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Read women's comments about stopping menstruation.
In March and April, 2000, several articles and comments appeared (including in the New Yorker magazine - read that whole article for free - The Lancet medical journal, and the Guardian (U.K.) newspaper, and in many places since then) about the benefits of stopping menstruation. The inspiration is mainly the book Is Menstruation Obsolete? (read some excerpts), by Brazilian Dr. Elsimar Coutinho, with Dr. Sheldon Segal (Oxford University Press, 1999), which argues that the benefits far outweigh any problems. The work of Beverly Strassmann, of the University of Michigan [U.S.A.], who has studied the menstrual customs of the Dogon people of Africa for years - they use menstrual huts - also supports the argument for fewer periods.

Read another opinion in favor of stopping, by the Brazilian physician who is the author of Is Menstruation Obsolete? (Oxford University Press, 1999), and an opposing opinion, by another Brazilian, gynecologist Dr. Nelson Soucasaux


Having A Monthly Period Throughout the Reproductive Years Is NOT Natural

A reporter for New Scientist magazine recently [February 2002] interviewed Professor Patricia J. Sulak, M.D., and myself, among others, for an article about stopping menstruation. I asked Dr. Sulak, of Texas A&M University, to send me her ideas about the topic (read site visitors' opinions):

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

NOTE: WOMEN SHOULD NOT ALTER THE WAY THEY TAKE THE PILL UNLESS THEY TALK TO THEIR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER ABOUT SPECIFIC INSTRUCTIONS.

Thanks,

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


Read another opinion in favor of stopping, by the Brazilian physician who is the author of Is Menstruation Obsolete? (Oxford University Press, 1999), and an opposing opinion, by another Brazilian, gynecologist Dr. Nelso Soucasaux

Read site visitors's comments about stopping menstruation.

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