I've just gone 25 and I desperately want a hysterectomy. I'm terrified
of having children, terrified of giving birth and terrified of being pregnant.
My periods are not heavy or painful but they make me feel so dirty and
vile I just cry and cry for hours.
If other people believe that having children is a gift, then to me
it is a nightmare and a living hell.
I would do anything to make them stop, including going through the
I know it sounds extreme but that's what desperation and unhappiness
"Oh God yes I would."
I didn't get my period until I was 18,
and I've hated it ever since. At least one day of every month I wind up
crippled by cramps (sometimes so bad they make me throw up), and it's so
heavy I don't dare leave the house. I wind up bloated and miserable and
half the time don't even want to eat anything, as well as being so irritable
I'll bite someone's head off if they so much as look at me wrong. I'm half Lebanese, and all the women on that side of
my family have a history of horrible periods, so I'm guessing it pretty
much has to be genetic.
For a while I tried taking birth control
to see if it wouldn't even things out a bit, but not only did it not work,
it turned me into an emotional mess--it seems I can't take anything that
tweaks with my hormones without it making things worse. My
mother, who had all the same problems I do, quit menstruating about the
age of 42, so I'm hoping I'll stop that early, too. [Women
who start late often stop earlier than the average.]
I read [below]
all this stuff about women considering it a 'gift' and have to laugh, mostly
understand all too well why it's usually referred to as a curse. I don't see it as a necessary
part of nature, as something that connects me to any vital power--I just
see it as a damn nuisance, and since I don't plan to have biological children
it's a pointless nuisance at that.
I've been seriously tempted to get a hysterectomy, since I have two
step children and have no desire whatsoever to go through a pregnancy of
my own, but sadly most doctors won't perform such a surgery on a woman
before she hits menopause.
Personally I think that's crap--most
women aren't going to want a hysterectomy without a good reason, and it
shouldn't be up to a doctor to decide whether or not that would be 'good'
for them. Unfortunately, even in modern society a lot of people don't believe
a woman when she says she doesn't want biological children ("Oh, you'll
change your mind.") and so we're stuck with something we don't like,
don't want, and will never use. One doctor (who I no longer see) said,
"You'll want one of your 'own' someday," which left me more or
less slack-jawed--what a mindset! My kids are -my- kids--just because I
didn't go through nine months of hell and labor doesn't make them any less
mine. (Then again, that doctor was male. Since I found a female physician
she's been much more receptive, though still unwilling to just yank out
all the plumbing.)
So I'm stuck spending one or two days a month curled up in bed with
a heating pad and some Vicoden and all my cats, hoping I can make it 45 minutes before I bleed
through my tampon. (As for sleeping at night, for years I've put a towel
under me because the odds of me making it through the night without overloading
a tampon are next to nil.) Plus, the stupid thing never lasts for less
than a week. I'm just really, really grateful to live in an era with tampons--I
tried pads once and decided they most definitely were not for me. They
felt like diapers and I had to change them every
half an hour. I still usually wear one on my first couple days in addition
to my tampon, just to be safe, but they're not as bad when they don't get...messy.
My stepdaughter (who's 11) recently got hers, and fortunately she
doesn't seem to have many problems--she's never complained of cramps, and
hers don't seem to be too heavy. I'm glad she at least doesn't wind up
miserable once a month, though I'm surprised she got it so
young, since her biological mother was 13 when she got hers. I bought
her some Midol when she first started and wound
up taking most of it myself, because she's never asked for that or even
for Tylenol. Lucky, lucky girl. (Also fortunately, if somewhat surprisingly,
she wasn't embarrassed about it because several
of her friends already have theirs, too. I'm starting to believe that the
hormones in food are sending girls into puberty younger--just about everyone
I knew got theirs around 13 or 14.)
January 2009 (the email actually arrived November 2008. My apologies!)
"I would never had considered actively stopping my flow had I
not been having such difficulty"
Your website asked for thoughts on stopping menstruation. I would
like to share my story. I am 35 and live in the US.
I did not really mind menstruating while I was growing up. I was
lucky enough to begin my first cycle just as I arrived home from school.
I called my mom and she explained where she kept her supplies and recommended
that I use the pads instead of tampons to start out with. Occasionally
I would cramp, and even more rare the cramps strong were enough to keep
me from my regular activities (including school). The worst part about
my cycle was that it was heavier than most of my friends. Where most would
have a heavy flow for one to two days, mine was heavy for four to five
days and then taper off, but that did not bother me much. I felt pity for
my friends who suffered every month, but I always felt that my cycle was
a reminder that I might bear children later in life.
Even through marriage my cycle was not a burden for me nor my husband.
He was attuned enough to be able to know when I would begin my cycle without
looking at a calendar or counting off the weeks since my last cycle. He
was particular to make sure I got enough rest (exhaustion was my main complaint
at this point and then came weepiness). As I grew into my late twenties
I noticed more frequent cramping, bloating, weepiness (PMS), but nothing
that shocked me. Most symptoms were held at bay by naproxen sodium.
After our first child, I noticed that my flow had increased both
in amount and duration, but the largest products seemed to handle everything
(but barely) and I continued on. After our second child my flow increased
in amount yet again. In less than two hours I would soak through the super
plus size supplies (both pads AND tampons) and leak badly. I went to my
OBGYN who examined me and let me know that he did not see a reason for
my period to be so heavy. (Cancer runs in my family and so that was a relief).
He also agreed that medically he was concerned about me having such
heavy periods when I never did before. After discussing all the pros and
cons of methods to reduce the amount of flow, we decided that a uterine
ablation would be best since breast cancer and blood clots ran in the family
(so hormone solutions like birth control were out), and my husband and
I were done having children. He pointedly explained that the procedure
would most likely reduce my flow greatly, but could possibly stop it, but
not to expect that particular outcome.
After the procedure and time to heal I was glad to no longer be held
under house arrest by a period that refused to ease up. I was glad that
my flow stopped. I have not had any flow not for four years and counting.
(I do not say cycle because I still ovulate and deal with hormones, but
I am happy to have them). After watching my sister undergo a hysterectomy
ten years prior I am grateful for my outcome. To have no flow, but still
have my own natural hormones.
I would never had considered actively stopping my flow had I not
been having such difficulty, nor if my doctor had not counseled me on the
possibilities (and at great length). Had my flow had not been so great
I would have continued on. Now I only think about it on occasion. (Like
when a friend comments about her cycle, or a visit to a doctor requires
the date of my last cycle- I still have to explain that to new doctors
"I will welcome it with open arms every time."
When I first started menstruation, my family was overjoyed. I lived
with my very progressive aunt and uncle at the time, my uncle cried with
joy and my aunt got some more books out from the library and talked to
me about being a woman. We had a lovely dinner that night.
I was not raised to believe that my period was a pain or a sin, and
so in turn I find it to be amazing every time. Now don't get me wrong,
it's not a breeze. I think I have stained almost every pair of underwear
I own! I bleed through many pads, and get PMS and cramps. But there is
something so good about knowing that I work efficiently.
This week, among other weeks where I'm a bit frazzled, I'm late.
I took a test, and I'm not pregnant. I'm just waiting patiently and know
that soon it will come. It's amazing how much of an indicator the period
is to my state of mind. I will welcome it with open arms every time.
"I never experience cramping until now which is my 348th day
of being on my period"
I have always had irregular periods since the age of 12, never cramped,
never complained, never did anything drastic until now. 14 years later
on January 30, 2008 my monthly desides she wants to show back up...I think
that its just a monthly period and pay it no mind just go on and buy my
pads (bricks) and tampons (shoot'em ups) lol...1 month goes by, 2, 3, 4,
and thenÝI start to wonder "why the heck am I bleeding for
this long?" Now these arent your normal periods most women wish that
they didnt cramp, or go through PMS...I never experience cramping until
now which is my 348th day of being on my period...you could imagine how
many tampons that is how many boxes that I've went through not including
that they are SUPER PLUS Tamps....I am so tired of people telling me its
my iron, its my weight, its whatever. I swear I feel like the woman with
the issue of blood.
On October 10th I was put on Depo-Provera and I think that is the
worst thing I could have ever done because my bleeding has gotten worse
and now I'm cramping. It sucks to wake up every morning to see the same
thing happening everyday. Nobody will give me a hysterectomy unless I've
either had a child and I cant stop my heavy bleeding. Well I dont want
any children because of my sexual preference so why cant I get one so if
my sexual preference has something to deal with me not being able to have
a hysterectomy then I wish self hysterectomy should be allowed. You ever
wished to stop your bleeding you could take the suction tube on the vaccum
cleaner and just suck it right out? I wish it was possible because I am
in huge pain now. I'm supposed to be going on a "After-Thanksgiving
" trip and now its really not possible because I'm not in the mood
for it. I dont have the energy. I wish I could slap whoever made this happen
"There is nothing beautiful about pain, the sanitation complications,
or the misery of one's hormones taking over her brain and mouth, causing
major damage to the hormonal woman's relationships with others."
If I could do so safely, HELL YES!!!!
Who wouldn't want to stop cramps that feel like her body is trying
to expel its own organs, gushes of blood and even ickier things (I can
soak an overnight pad in TWO HOURS), very sore breasts, and moods swinging
from near-suicidal depression to throwing-things-and-screaming rage?
Frankly, I think the women who gush (no pun intended) about how wonderfully
spiritual and beautiful menstruation is should either lay off the drugs
or at least cut down the dosage. There is nothing beautiful about pain,
the sanitation complications, or the misery of one's hormones taking over
her brain and mouth, causing major damage to the hormonal woman's relationships
I have, not entirely in jest, grumbled to my husband about DIY hysterectomies.
"Human female menstruation is for me the single best argument
against 'intelligent design.' Intelligent design??? 492 frikkin' horrible
periods and not one pregnancy to justify the mess, the pain, the deranged
energy, the missed opportunities, the absence of white pants from my wardrobe???"
At a recent exam, my doctor asked me if I was 'sad' or 'depressed'
going into menopause.
ARE YOU FRIKKIN' KIDDING?????? was my reply. I was ten years old
when this burden fell upon me. It was a public, bloody surprise (in church,
no less!) and I was shamed, embarrassed and horrified. I hated it every
single solitary month for the next 41 years. 492 frikkin' periods. I NEVER
accepted it. I hated it. I wished I'd been born male. Floppy 'outdoor plumbing'
seemed a small price to pay compared to the plugs and pads.
Leaving organized religion did help me get through the process with
much less discomfort (the cramps stopped when I embraced agnosticism and
feminism - imagine that)...but I never felt like 'I am Woman" because
of a messy, smelly, inconvenient, painful restriction of my mobility and
It was indeed a happy day when I heard the word 'menopause' and realized
that there WAS an end to the Flow. I have been literally counting the months
I knew that if I just lived long enough, I'd wait it out. It took
41 years, but the pads and plugs are GONE GONE GONE.
In celebration, I'm planning a heyuuge block party with other menopausal
friends. We're going to eat red and white foods. We're going to sing and
dance and laugh very loudly. We're going to wear outrageous hats.
And we are going to burn a load of boxes of feminine 'protection'
items in a very large trash can.
Human female menstruation is for me the single best argument against
'intelligent design.' Intelligent design??? 492 frikkin' horrible periods
and not one pregnancy to justify the mess, the pain, the deranged energy,
the missed opportunities, the absence of white pants from my wardrobe???
And - I'm doing menopause the old-fashioned way - NO hormones, herbals,
or other coping devices. I'm eating well, resting, exercising, and enjoying
my long-awaited freedom. This isn't an illness. It isn't a condition. Menopause
is PATIENCE'S SWEET REWARD. I feel absolutely WONDERFUL.
"I stopped my periods 16 years ago and I've never regretted it!"
I turned 39 in 2008, and my last menstrual cycle was in October of
1992. I received Depo-Provera injections for several years and loved them,
but when studies began to be published outlining the risks of bone density
loss, I quickly switched to a Mirena (hormonal) IUD, which enabled me to
remain both pregnancy and menstruation free. I experienced no negative
side effects of any kind from either method of birth control. My periods
were always painful, with cramping severe enough to limit my activities
for that miserable one week out of every four. I understand the argument
which maintains that menstruation is a natural part of womanhood, but for
myself, anything that causes me to experience abdominal pain, bloating,
emotional irritation, and bleeding during 25% of my approximately 35-40
reproductive years is something to be eliminated, not celebrated. Frankly,
menstruation reminds me more of the stomach flu than of my sexuality, and
I am just as happy to get rid of one as I am the other. I absolutely love
being free of my periods, and I feel that the professional, personal, and
sexual aspects of my life have all greatly benefited from its absence.
I haven't bought a box of tampons for sixteen years, and I have no intention
of ever buying one again.
"[T]his monthly terror is crippling and it has to end."
I am 26 and my periods have gotten so much worse compared to when
I was in my teenage years.
I used to think PMS was just a myth but now I know EVERY woman gets
it at one point in the lives and it continues on. My PMS starts 2 weeks
earlier and sadly, the person who starts noticing the symptoms would be
my beloved boyfriend.
I would threatened him to break up, uncontrollable urges, fluctuating
emotions, and drastic, painful physical changes. If you think I'm making
this up, well, then I probably am, because that is how I honestly feel.
I refused to call it a curse, there was never a curse laid upon us women.
I refused to think that there was a talking snake in the Garden of Eden.
I think we can make this monthly cycle more bearable if we dedicate more
research in science and learn how nature works. Because this monthly terror
is crippling and it has to end.
"I will welcome [my period] back when it comes, in whatever form
it comes in when it does come back."
I would never wish my period away, even though I used to get horrible,
painful cramps for the first day or so, and beastly moodiness the day before
my period usually began.
Having a period, to me, indicates that my health (mental and physical)
is in balance. Any irregularities with my cycles or period would, to me,
indicate health issues that needed attendance, whatever they may be. Periods/cycles
also indicate I am fertile. The two things, fertility and health, are related.
They are, essentially, good things.
If I did not have my period or somehow messed with it (by using hormonal
birth control, for instance), I might not be aware of what's actually going
on inside my body. I'll take the pain for the knowledge...periods are natural,
necessary, and thankfully, temporary. A few days out of the month...and
then the whole cycle begins again. Such is life. It is life itself. Building
up, breaking down.
I just had my first child, and I'm 7 weeks post-partum at the moment.
I had what many deem "the longest period you'll ever have", the
lochia. It wasn't comfortable, but it too was natural, and it's suggested
to me that I was healing normally after my daughter's birth.
I am not sure when my period will return, and I am not sure what it
will be like...if it will be anything like it was before I was pregnant.
But I will welcome it back when it comes, in whatever form it comes in
when it does come back.
"[A]nd don't let me forget to mention how horrifically HORNY
I get a few days before the Communists come!"
I love "seducing vampires!"
I really look forward to getting my period each month. It makes me feel
like I'm in harmony with my body, the earth, and my female ancestors. It
alsoÝhelps me gauge how I've been managing my stress and my health.
(My periods are always painful if I haven't been managing those two things.)
The first day of my period I try to dedicate to introspection. I feel
very spiritual at that time. Oh, and don't let me forget to mention how
horrifically HORNY I get a few days before the Communists come! [See how
"Communists" fit in.]
Yeah, there's no way I'd give up my period. I don't want it to end at
all! For those of you who call it a curse or feel unclean... First of all,
I feel sorry for YOU! I may be "just" 17, but I honestly feel
that all the crap about painful periods is either bad dietary habits, stress-related,
or all in your mind (societal programming). Your period doesn't have to
be a time of pain and misery!
Periods are a blessing because: 1. they are what keeps the human race
going, 2. they force us to pay attention/nurture our bodies and our selves
(as opposed to constantly watching out for our families, friends, etc),
and 3. it cleans out our bodies. Far from making us dirtier, periods help
clean out your vagina! (I had a friend who had bathtub cleaner inside her.
Nothing could get it out. She tried everything, even douching, but it remained,
causing and pain--until her period.)
I'm sure there are other blessings caused by periods that aren't coming
"I love my period!"
The answer is no. I love this part of my life, this rite of passage
into womanhood. I love how it has made me closer to my body, and caused
me to embrace and love all of my differences and revere my body because
it has the ability to produce life. I am nineteen years old, and I have
only been menstruating for eight or nine years (I started when I was eleven),
but I really love my period. Now, that isn't saying that I have a light
flow or no cramps ever, because that is FAR from the truth. My period lasts
for a full eight days most months, and the first 5 of those are heavy bleeding,
of at least 30 - 45 ml a day. But the thing that most taught me to love
my period and my body were menstrual cups, and the information I learned
through using them. I LOVE MY MOONCUP! [Read more about cups.]
And so now, I love my period!
"None of that Are You There God It's Me Margaret? 'My
baby is growing up!' stuff."
I love your website! It is truly super! If more people had your attitude,
I think life as an adolescentÝwould have been much easier for me.
I started my period when I was eleven years and nine months, just one week
before the beginning of the sixth grade. I was one of the first girls in
my class to have her period and I was mortified. My mother didn't help...I
saw the brownish discharge on my panties and was a bit confused. It wasn't
like blood at all, so I called for her. When she saw it, she said very
dryly, "Yeah. That's it. Do you know about the pads?" None of
that Are You There God It's Me Margaret? "My baby is growing up!"
stuff. Plus I wasn't terribly well informed. For some reason, I actually
thought that I would have to wear a pad every day for the rest of my life,
period or no period. Then I began getting cramps with my period! Ugh. Either
way, I learned to "deal" with it. Prescription Motrin helped
the cramps and I eventually learned about tampons. That was another adventure
altogether! I'm now in my mid-thirties and have "been a woman"
for twenty-six years. I don't think I would give it up or stop it. I like
to keep a sense of humor about menstruation, even if I'm not feeling very
comfortable. It's an intrinsic part of who I am. My Expression for Menstruation
[see more] is something I've borrowed from others
and tried to add to. I say, "My Aunt Flo from Red River is visiting."
And if it's a particularly heavy or uncomfortable flow, I add, "And
I have to go to the train station to pick up all her baggage."That
basically says it all.
Thank You So Much for your great website!!
"So I just wish God would of invent a switch to just turn it
Well, before I had kids, I wouldn't. My periods back then seem almost
unnoticeable. Light flow, very minor cramps and moodiness only briefly.
I simply used a tampon and off I was with whatever my day held. Now since
giving birth 2x's I wish menopause was here! I bleed heavier. I need a
tampon and a pad. I feel miserable for at least 3 days of my period. I
have sometimes extreme PMS and I am sore all over. I feel gross and my
skin on my face breaks outs and looks horrible. I respect the fact that
without menses I would not have my beautiful children. Now I am done having
kids and at 40 I still have some years before menopause. My hubby had to
get V-sect. so we wouldn't have the chance of pregnancy and now if I could
enjoy all my months blood and PMS free I would! Alas, I hate medications
and messing with my body's natural health. So I just wish God would of
invent a switch to just turn it off.
Keep Trust: Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not unto
your own understanding, but in all ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct
your paths. Prov. 3: 5-6
"[M]y first instinct is to say yes, and then say yes a few hundred
times . . . . but I'll grudgingly keep it, for now at least."
Would I stop my period if I could... my first instinct is to say
yes, and then say yes a few hundred times...I am not someone who embraces
it as a sign of my womanness or my connection with the earth or anything
like that...I resent my period, I dread it and when it comes I hate having
such an inconvenience. I was one of the first of my friends to get it,
actually I think the first and I didn't know how to deal with it, and almost
15 years later that stress has never really gone away. Of course I've learned
to deal with it much better, and although I never had cramping or discomfort
in the first few years as a teenager I had such bad cramping I would spend
alot of time hugging a heating pad and cursing being a woman.
I still get cramps, but they aren't nearly as bad as they used to
be. My breasts get tender about 10 days before it starts and I can feel
the differences in my body so I always know when I will be getting it so
I'm always prepared, but I still worry about it. As I've grown up and matured
I realized that talking about it with friends (instead of keeping it a
big secret when I was younger) I've realized that although I hate it I
really shouldn't complain. My period is light and only lasts a few days
(three at most) and although I feel discomfort I can control it (yay for
painkillers and yoga!) and I get it about every 36 days rather than 28.
So even though I wish I didn't get it and would love to stop it I think
I'll just keep dealing with it, because even though I have spent many many
many hours thinking about birth control and not getting it I don't want
to have to worry myself with taking pills every day that can have all sorts
of effects on you, or shots that can do more damage than good. Yes I resent
my period but I'll grudgingly keep it, for now at least
"I don't feel the need to flush even more money down the toilet
(if you'll pardon the expression) for [pharmaceutical companies'] exorbitant
Well, reading over the previous entries on all the many uncomfortable
aspects of menstruation, I certainly commiserate with electing to suspend
menstruation. I've always had heavy periods preceded by nasty PMS, and
was pretty much incapacitated the first day or two of my period. Leaks,
awkward self-consciousness, mood swings, nausea, and last, but certainly
not least, the significant cost of decent pads (never liked tampons)!
But into my 30s, I think due to a mild form of PCOS, my period has
occurred only every three months or so, and the associated symptoms have
lessened. Curiously though, I look forward to the clarity and calmness
that it, whatever the hormonal cycle is, brings. It's like the heavy winter
where I'm from, as much as I hate the cold, it is a time for sedateness
and reflection that the cold forces and that perhaps one wouldn't consider
otherwise. Certainly I appreciate the warmth of summer all the more.
So while I can understand someone else, suffering from more severe
effects, artificially stopping their period, I won't be. Additionally,
the pharmaceutical industry is creating demand where the health issues
are perhaps not fully investigated, and I don't feel the need to flush
even more money down the toilet (if you'll pardon the expression) for their
exorbitant profit margin.
"[M]y skin was so sensitive on my upper thighs, arms & stomach
that even a sheet at night felt like pins & needles."
Amazing to read about the same thing I go through - I knew I wasn't
the only one, but for good friends & sisters I thought I was alone.
I was pain-free in my 20's, almost pain free in my 30's. I only began to
feel my cycle coming & going (ovulation, PMS) in my early 30's. Then
-- OMG, aside from the cramps, (that word is too delicate to describe the
truth); bloating, crabbiness, anxiety & the inability to concentrate,
my skin was so sensitive on my upper thighs, arms & stomach that even
a sheet at night felt like pins & needles.
I was rx'd Naproxen Sodium in the late 80's by a doctor who said
"In an hour, you won't feel a thing below your waist" - &
he was right! Good stuff. Now that it's Aleve OTC, I still use a double
dosage to replicate the prescription strength. However, the best pain &
symptom reliever I've ever used has always been herbal - relieves the cramps
& backaches, dispels bloat and nausea, & lifts my spirits. The
only thing it can't help is my flow. As for the sensitive
skin, does anyone else experience that? I haven't found a way to deal with
"I wish we could just hire an engineer to redesign the whole
system. I mean, is menstruation really necessary? There must be some better
I am sorry to hear that for a few posters, menstruation "hurts
like hell." I cannot imagine! It has NEVER hurt for me, not in any
significant way. I sometimes experience a dull aching on just the first
day, or get a slight headache, but nothing more than that--it is very minor.
My little sister(a pre-teen) asked me if getting your period will hurt,
and I told her no. It certainly doesn't hurt for me, and hopefully not
for most people, although I know it does for some.
Despite its not being painful for me, I still don't like it and I
think I'd prefer not to have to deal with it. On the very first day, I
can always tell before it is coming by the dull ache I feel in my uterus.
I'm glad I get that feeling because it alerts me that it's coming and I'd
better prepare for it, but I always think to myself "oh no, not this,
not now" when it does. I mean, I don't want to cast menstruation in
a negative light by saying that it's evil or a curse or anything crazy
like that, and yet I wouldn't exactly say that it's a beautiful symbol
of thriving womanhood either. I mean--when you are glancing at the contents
of your used sanitary products before you throw them away, or when blood
clots fall into the toilet as you pee--you're probably fighting the urge
to gag rather than marveling about how beautiful and what a wonder it is.
Crass as it sounds, that is basically what it is. My favorite time of month
is when every ounce of period stuff has left my system and I can take my
first shower after it's COMPLETELY over and feel clean and free of it,
knowing I won't have to deal with it for a few more weeks.
It's just one of the small injustices of life. Why don't other female
mammals have to deal with this? [Some do! You're not alone.] Why are human
females the lucky ones who get to have periods? I love being a woman but
I guess this is the one drawback. I just wish it didn't last so long! It
usually lasts a full 7 days for me, or at least 6. Considering that it
comes about every 28 days for me, that is about a fourth of my time! Three
months out of the year! I don't like the odor, I don't like how it can
interfere with your activities, and I just don't like the feeling I get
on the first couple days of being like a leaky faucet.
It feels so weird! I don't like having to scrub undies, clothes,
or sheets when the occasional leak happens--so tiring and so gross. While
I don't know if I would actually try anything as drastic as Seasonale because
I don't know how safe it is, I would consider taking some kind of birth-control
pills just to make my periods lighter. I would be fine just having 3 to
4 or even 5 days every 28 days. I wouldn't necessarily trust a pill that
only gave you one period a year because I don't know if there's enough
research to determine whether it's safe or not. That is just me. However,
when it comes to wishful thinking, I *wish* that periods did not even exist.
I wish we could just hire an engineer to redesign the whole system. I mean,
is menstruation really necessary? There must be some better way.
"At 20, I finally know the reason why women get periods. Periods
are power.The power to create life from our bodies is an amazing power."
I just wanted to add my comment. :)
No! I would not stop my period if I could. Well, actually I did stop
my period for 9 months when I was pregnant with my daughter. I believed
that breast feeding would delay my period even longer, but 7 week postpartum
I got my period. I took my doctor's advice and got a Depo shot one week
later, not to stop my period but as birth control. That sent me into a
downward spiral of feeling stressed out and terrible, which I can only
blame on changing my hormones. I was told Depo would cause my periods to
be lighter, if they did not go away completely. That didn't happen, instead
my period were worse then ever. I would never trust a drug company that
advertised a pill that could make the impossible happen. A few months later
my periods vanished and then returned a few months after that. With back
pain and nausea, like I was going through labor and morning sickness all
at once. Still I would not stop menstruating even if I could without getting
I started getting my period when I was 10 and at first I felt like so
many women do and I hated my period. I leaked everywhere and was made to
feel ashamed for my body doing what it was naturally designed to do. I
went several years before I finally became sexually active and experienced
the blessing of having a period for the first time. A period meant I was
not pregnant. For the first time I did not need to be ashamed about my
period or my body. My partner embraced it. During my pregnancy I discovered
menstrual cups and bought one believing I wouldn't get a period for a long
time to come. When my period did come early, my cup was right in my dresser
It's amazing, it's like not even having a period. My husband didn't
even know I was wearing my cup. After a year of using my cup, my periods
have become lighter, less painful and shorter.
At 20, I finally know the reason why women get periods. Periods are
power.The power to create life from our bodies is an amazing power. Periods
themselves are powerful signals from the universe that we are in tune with
it and the other women around us. It's been scientifically proven that
our cycles change based on the moon and the hormones of the women we interact
with. I never plan on having another child, but believe my period is beautiful.
As beautiful as it will be when I get my first wrinkle or gray hair to
show they I have come of age, having my period now tells me I am of this
age, of this life phase, a phase and a life that women have gone through
before me. I understand why women would choose to stop having periods because
of pain, but I believe pain is as much a part of life as joy. I want to
live every part of life. So I will keep my period.
Mostly a tomboy: "I'm not one of those women who feel more connected
to the universe because of their cycles. I just want it gone."
I'd give it up in a heartbeat, if it could just magically go away. I
don't want to take drugs/hormones/chemicals to accomplish that, though.
That always leaves unpleasant side effects of its own.
I'm not one of those women who feel more connected to the universe because
of their cycles. I just want it gone. I'm 45, and if my mother is any indicator,
10 or 15 years away from being done with it. Then there's the aftermath
to deal with. Awesome.
I can't call in sick feeling "girly" - like someone else said,
I just have to deal with it, go to work or whatever, despite the wolverines
nesting in my gut. OTC drugs only take the edge off it. Codeine helped
things (back when I could still get a hold of Canadian 222's thanks to
a sympathetic friend), but (US) docs tend to roll their eyes when you ask
for things like that, especially when I don't have a regular doc who knows
me. I bleed evil heavy for the first couple of days, but not enough for
it to be considered a medical issue.
European descent - French, Finnish, Irish, Welsh, and a double handful
of other things. Healthy as a horse, about 20 lb over my "ideal"
weight. Decent diet, and I do physical labor for a living, so I get moderate
It's uncomfortable and inconvenient and messy and a big stinky pain
in my backside. I just have to warn people I'm in a dragony mood and hope
they understand I'm serious before I have to start growling at them.
Modern women seem to have the opinion that it is/was degrading to menstruating
women be "banished to the hut" for their periods, but I tell
you, I would be more than happy to banish myself to a hut if it meant I
didn't have to deal with anyone for that time.
(But then a hundred years ago, even in my own culture, I'd have been
pregnant most of my life, and I didn't enjoy that at all, either, when
I did it. I got my tubes tied at 32, so that was one less thing to worry
about. Best decision I ever made. I only regret that they wouldn't do it
after my daughter was born when I was 22.)
My noisy, cranky, surly opinion on the subject.
Mostly a Tomboy
"We're meant to function well and easily and if we're not doing
so then something is seriously wrong."
Hi and thanks for the great website!
I'm fifty and entering menopause, I'm "white" of English and
French/ Breton extraction and live on the West coast of the U. S. My periods
have never been particularly difficult, though in my early forties (due
to approaching menopause) I started "flooding" which was a real
hassle. The thing is, even with that issue I wouldn't stop my periods on
purpose except for a specific situation, like a horse-riding vacation with
a period due right in the middle, that sort of thing. Otherwise, I've come
to really love the process my body goes through and how to deal with the
discomforts. Now that I'm facing the end of my fertile life (I never had
or wanted children) I'm sorry in some ways but that's just part of the
process of becoming a Crone anyway so it's all good.
I see a lot of women here talking about their terrible menstruation
experiences and I just want to say that while "Western" medicine
is good for some things (broken arms, surgery, etc.) for things as subtle
and tricky as bad periods a naturopathic or other "complementary"
medicine is often a great way to go. You do have to find a good doctor
yourself and not just rely on an advertisement - I would suggest word of
mouth. A good naturopath will use Western things like blood and endocrine
tests to figure out what is going on and then treat the symptoms more holistically
which can result in more complete and lasting relief not to mention much
better over-all health. I think difficult periods are a symptom that your
whole body is out of whack. I don't buy the "period as punishment
for Eve's sin" or other religious dogma at all. We're meant to function
well and easily and if we're not doing so then something is seriously wrong.
Sometimes it really is something physical like a differently formed uterus
but many times it's much more subtle than that. Diet can play a huge part
in bad periods- eliminate things like high fructose corn syrup, msg and
its analogs, all fake sweeteners and empty calories and see if this doesn't
make some little dent in illness. Also, mental state is huge for periods.
If your periods are so hard then take the time, make the time even a few
minutes here and there to really treat yourself well during your period
- I mean high-quality chocolate, flowers, hot baths, whatever comforts
you and makes you feel special and beloved by yourself. If you can't find
love for yourself then counseling might be a good idea. Or you can try
EFT, which you can learn for free from www.emofree.com. It's an energy
work based on acupuncture (but without needles) which has worked wonders
for me and thousands of other people.
If your uterus is shouting at you with agony and flooding you with tears
of blood, what is the message? What is causing your body so much grief?
Or what other emotions can it mean? Our bodies are perfect even in their
imperfection. Periods don't have to be horrible, child-birth does not need
to be agony and drama. Women have been deliberately socialized into thinking
we're unclean, physically weak, unable to think critically, less than men,
you know the drill. It simply isn't true and we have to take responsibility
for our re-education and bring ourselves back to some kind of equilibrium.
And men will benefit immeasurably from this, too - just think of the wonderful
men who could be raised by well-informed and contented women! World peace
could come about... and all from women taking back their power and using
it constructively. We can do this - really we can. One little step at a
time, one easier period at a time.
No. "Also, it may hurt like living hell, but pain is something
a human mind should learn to live with."
A curse from God? I hardly think that a volcano god named Yahweh who
lived a few thousand years ago could have cursed human females with something
that had already existed since humans were human.
Here is my main reason why I would not stop menstruating if I could:
It's REALLY best not to mess with natural processes. Don't know what
the appendix does? Remove it. Now we know that it's a command base for
white blood cells. We used to remove tonsils, for crying out loud! I deeply
respect a process that allows an animal to bleed for several days and function
Also, it may hurt like living hell, but pain is something a human mind
should learn to live with.
Lastly, it's just really cool that human cycles are set up to run with
the phases of the moon. We're the only ones! [Actually, it was just shown
that corals of the Great Barrier Reef in Australia spawn just after the
moon: "The cryptochromes genes occur in corals, insects, fish
and mammals -- including humans -- and are
primitive light-sensing pigment mechanisms which predate the evolution
of eyes. The Cry2 gene, stimulated by the faint blue
light of the full moon . . . ." Was human and other menstruation
controlled by this gene? If so, why?? I suspect there are other instances.]
The lunar sprites must like us best. *wink*
[By the way, an Indian claims to stop menstruation:
It is absolutely possible, natural and wonderful....
It is possible to stop menstruation with the help of natural healing
and some natural methods; besides saving the problems affiliated to menstruation,
this natural stoppage ultimately serves to save the energy within your
body (the energy which is otherwise wasted in the process of menstruation),
enhances your health in many different ways and is has a great anti-aging
effect. To learn more visit www.dkhc.in or
"Freedom! God bless it!"
I had a hysterectomy 15 years ago, when my two children were young.
I had no intention of adding to my family. The hysterectomy was to relieve
very painful, extremely heavy periods that were almost like hemorrhaging.
During the peak flow I could saturate a super tampon in 15 minutes or less,
and if I coughed or sneezed it would pop out of me and leave me drenching
my underwear. Waiting in line for a movie, driving a half hour to the city,
surviving an hour-long meeting at work--these were experience of constant,
The surgery took care of it forever. Never once since then have I said
or thought, "Gee, I wish I were bleeding." Never did I long for
the days of frantic rushes to the toilet and carrying around quantities
of bulky supplies. Never once did I miss the pain of cramps--which did
not go away once I'd had my first child--or the embarrassing mess of bloodstained
bedsheets. Freedom! God bless it!
How do I know God's a man? No goddess would have come up with a system
--A Californian, age 60
[Read her humorous comments.]
"I just can't wait for hot flashes and emotional issues."
I would be the happiest person on earth if I didn't have to menstruate.
It's just the worst annoying and unpleasant time that happens too often
and for too many years.
I'm 48, used the Pill since I was 20 to shorten the length and lessen
the time of each cycle. I was raised in Connecticut and now live in Colorado.
I guess because of my age I won't be dealing with it soon, but who knows.
Oh, and I just can't wait for hot flashes and emotional issues.
"who cares [if] women are from venus
or vagina is close to anus . . ."
O dear yes! Yesssssss, I want to live without menstruation, the leakage
A little about me: I am 34 years old ... living in USA ... lived in
India from birth to 24 years. My cycles began at 14 years. At that time,
I took it for granted & did not know the huuuuuuge powwwwwer of it!
A little about tampons: started using tampons in 2005, when I was 32
years [before that, only pads]. I somehow overcame my negativity toward
tampon usage at that time. I feel much better during sleep, without bothering
much about proper position.
Lines from me to you:
who cares women are from venus
or vagina is close to anus
all girls want is to be happy-jolly
& strong enough to fight a bully
O kindness! please help all females
& make many more adorable males
so females & males live [together]
really truly happily ever after
THREE CHEERS TO MR. HARRY FINLEY for this female-friendly website.
"I was jealous that many birds don't lay eggs without a mate
present. I thought, 'Damn it! Why can't humans be like birds!'"
Would I stop menstruating if I could? No, I would not. I'm now in my
mid-twenties and my periods have never been what most women would consider
bad. Since I was 11 and 2 months old, I've had very regular (could set
clocks by them), pretty heavy periods (6 to 8 days with 4 or 5 "heavy"
days). Once I got used to it happening, which took a couple of years (...
okay, more like 6 or 7 years...), it's been totally manageable, and it
gets more manageable with each month that passes. I don't have bad cramps
and never have (nothing that an Aleeve can't handle perfectly well). Mood
swings are rare, tenderness is rare and I don't get headaches generally.
I have never had problems with bloating. I crave chocolate and fried food
and I see no reason not to give in to the urge. The blood doesn't make
me feel dirty and I honestly have a difficult time understanding how it
makes anyone with daily access to a shower feel dirty... It's just blood
and a perfectly natural occurrence (... But perhaps I feel this way because
I'm relatively free of bad symptoms?).
When I was younger, especially the first 3 or 4 years I was menstruating,
I really wished I didn't have to. I *really* wished it. I was jealous that
many birds don't lay eggs without a mate present.
I thought, "Damn it! Why can't humans be like birds!" I mourned
the fact that I had to go through it month in and month out. Having a period
is hard to deal with (at least in America, if not elsewhere) these days
with all the taboos and feelings of embarrassment that go along with it.
We're encouraged to hide it from everyone, even in our own homes if we
can, and at the same time, use products that routinely fail and leak and
allow bleed-throughs to outer clothing. I was ashamed of having my period
for a very long time. I was paranoid about it, thought there was no way
that everyone didn't know when I had it. I wouldn't talk about it to anyone,
not even my mom. And if anyone else talked about theirs in my presence,
I was utterly horrified.
I'm not sure when exactly I realized that this was a rather silly attitude
for me to have. It must have been when I was around 16 or so. I came to
the realization that my period, and every other woman's, was a completely
natural thing. The more relaxed I became about it, the easier it was to
deal with and the easier it was for me to pay attention to what my body
was doing so that I could better know what's going on and avoid accidental
bleed-throughs, until it's become something I don't particularly worry
about anymore. I'm even switching to unbleached, organic cotton pads with
no plastic in them at all (that's right, nothing to keep them from bleeding
through except my diligence in checking to make sure they haven't). Quite
excited about this because I *hate* contributing to landfills and I *hate*
petroleum products the same way I hate McDonald's food. Most of my female
friends think I'm *completely* *insane* for wanting to do this, but I don't
care one whit... In practice for the switch, about four months ago, I changed
over to commercial disposable pads without any plastic (or wings either)
and ya know what? I've had absolutely no accidents, not even a drop of
blood on my panties. I used to have little accidents all the time, getting
blood on my panties at least once or twice a month. The only thing I can
figure is that I haven't had accidents without the plastic because I've
learned how to pay attention (and perhaps been supremely lucky).
The only thing my periods do that I wish they didn't is that because
they are very heavy (something I didn't even realize until I started talking
to friends and they were aghast because theirs is so much shorter and lighter
- until then, I thought I was pretty average), sometimes I become a little
anemic and that makes me tired and suppresses my appetite... not that I
can't stand to miss a few meals because I totally can, it's just that not
eating makes the anemia worse and me even more tired. Even so, I would
*never* even consider taking pills or altering my body chemistry to make
my periods shorter, lighter, or not come at all. The very thought is highly
disturbing to me. Some women might want to and that's fine for them, but
me - no, no thank you!
But I can understand why some women would want to stop menstruating.
My mother has bad endometriosis (she's had two surgeries for it, the last
one due to internal bleeding, and will probably need another sooner or
later, but still she doesn't want a hysterectomy, even though it has been
recommended by her doctors) and always has, so her periods are extremely
painful, and if she doesn't have major painkillers with her at all times,
things can get so bad that she can't really function. My sister also has
horrible cramps and other symptoms, although her periods are shorter than
mine. I consider myself extremely lucky, so I don't wish my periods away.
Which is good for me because according to my mother, I'll keep menstruating
until I'm about 60 years old. That's how old my grandmother and great-grandmother
were when they went through menopause. And my mother at 45 has no signs
of starting menopause anytime soon whatsoever. So I'm pretty fine with
it. And, yay, more time to procreate for me! Woot!
~ Born and raised in Tampa, Florida
[H]ell yes! . . . I have bipolar disorder and messing with my hormones
that way only makes me crazier.
It kind of makes me chuckle to answer this question but . . . hell yes!
In about 10 more years nature will grant my wish. So what I really wish
is that I could get rid of the hell of menstruation without the hell of
menopause replacing it.
I don't take those period-stopping birth control pills for several reasons.
I have bipolar disorder and messing with my hormones that way only makes
me crazier. Also I am hypothyroid and take lithium--last thing I need is
another pill that will make me gain more weight! And the threat of strokes
or heart attacks--yikes! No thanks!
But if the Goddess could grant me the wish of stopping my period (which
I'm enduring right now) I would be very grateful.
It's been hell ever since I first got it at the age of 12. I'm now 42.
I bleed very heavily. When I was younger I got cramps that had me doubled
over in agony. Now the cramps aren't quite as intense but they're bad enough.
Plus when I gave birth to my son 17.5 years ago I had a lot of back labor.
Now I get cramps in my back as well as my abdomen. And for some reason
for the past 5 years I've gotten very bad constipation every time I get
my period. I can't take anything for relief because even the gentle stuff,
such as Phillips caplets which usually do the job with no problem make
my IBS act up when I have my period. I almost had to go to the hospital
the last time, the pain was so bad. I was shaking and sweating.
Aside from the cramps and constipation, I sometimes get very moody.
I always become very fatigued and clumsy. I'm always bloated. I've never
experienced breast tenderness, interestingly enough. Strangely, I also
sometimes become very hypersexual at this time but wouldn't feel right
about asking my guy to engage in what would look end up looking like a
really disgusting gore film. I really wonder what the hell is up like that--you'd
think it would be the last thing from a person's mind during this time!
One thing that's changed for the better is menstrual products. When
I first started we had those hideous things that were thick
as a mattress and a belt had to be worn to
keep it in place. Because tampons sometimes cause the cramps to become
worse and my flow is so heavy, these days I actually wear a Poise panty
during my period. Unfortunately with years of working in jobs or driving
long distances where I couldn't get to the bathroom when I needed I also
have some urinary incontinence but usually this only requires a pad. I'd
hate to have to wear the disposable underwear all the time.
As to my nationality and all that good stuff, I'm from the United States.
I'm mostly European-American (of Lithuanian, English, Scotch-Irish, Welsh
and German ancestry) with a bit of Cherokee thrown in.
Thanks for helping take the taboo off this subject that approximately
half the world's population must endure!
"For all those who talk about how natural it is and about how
it's all very womanly, they're welcome to feel that way. "
Short answer: HELL yes!
Longer version - I'll be 40 this year, born in Australia and living
in the USA. Right from the start my period has been bad - painful and very
heavy, usually including a couple of days curled around a hot pack wanting
to die. The Pill takes the edge off it, it doesn't stop the problems. Also,
my family has a long and inglorious history of auto-immune diseases, mental
illness, and cancer. So far I've scored two of the three, and I'm not having
children because the chance of passing on any one of the inherited problems
is too high. I'd have had it all taken out years ago if I could have.
For all those who talk about how natural it is and about how it's all
very womanly, they're welcome to feel that way. I don't. Nature's a cruel
endlessly competitive bitch, and I don't need to suffer to feel womanly.
"[Menstruation] may be part of the natural life function and
all, but since when has science limited itself to nature?"
I am totally in favor of complete period obliteration. Society has progressed
to the point where teenage girls aren't expected to provide their aged
husband with as many heirs as possible, so in general, menstruation before
age twenty or so is rather superfluous. It may be part of the natural life
function and all, but since when has science limited itself to nature?
Despite health risks, I would jump at this opportunity. Health risks can
be overcome with time and research. I have such heavy periods that I almost
always end up with permanently stained underwear, and my budget would breathe
a sigh of relief if I didn't menstruate. Also on my side is the fact that
I hate kids and hospitals, so I probably won't be getting pregnant.
However, if life was different and my period could be a time of wearing
comfy pajamas all day, eating in my room, and playing video games, I would
probably want it more often. But life does not stop for me. I have to suck
it up, layer my darkest pants, and keep the ibuprofen close at hand. So
yes I would stop it, I would rather be happy than fertile.
-16, Massachusetts, USA.
Yes. "I have fibromylgia, my hormones have never been right,
and I cannot take birth control pills or shots because of adverse reactions."
Yes, I would stop menstruation permanently if I could.
I'm 34 years old. I have fibromylgia, my hormones have never been
right, and I cannot take birth control pills or shots because of adverse
reactions. (Most notably, about half of my hair fell out and I was
never able to regrow it. Fortunately, it fell out all over my head
so I only have one 'bald' spot on the top of my head, towards the front.) I
have never wanted children and since birth control was not an option,
my doctor agreed to do a tubal ligation on me a little over a year
Because of my fibromylgia, my menstrual cycles are becoming more and
more painful as I get older. Currently, I take Flexeril and Vicodin
for my periods. They last three days, the flow stops and starts the
whole time, I cramp constantly the whole time, and I usually hurt
so bad I can't stand for ANYTHING to touch my skin ANYWHERE. (Hence
the Flexeril & Vicodin combo.) I have to wear heavy flow pads
because I bleed heavily, then stop (sometimes for as long as twelve hours),
then bleed again and so on.
Suffice it to say, I truly hate having a period and the 'unclean' feeling
is on the complaint list, but closer to the bottom. I have asked
for a hysterectomy many times over the past fifteen years but no one wants
to perform one because of my age. So, yes, if there were a natural
way to stop menstruation or a surgical alternative, I would do it
in a heart beat.
Erika, from Texas
"As for feeling unclean during your period . . . well, it had
actually never occurred to me that anyone did feel that way, until I heard
my friends bemoaning it one day."
I'm nineteen years old, and given the choice, I wouldn't stop having
periods - in part, because the thought of altering my body's chemistry
with hormones I don't need makes me extremely nervous, but mostly because,
quite frankly, menstruation has never bothered me.
In all fairness, this could be because my un-chemically altered periods
tend to last two-to-three days, preceded by a single day of cramping. As
for feeling unclean during your period... well, it had actually never occurred
to me that anyone did feel that way, until I heard my friends bemoaning
it one day. I guess it just doesn't strike me as anything to be ashamed
of; it's just the way our bodies work.
"Dance as if no one were watching, Sing as if no one were listening,
And live each day as if it were your last. -Irish Proverb"
"Some women claim God gave us this as a gift. Um, if I recall
correctly, it was a curse, not a gift."
You bet your tampons I'd stop having periods. As far as I can tell,
humans are the only animals cursed to bleed like a stuck pig for days on
end [some others do menstruate]. I raise sheep and goats, have horses,
dogs, cats, and not a single one of them share this misery with us. Some
women claim God gave us this as a gift. Um, if I recall correctly, it was
a curse, not a gift. There's just nothing giftworthy about being bloodied
up and filthy feeling for 3-5 days a month. I'm heading to China this October,
and OF COURSE, I'm due to start smack in the middle of my trip. Ever seen
a Chinese toilet? NOT conducive to soothing the PMS savaged beast.
I am heading to the clinic to be put on birth control pills for the
sole purpose of throwing out those placebo pills, and staying period free
for the rest of the year.