Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Continual menstrual suppression enhances the lives of women

Women are now saying goodbye to their periods…forever! Many birth control methods are being routinely prescribed for extended use, for example, the Seasonale and other birth control pills being used for four periods a year instead of thirteen (already a great reduction). Medical research and doctors are now counseling patients that it is quite safe to extend this time frame and for women to completely forgo their period indefinitely or until they would like fertility.

Dr. Leslie Miller at the University of Washington and Elsimar Coutinho in his book “Is Menstruation Obsolete?”) are some of the main proponents of the benefits of women not spending a fourth of their lives, or thirteen years on average, menstruating and provide a volume of detailed information with medical citations about continuous menstrual suppression. Dr. Miller recommends birth control pills like Alesse or Loestrin (both available in generic) which have less estrogen (20 micrograms) than other pills such as Ortho-Novum (35-50 micrograms).

For the opposing view, Susan Rako in “No more periods?” unconvincingly puts forth her perceived detriments of continuous birth control use, which are not exclusively medical and do not seem to be anything that appropriate diet and exercise would not resolve.

Unfortunately, women are slow to embrace this new application of technology as women’s health (see Natalie Angier’s poignant “Woman: An Intimate Geography”) continues to be dominated by taboo, superstition, cultural prejudice and medieval tendencies, particularly propagated by women themselves. Continuous pill use is really just an extension of the honeymoon timeshifting and four periods per year Seasonale method that are already quite normal. Studies have shown no detriment to the continual menstrual suppression experienced by athletes and models, now the rest of women have the technological option for this too.