Is the “Ick” Factor a Reason to Eliminate Your Period?

Holy Hormones Journal: Is this really the direction women are heading in? It almost sounds like their is a society push for women to 09.09.15 16111115-Red-paint-splash-letter-isolated-on-white-background-Stock-Photobecome trans-gendered… a female in a body that does not identify with its most inherent and sacred act – menstruation. That is the push… teen girls on synthetic hormones for decades… but no one knows that the result of this medical experiment will be.

I have gone on and on about this in other blogs, so I do not want to bore you again with the same rant. But it does seem that the more women are questioning the pill and other synthetic hormone devices, the harder the backlash from the pharmaceutical sponsored media.

Women need to have Periods – Period. It is much more than an “icky” bloody mess – menstruation is a vital sign of our overall health and fertility. The endocrine system has been designed to function within this rhythm and the waning and waxing of hormones.

Do not be quick to focus on the few days of menstruation (and if you bleed longer than that – contact me STAT) with a quick “ick” judgement to deny your body this vital process – which is the fundamental nature of women.

Women Don’t Need to Have Periods

The Atlantic
September 9, 2015

No matter why a woman is seeing a doctor—be it for a headache or for a broken toe—she can reliably expect to be asked the date of her last period within the first minute of her consultation. Because of the confused looks I get when I reply with “May 2012,” I started prefacing my answer with an explanation that I have a Mirena IUD, an intra-uterine device used for birth control that lessens periods for some women and eliminates them completely for others.

I fall into the latter category. Though most nurses and doctors move along after this response, a nurse recently looked at me in undisguised disapproval and asked, “But what about when you want children?” I told her that I would take it out when I want children. “But doesn’t it feel unnatural to not have a period?” she asked. I told her it feels great to not have a period. She shook her head and said, “Just seems strange to have a foreign object in your body like that.” I replied, “Yeah, like a baby.” She stopped asking questions at that point.

09.09.15 Meme for no periods

Though this particular nurse was especially harsh, she is hardly alone in her suspicion of birth-control methods that prevent women from monthly bleeding. Friends ask if I am constantly worried that I’m pregnant. Men I am not even exclusively dating wonder if I worry about infertility. The word “unnatural” comes up often. A brief look at the language used to talk about menstruation reflects how closely it’s tied to the concept of female identity. “You’re becoming a woman!” people exclaim to adolescents experiencing their periods for the first time. “Feminine products” is the euphemism of choice for pads and tampons at the drugstore though there are plenty of aisles worth of feminine-coded products available—razors, makeup, and shampoos marketed toward women with the design of helping them look “feminine.” (This focus on the “femininity” of periods also completely ignores the existence of trans men who menstruate.) All of these products have the purpose of eliminating or disguising those functions of the body that have been deemed “unfeminine” like growing body hair and sweating, just as menstrual products are designed to make the period as undetectable as possible. Periods can be painful and messy, and while they are considered a marker of female identity, there are also social pressures to keep them invisible on account of their “ick” factor. So there are some who find eliminating periods altogether to be their best option.

“There is no medical reason why a woman has to menstruate every month,” said Alyssa Dweck, an OB/GYN at Mt. Sinai School of Medicine in New York. “And there is nothing wrong with tweaking the system if bleeding is difficult for women.”


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Author: Leslie Carol Botha

Author, publisher, radio talk show host and internationally recognized expert on women's hormone cycles. Social/political activist on Gardasil the HPV vaccine for adolescent girls. Co-author of "Understanding Your Mood, Mind and Hormone Cycle." Honorary advisory board member for the Foundation for the Study of Cycles and member of the Society for Menstrual Cycle Research.

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