly how great my body is. Knowledge does so much to convert women's and men's attitudes towards menstruation. I wouldn't stop my periods for anything in the world.
Yes. I'm 14 and live in the United States. I had my first period when I was 10 and I've always had pretty bad cramps and a fairly heavy flow. My mom, being from Taiwan, put up with pads for her entire menstruating life and never used a tampon. Now, she prefers that I don't either. However, all of my friends at school use tampons and I often get back pains from being unable to relax when using pads overnight.
Before I visited this site this afternoon, I was desperate for my period to leave forever, even if I couldn't have children. (I like the idea of adopting.) I PMS to a fair extent (I usually end up really hurting my mom's feelings, which is absolutely dreadful, since my mom and I are very close) and as mentioned above, get awful cramps that force me to take 6-8 pills of Advil or Ibuprofen daily for the first two days of my period (I typically have 7-day periods).
After reading many of the comments from other women, I'm willing to go through periods every month simply because it means I'm female. I've been doing some reading on the feminist movement and currently consider myself a budding feminist. However, I do not plan to become a housewife or "just a woman who bakes cookies." I plan to have an active career and such.
I'm not saying that I think having periods is beautiful or poetic, but I believe it preserves the fact that we are women. I still want to try tampons, since I believe they will put an end to my back pains, but I've also been reading about them and have discovered that rayon and dioxin are two of the harmful things in tampons. Regardless of which hygiene method I use, I am willing to keep my period.
Hell, yes, I would give it up . . . in a heartbeat. No more pads, tampons, heating pads, Motrin, or any other drugs to help get rid of the pain! Think about all the money you could save not having to buy all of the listed above! I'd be a much more wealthy woman, plus my family wouldn't have to deal with the mood swings and raging hormones! I of course wouldn't have to deal with it either and that's the best part!
No more worries about the types of clothes you wear, no more worrying whether or not you will bleed through, no more worries about being caught without a pad or tampon at an unexpected time!
How great it would be!
However, I would never want to do this taking hormones, because I am paranoid of the long term effects it would have on my body. So until it's time for a hysterectomy or something of that nature, guess I get to deal with the "monthly visitor."
32-year-old mother of two children
Salutations to all who are tuned with the stuff!
Blood, pain, discomfort, emotions! The World has been made by this and it will. Our body-mind selves are originated by Nature. Nature itself is favourable for those who, no matter what the factors and effects are, respects and regards it. The monthly cycle is nothing but a deal of the Nature in a living organism=our body. To make out the pain and the worth of ''damned monthly sickness'' it has to take care for our body.
In response to the question of, if I could stop menstruating, would I: the answer is a resounding "No!" I have always enjoyed my period on some level. And the older I've gotten the more I enjoy it and appreciate it. So, no I wouldn't.
I'm reading through everyone's responses and I'd like to tell you a bit about myself.
I'm 19 years old, have been menstruating since I was 10 and have had endometriosis since I was 16. I was incapable of going to school for the first day of my period, I was incapable of moving on some days, and when I finally was diagnosed my doctor tried several different methods of treating my endometriosis.
One of these, which I have been using for over a year, is taking nine weeks of the Pill continuously to stop the endometriosis from growing. I only had one period every nine weeks, so I effectively know what it's like to stop your period. I've had mood swings and horrendous pain as well as skin problems for several years now, and I wouldn't give up my periods for the world. In fact, I decided not to follow my doctor's advice anymore and I am going back to having a period every month instead of every nine weeks. I have stopped taking painkillers and my endometriosis has never been better I have always had painful periods but I am no longer crippled and I am no longer even feeling the need to take medication for pain since I decided to stop. A tip for women who do experience pain is to massage with lavender oil, use a heat pillow or hot water bottle, and relax.
I really missed my periods, as convenient as it was to not be having them, and as much as I liked the freedom of not worrying and not having the expense that comes with periods (tampons and pads attract a GST in Australia, one reason why I am changing to the Keeper and Moon Pads next month), I found that I am much more balanced having a normal menstrual cycle than when I did not. It is much easier to deal with the world if I know when my period is coming, know why I am having mood changes and know that I'm, well, normal. My boyfriend even agrees with me that it is better to have one period a month. He wants me to go off the Pill altogether for a while because we are concerned about the long term effects on my body and we both wish to have children in the future.
But in summary, I have experienced (in a small way) stopping my periods, and I have decided that I would not give them up for any reason. I may not like everything that goes along with menstruation, but I still would not stop them permanently if I had the option.
19 years old and from Queensland, Australia.
No, frankly I wouldn't. It's sometimes a pain (both literally and figuratively) and it appears at inconvenient times, but like my nose or my hair or my allergies, it's an integral part of who I am and of what I am.
I am particularly interested in a previous poster's comment that perhaps the women that don't mind their periods are less career-driven. This seems to me to be a huge assumption to make - and I myself certainly don't fit into this category. I take my professional life very seriously (it consumes well over 40 hours a week of my life and it's quite a public position, which means that I can't "hide" during my period), but I take my health and my reproductive system equally seriously.
I control my fertility through the use of condoms and the fertility awareness method. I would never even consider using long term drugs that would change my hormonal balance unless it was a matter of life or death (and my mental health would be a similar issue, if it came to it).
This, to me, is the ultimate control - I know exactly what my body is doing throughout the month (through charting basal body temperature and cervical mucous and cervical position), which means that I am in a position to respond quickly if something out of the ordinary happens and it also means that I have an intimate understanding of what happens to my body every month. I monitor my fertility and my body through natural means - that is the meaning of control to me.
As a contraceptive method, it's worked perfectly - we have one child and his conception was timed through fertility awareness (and I realise that I was lucky in this regard). We have had no other "pregnancy scares." I imagine that once we're ready to try for number two, we'll continue to time our "fun" to coincide with ovulation.
As far as a previous poster's comment about "femininity": I wouldn't consider myself particularly attached to the 'feminine" either. I don't wear makeup and I hardly find time to comb my hair. I don't enjoy "girls night outs" or anything like that. I'm just an average person who very much likes to know what my body is up to and to have control over that body - drugs take that control away (and I try not to use any drugs at all if I can help it).
I may have felt differently about this if I had difficult periods. But I generally have little in the way of cramping and any kind of PMS is usually quite manageable. While I have had some very heavy periods, that again, is manageable. At the same time however, from my research and from the experience of others, I cannot say that the situation would be in any way "better" if I were on some form of hormone-based contraceptive. Rather, I think it would be worse.
As for age, I'm 34 and I've had my period since I was 13. I've never used any form of hormone-based contraceptive, and I don't ever plan on using them in the ca. 10 years of "fertility" I have left.
I found your Web site on a henna Web site that published a book about Menstruation and Henna. I started to read the page with comments about "Would you stop menstruating if you could?" and here is my opinion after reading all of the comments made by others:
I am 19 right now and I started my period when I was 12. When the blood rush broke loose I was at school, and it was embarrassing. I had very bad heavy periods in the first year that I started the periods and the pains were unbelievable. My mom thought it was a happy moment, I was finally a woman. I thought it just plain sucked for the fact that I was going to bleed heavily every month for a little more then a week. My mom was very helpful and after a few months she thought it would be a good idea to go on birth control pills to minimize the pains and heavy flows of blood. It did help, but the Pill made me gain weight, I constantly felt sick in the stomach after I just swallowed the Pill, I got acne, the whole set of side effects seem to happen to me. I quit taking the Pill when I was 15 - I just couldn't handle the sickness anymore, I'd rather have cramps than feeling the way I did when I'm on the pill. My periods were lighter after I stopped taking the Pill and my periods came fairly regularly every month. And, yes, I do have the horrible cramps 1-2 days before I have my periods, and then suddenly it gets worse when it actually starts. (Good indicator for me to rush to the toilet and get my tampon ready). When I was 17 I moved in with my boyfriend and I needed something to protect me from getting pregnant, and condoms are so annoying and it irritated my vagina. so I did some research and found out about the coil. I knew my mom had one of those when she was younger and it seemed the perfect solution, especially because there is no way I will be swallowing pills (which make me sick and I'm very forgetful lol) and the injection method, that's not for me. I'm already squeamish about needles. It's perfect and there are side effects. The doctor told me that for some women their periods stop when they have a coil. There were other ones like more pimples, slight weight gain, etc. Although I continued with my periods, they are very light now. I did get more pimples on my chest and back (nothing too bad) and no weight gain. I also did lose my "horniness," and that's what I do miss. Other than that, every time I have my period I complain about having cramps and having to go to the toilet more often, I wouldn't want to stop it completely. It's not worth it. Those 5-6 days of blood loss are over in a flash. I do too many things in a day to think about the pains. I do understand a person's view on wanting it to stop. It's all about personal choice, just like abortion is.
Keep up the great work on the site, it's been an interesting read! :)
By accident, I came across your site and offer an answer to "Would you give up menstruation?" and three English euphemisms:
My late wife during a protracted illness found that her menstrual flow had dried to a trickle. She once cried to me, "Oh David, I wish I could have a proper period !"
Her euphemism for her monthly period was "tummy trouble" and I think some of her friends (in Southern England) used it.
During my National Service, I became aware that many men crudely referred to the state as "having the rags on," whilst a girl friend of that time (1949) said that her "country cousins had arrived." [Read more words for menstruation.]
Hope these add to the sum total of human knowledge about that mysterious, wonderful - but messy condition.
Most definitely. I absolutely abhore the whole messy situation, as well as the pain involved, and the moodiness. It's a curse.
I am 43 years old. I've had 3 children.
First, excuse my English - it's not so good. [It's extremely good!]
I'm a Portuguese 26-year-old woman and it's hard for me to believe some e-mails I've read on this page (which by the way is great).
The denial of the period is so strong, I never would have thought that in the 21st-century, women would feel this way about their own body! Menstruation is part of the feminine identity, because we are our mind and our body, and both are connected. Wanting to stop my period is like wanting to no longer have breasts, for example. It's part of my body and a special one: no other corporal phenomenon has so directly to do with being a woman, except pregnancy, which is in the end the other side of the coin. Period is also a strong connection to Nature: don't you think it's do I dare saying this? - almost poetic that your cycle is the same as the moon's?
It's not always pleasant, and I know many women suffer a lot during these days, and of course I understand that for them the pain is more important than all of the stuff I'm saying here. For them period=suffering, and I can understand they'd prefer stop it.
But reading that "it smells" or that it's "disgusting," - that I have problems understanding; having my period doesn't make me dirty or repulsive. It's not disgusting. Do you say blood is disgusting when you cut yourself? I don't think so. You may even automatically lick it when it's a little scratch or something like that (please don't shoot me! I'm not telling we should do the same with the period). But period should be disgusting because it comes out of your sex? And yes, it has a smell: a smell of blood and body tissues. But you know, if you "change" regularly and wash the area twice a day, I can guarantee no one will ever smell a thing.
This way of thinking gets on my nerves, because it shows how much women don't really love or accept themselves. They consider their body beautiful as long as it's attractive to the opposite sex: how nice it is to have big tits nowadays (even if it means back pains or problems, even if it has to be achieved through surgery and looks completely fake and unnatural)! Guys love it. But how disgusting it is having your period: it's not attractive to men.
But maybe I'm a freak for being happy with my period and my small breasts? Who knows?
Having that said, I would not stop having my period if I could (but I think you already got that!). I just think this whole period thing is the top of the iceberg, and the iceberg is "Why can't we women be proud of what we are, no matter if it is pleasant to men or not." It's my humble opinion. I mean, look at men - do you think they see their sperm as repulsive?? Oh, God, no! They tend to be proud of it They're proud of their sexuality, in the large meaning of the word. And do you think period is more repulsive than sperm? Well, I personally don't think so.
I love my period - and don't get me wrong, I get cramps and bloating and mood swings just like everyone else, but I wouldn't give it up for anything. Monthly cycles are a very important part of the rhythm of a woman's life, like the seasons. It is our unique relationship with the moon and the oceans and the life-giving forces of the earth, and most importantly, with other women. Its really an incredible thing when you stop and think about it - and that's the problem: we don't want to take that time to slow down and be in our beautiful bodies where we belong. It's all a matter of perspective and it's very sad that so many of us have been taught to despise our magic through our misogynist culture. For just one cycle, try turning inward, focus on what you're feeling and what you need; you might be suprised at what you learn! Celebrate yourself and your amazing woman powers!
By the way, I'm 25 and I live in Duluth, Minnesota, U.S.A.
I am 29 and I have never appreciated the necessity to menstruate. I have never wanted to have children and I get cramps and a heavy flow for the first three days (I must have painkillers or I will be in so much pain I tremble). SO I would definitely grab the opportunity of never ever menstruating again. I heard that there is an operation that does just this. Is that true?
This whole thing is an inconvenience on so many levels, maybe men should experience some of what women have to go through, all in the name of bearing children - ugh.
Good GRIEF yes. I'm now nearly 16, I had my first period about mid-September three years ago. I don't let it rule my life but it's certainly an inconvenience. I went away this last summer on a very active holiday. I went to the doctor and asked for some pills to stop my period for the month and a half that I would be in the wild and unable to keep hygiene to a maximum. This was a wonder, I wish I could do that for every special occasion as it really is inconvenient. With my busy lifestyle, what with schoolwork, dancing, D of E, and many other commitments, I don't have time for this, - it restricts my dancing. Tampons are great, I couldn't do without them but there's the hazard of leaking and sanitary towels are so uncomfortable and messy. Plus the fact that being at an all-girls boarding school, EVERYBODY synchronizes with each other [read about this], we're ALL moody at the same time (plus it annoys the games teachers when everyone is off swimming in the same week). The San gets flocks of girls needing pain killers and the village shop has its stock of chocolate depleted considerably. I know the value of menstruation and I definitely want children when I'm older so I don't want to give that up, but why do we have to have the mess, the pain and the mood swings as often as the moon waxes and wanes?
I love your Web site, and I wanted to add more to the pot.
I used to have terrible cramps. Three to five days each month in my teen years, I'd lay in bed with a hot water bottle weeping over the pain. I hated my menstruation, resented what it did to me, and despised the helplessness I felt while the smell of you-know-what lingered around me.
When I was seventeen, I had an older friend from university who gave me a life-changing model: this woman LOVED her menstruation. She used cloth menstrual pads [see some here], which made me think "EWWWWWW!" She would take the water she rinsed them in and water her plants - and she essentially embraced everything about menstruation. At the time, I thought she was just a little weird.
When I was in my early twenties, her words began to sink in. I made the switch from tampons to cloth menstrual pads. Like a miracle, my cramps cleared up. I mean, I went from little blue pills three days each month to nothing. I didn't weep, cry, get bitchy or exhibit any of the other PMS symptoms I had suffered for years. If anything, I felt each month was a release. It was transformational. There are probably many reasons why my cramps cleared up, but I'll skip the list of hypothesis. The simple fact is, my periods became a normal part of womanhood.
You ask whether or not we would stop menstruating if we could. Well, I did stop menstruating. For over two years I did not menstruate - because I was either pregnant or breastfeeding. Breastfeeding suppressed my periods for seventeen months. By the time my periods returned, I was rather glad to see them!
I realized that my period marks time. Some months whip by and suddenly, it feels like my periods are back to back. Other times, the month is long and ages pass before my period starts. All told, though, my cycle is pretty regular, so the time that passes is really the same number of calendar days, give or take, each month.
I hope I don't stop menstruating any time soon because it would mean I am pregnant. (I'm not planning another child.) When the time comes for me to crone, I will do so because it will also mark the passage of time. I have been given this wonderful body that can make menstrual blood, babies, eggs, breastmilk, and a myriad of other amazing goos and fluids. I wouldn't trade these SuperHero powers for anything.
Age 33, Victoria, B.C., Canada
YES!! I would stop menstruating if I could - Oh, Wait! I can! Probably around age 45-50.
21 years old and I live in Pennsylvania, U.S.A.
I'm 27 and have happily been on Depo Prover for several years. Like another woman who responded, the only side effect I have had was some minor weight gain. I started my menses when I was 11 and hated it from day one. I am someone who likes having control of my mind and body and once a month I seemed to lose control of both. I took more pills for cramps and nausea and energy during that one week that I felt like a walking pharmacy. I hate pills. I hate most drugs as a matter of fact. I wasn't raised around a caring and informative family and I had a child when I was 18. If I would have known then what I know now I probably wouldn't have had him. I would have been on birth control. I love my son, but the thought of having more kids nauseates me. If my son gets lonely I'll get him another pet. I tried the Pill, but when I heard about Depo I immediately called my physician and started on it. Now rather than downing a ton of antidepressants, muscle relaxants, anti-nausea and migraine medications for almost nine days straight I go in to get a shot every three months and that's the only pharmaceutical I partake of. I feel better physically and mentally on it. I love not having to keep the bathroom stocked with feminine products or having to carry emergency pads or tampons around. I'm not a "girly" woman in the first place so I am elated at the fact that all I need when I leave the house is my wallet and chap stick. If I mark my calendar it's because I'm going somewhere or doing something, not because I have to remind myself that I'm about to feel miserable for a week or more. I love being able to be intimate with my husband whenever I want and not having to peroxide the sheets or my underwear. (Note to menses-loving readers: Peroxide works wonders on blood, a trick I learned working in the medical field.) I don't plan to ever have more children and would love to donate my ovaries/uterus someday if it is possible. I have wondered while reading some of the responses if the women who love their menses have ever tried going without it. It's easier to say that you would never do it if it's something you haven't tried. Also, I wonder if women who want the family with the white picket fence aren't more tolerant of their monthly cycle than women who are more career driven.
Here's my experience, which is the opposite of pretty much 99.999% of women:
I had my first menstruation at 16, my second at 21. In bad years, I get four a year - I usually get two. Some are bad, some are over before I knew what happened. I didn't use my first tampon until I was 28. Didn't have to. My current gynecologist freaks out about the lack of menstruations, I shrug it off.
I would never want to have regular periods. I can not imagine a life where, for every 28 days, I would spend four bleeding and seven bloated and cranky with painful breasts. Why spend one half of the good years in a bad mood? Or with the mess?
I don't have mood swings. I don't have crying fits. I don't wonder if my ass looks fat. I never understood the mind games women play. It helps that I don't want kids, though I've been told from my doctors that there's no reason why I can't have them.
Think of it this way: in previous societies, women's periods were less common. She menstruated until she was pregnant, then stopped for up to years from nursing, or another pregnancy. I can't believe the continual estrogen bombardment is good.
So, from someone on the other side of the fence, who hears from all her friends, "What? How can I get in on that deal?" it's a great place to be. I feel very lucky. I wouldn't switch with any of you.
I'm 18 years old and I come from Britain. I started my period when I was eleven and a half in the middle of the summer before I went to secondary school, while I was on a day trip to Portsmouth to see the Victory. I'd been feeling vaguely ill all day, but when I found out I'd "come on" for the first time I was elated! It was just about painless, and I felt I was now grown up.
However, soon afterwards I started getting period pains (and my cycle was very regular from the start) and they were severe; they couldn't be cured by exercise, only by painkillers and lying down with a hot water bottle on my stomach (and it hurt in my back too). I also started having wild mood swings; none of this has stopped, so sometimes I wake in the middle of the night so depressed I start crying and I cannot get back to sleep anyway because the pain is so severe. It was never so severe I actually missed school, but very often I had to go to the nurse's office to get painkillers and sometimes to lie down (please don't think I'm a wimp - I'm not). I'm going to university soon and I hope all this will stop. I'd gladly stop having periods in case it affects my work (which it did occasionally at school).
Worse still, all my friends synchronised to my cycle so we became very moody and hated each other for the same four days every month. Yes, I'd give it all up. I don't want kids (that might change when I hit thirty). The only good things about my periods is that they are short (three days; everyone else seems to have it twice as long) and regular. However, I wouldn't mind the bleeding if I could have it without the pain and the mood swings. Better still to not have bleeding, and not bleeding on your clothes when you don't realise you've come on! (Because mine are totally painless when they start; the pain starts after a couple of hours.) In my family, the menarche comes early and the menopause comes relatively late, so unless I find a way to stop my periods I'll be suffering for many years to come. Make them stop!
I read that the pain lessens after you're 25 or after you've had a child, but it never did for my mother and I assume I'll be the same way. (She's nearly 52; I hope she never reads this page. :) )
I've read some of the responses on your site and I feel I can relate to all of them at some level. I'm 22 and I have been on the Pill for the past year and a half and I've had the pleasure of no acne, and my boyfriend had the pleasure of my boobs growing to a larger cup size. I've pretty much seem normal, but my libido has been completely shot. I used to have a very healthy sexual appetite and now I find it very hard to climax (and this goes for both masturbation and sex with a partner). Forget about natural lubrication; I've had to use lube a lot more than I did in my pre-Pill days.
What I feel now is that my period made me feel normal. I've never had crazy cramping and I was as regular as a clock, so it didn't bother me much.
Someone mentioned something about smell. During your period there is that unpleasant blood smell, but during the rest of the month I used to smell good, almost like cinnamon, and that wasn't due to a specific bath product - it was just my smell. I've lost that since going on the Pill.
I went on the Pill after talking with my boyfriend at the time. But now that I'm not in a long-term committed relationship anymore I've decided to get off the Pill and try to get that somewhat regulated normal period back so that I can feel horny again. So, no, I wouldn't give up my period.
But, can anyone recommend a brand of condoms that's enjoyable for the guy and non-irritating for the lady?
First, I love the page - still reading through it. You do a wonderful job. :)
As for the point of the e-mail: no, I wouldn't stop my period at this point in life. I'm 24, Caucasian and married. I've got my own health problems, but a fortunately pretty regular period, with occasional bouts of disabling exhaustion, mood swings (he he, ,my poor husband *G*) and pain. Funny thing about those are that I only get them when I don't take care of myself through the month. Fancy that, eh?
I'm finding myself looking at it as I do other issues...if you don't want to stop it, don't stop it. If you do? Well, ok, no skin off my back, but don't come crying for sympathy when you find out you sacrifice the rest of your well being for not finding another way to deal with menstruation.
It can be either a thing of beauty, or a thing of horror. The key lies within each individual person.
Thanks for reading!
Perhaps if our culture gave women a little more information and resources on how to deal with our cycles in a positive and accepting way, there wouldn't be so many angry and fed-up messages here. I'm appalled at how little I knew about my cycle until I started practicing Fertility Awareness for birth control four years ago (with total success). Now I always know when I'll start to bleed, sometimes down to the hour. I also know almost exactly when I ovulate. I've altered my cycle with diet and herbs, making it much more forgiving. Any time it causes me extreme pain or mood swings, I know something's out of balance, and it's time to find out what. I've gotten good help from an acupuncturist. I wouldn't trade this priceless indication of my body's state of health for anything. The only thing I'm angry about is that the patriarchal society I live in didn't see fit to educate me about the workings of my own body, and validate the experiences and feelings I have as a woman. I wish every adolescent girl would be educated about her body, listened to, validated, and encouraged to find positive help when she needs it. This is totally possible if we could only get our priorities straight.
My cramps have been so severe since I started at age 12 that I missed two days of school a month and spent most of the other five in the restroom trying to clean up mishaps all over my clothes that were so bad most of the time I would have to call my mother to bring me change of clothes just so that I could go back to my classes. Now, I've got two teen girls also cursed with the problem as I am, 20 months apart of age. I still get the same awful cramps and mess at the age of 35. I won't let my kids do birth control pills nor the Depo-Provera; I've seen too many friends that have been on both way too long and still trying to conceive 10 years later after stopping the BC pills and Depo - made them sterile.
After my second child was born I had my tubes removed. I begged the doctor to remove my uterus since I really no longer need it to make babies but he refused. I feel once you have decided to get fixed to no longer have kids that it should be the uterus that should be removed; sure would help stop so many future problems, let alone the cramps and the mess. I bleed so badly that even a super-plus tampon along with a night-time pad is soaked in an hour! And they say that you only bleed two tablespoons in one cycle; well, they have yet to meet me. I bleed heavy like this for four days, then the other three days are normal bleeding and the other last three days are of spotting.
I would definitely go for the no-more-periods idea! I am also willing to donate my uterus to any takers! I will pay for the operation to be done! Just take it!
There was a time in my life when I hated it. I have heavy menstruation and very irregular cycle and it is sometimes stressing to wait for them to come and then wait for them to be gone. I used the Pill for five years; what a miracle it was to have regular bleeding!!! But alas! Pills depressed me, they gave me menstruation pains (can go this way too - never had them before) and they killed my libido. And I got PMS, too! But I was so happy to have a regular cycle!!! But I realized; I DID NOT HAVE any cycle at all. They are not periods: it is just bleeding. There is no ovulation. I could as well eat Pills without any break. Yes? NO!
I am very happy to menstruate: I feel healthy and very womanly and fertile. I stopped taking Pills. Now I have my own, irregular cycle - but it is real, not fake. My body works. I would hate to think what menstruation-stopping pills would do to me, as even the regular Pill made me swell, bitch, depress, and cramp and yes, they did made themselves very useless by torpedoing my appetite for sex.
Menstruating can be a mess, but I am convinced there is some reason for women to bleed regularly. Healthy, well-fed women menstruate. Sick, undernourished do not. We should take a bleeding as a sign of health and be glad that our body can give such a clear sign of its condition.
27 years, Finland
NO! I'm a 20 year old Texan, and my period started when I was about 12. I started after all of my friends, and it was always really irregular; in high school, I only got my period about 6 times, and each time I did, it lasted for about a month, with terrible cramps and incredibly heavy bleeding. I have distinct memories of prom night, when I was wearing a super absorbency tampon and a great big overnight pad, having to switch out both every hour. Thank God my dress was red and it was dark anyway.
A little over a year ago, though, I finally talked to the gyno [gynecologist] about it, and we discovered I have polycystic ovarian syndrome. They got me on the Pill, and I'm doing just fiiine and dandy now. My periods are regular and bearable, and I even kind of enjoy them. After so long of not getting my period and constantly wondering what was wrong with me, it's nice to have the regular little visitor.
Yes, I would as long at it was safe. Can we trust all we read and hear? I have two girls 10 and 13. It's not wonderful or disgraceful, just a change in life, which frankly I feel sucks. I started at 12 and felt my life was over. My daughter (13) thinks it's disgusting; she has not started yet and I want her to hold off (like I have control of it). She's petite and thin and very active in gymnastics, so chances are she might. Her sister (10) is likely to start before her; she 40 inches tall and weights 110 lbs. Body fat plays a part in this change-of-life stage.
To everyone that thinks we should be so happy to have this event in our lives: it's a personal opinion and when you have heavy long cycles with pain and discomfort, maybe you would feel different. I'm 36, I don't want any more kids; I have a husband. LOL. I have had mini problems in the past and take the Pill to help with it and the best part is the very short period. I love that. And knowing when it will come is even better. But the risk of taking the Pill is scary to me. I'm healthy, don't smoke, I'm not overweight, and pretty active. I just hate dealing with this mess each month. Yes, I would stop and think about it each month and I don't want my girls to start but will help them through it. To each her own. Life goes on. Time changes all. Changes will be made in my life and others. I think we should have to take something to start and to become pregnant. Think of all the babies that are mistreated and killed it would of prevented. I know of a few. It's all a matter of opinion. MINE COUNTS, SO DOES YOURS. Either is right or wrong . . . Period!
Would I stop? Probably not, at this point. I got my first period when I was 9, and had no clue what was happening. (I was born in 1963 to parents who were 43 years old, and weren't hip to the whole notion of talking to their kids about the whole birds/bees thing.) I was out riding my bike with a bunch of friends in the neighborhood. Had to go to the bathroom, so came inside to my house and saw blood in my panties. Not wanting to think about whether there was anything wrong with me, I just crammed a wad of t.p. [toilet paper] into my shorts and went back out to join the gang. Later that afternoon, when my big sister came home, I hesitantly asked her about this. Long story short, that night at dinner I was feted by my entire family (which included two older brothers) as "a little woman," and I despised the whole experience.
The only option to for "sanitary napkins" at that time were those stupid, rabbit-eared things you had to attach to a belt. Tampons? Yeah, right. Eventually, when I was about 16, I secretly purchased a tiny box of Tampax, but for the life of me couldn't figure out where the opening was to put them. Not until I was 18, and my boyfriend of four years, um, showed me.
Being 41 now, and having had no kids that would've interrupted any of my cycles, I've had some practice at fighting this bloody beast. With all due respect to the younger pups on this site, I just wish that all the remedies available to us NOW were available when I was younger and the only tools at hand were Midol which, back then anyway, was useless and non-elastic-backed, corn-cob-sized pads that you had to attach by their long cottony tails to the metal-teethed clips of a binding, bothersome elastic belt you wore around your waist. There was a brief bright spot later when Rely tampons came out, and you could actually have a few hours without worrying about whether you'd have to tie your jacket around your waist in order to leave the classroom with some shred of dignity but then some airheads left them in for 8 days at a time and got TSS [toxic shock syndrome, which can maim and kill you] (gee, go figure), so ultra-absorbent tampons were sucked from the market faster than you could say "Idiot." But, even so, the stuff we have to attack the evils now are pretty effective. Because I still get mind-warping, character-mutilating cramps, and for the first couple of days my lower g.i. [gastrointestinal] tract displays its creative flair. I attack these with Naproxen Sodium/ThermaCare, and Immodium, respectively, and get on with my life.
But now, like other postings have mentioned, I figure I've probably got just a few more years of this, and after that comes higher risks of all sorts of lovely things: breast cancer, osteoporosis, yada yada. As long as I still have my monthlies, I'm that much more entrenched in youth. Especially, since I started at 9 years of age, I suspect I'm probably careening toward menopause more quickly than most others. [It's usually the other way around.] So, no, I wouldn't stop. But would I have, given the option at 20? And assured that there wouldn't be any cancer or other health risks? HECK, YEAH!!!
I can't say that I like my period much, but what I like less are the side effects of birth control pills. They make me moody, angry and bloated. Even Depro gave me side effects. I gained weight and felt so so bloated and lethargic. If I had a choice between birth control pills and my period I would choose my period.
I may be only be 16, but I've had my share and then some of period problems.
When I first started my period at 12 years and one month (I remember the day), it was regular and extreme from the beginning. I had to use "overnight" maxi pads and replace them 4 times a day and at least once a night. Not only was I bleeding that heavily for at least 3 days before it started to stave off, but I would lose at least 2 (usually 3-4) days of school per cycle (which was every 3 weeks) to my nearly unbearable nausea and cramping. And the mood swings? WHEW! Don't even go there, honey.
Thankfully, my mother took me to the doctor about it and I started on the birth control pill, which I've been on ever since. Now I know exactly when it will start (I can even narrow it to the Wednesday after I start the sugar pills, usually around noon), it's practically a breeze (a 14 pack of ultra thins will do me for 1 and 1/2 periods), and it's also convenient for those times when your friends make plans for a camping trip or you're on vacation and you really don't want to have to run off every few hours or mess with tampons.
But I digress from the point of this page. It would be nice to be rid of my period, since I don't plan on having sex or children for a few more years yet, but there's no tried-and-tested method yet whose long-term side effects we know. I don't feel like doing any possible damage to my body (namely, my reproductive system) this young, since I do want to have children in the future, so I'll stick to my period.
Yes, there are side effects to the BC pill too, but at least the Pill has been around for a long time and we -know- what the long-term effects are or can be. We haven't had Depo for very long, and it could be dangerous later in life. And as many women have commented, we have been designed to menstruate since the "dawn of time"/"evolution of human kind." We've changed our natural functions enough with medications, we shouldn't try to stop something entirely that's been with us for millennia.
So long as you can manage to keep living somewhat comfortably with your period, I see no reason to get rid of it. After all, what doesn't kill you makes you stronger. I'm a firm believer in that. And everyone has the right to choose. Kudos to those of you who choose to keep your periods, and kudos to those of you brave enough to stop them.
PS - I know you do anyway, but feel free to shorten or edit this [I almost never shorten your letters, but do correct spelling and add and subtract periods (!), capitals, etc.] I can be a bit long-winded sometimes. :)
I am 28, I live in Alabama, and there's no way that I would give up my Moon cycle other than for pregnancy or naturally occurring menopause! By the way, I use washable pads and love them! I hated the diaper feel of disposable pads and used to only use tampons, but I didn't like that I was risking Toxic Shock Syndrome every month and wanted to try something healthier. I'll never go back! I use GladRags (http://gladrags.com), but there are other good varieties out there as well.
[The writer contributed Dragontime, Moon cycle and Witching time to the words and expressions page.]
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