With all the advances in technology and medical research, it’s about damned time someone discovered a way to minimize or eliminate that inconvenient monthly scourge we ladies call our period. Or so drugs like Seasonale and Lybrel, which advertise their ability to reduce or annihilate a monthly period (respectively) would have you believe. As anyone who watches E! or SoapNet (what? You don’t watch “Being Erica”?) can attest, there’s been an explosion in the marketing of birth control pills that help you manage your flow, but the technology allowing a woman to do this has been around since the advent of the Pill in 1960. In fact, the Pill’s creators allowed specifically for a week-long sabbatical from the hormones that stopped you from ovulating with the specific intention of mimicking the body’s natural cycle, worried that women would balk at the notion of not having her trusty monthly visitor. But the fact is, if you’re on the Pill, there’s no reason to bleed. And yet some women still find the idea of not having a period exceedingly unnatural. So the question is: when you’re on the Pill, is your period really necessary? Two women weigh in, after the jump…
|Aunt Flow Can Go!||Gimme Period Or Gimme Death!|
|First, I need to say as a disclaimer that I sort of resent the fact that Big Pharma is exploiting the notion that a woman’s period is something awful to be avoided or done away with for its own commercial success. That said, I’m a woman who has never particularly liked getting her period. I cried the first time I got it at age 11 and a half, and it has been my messy, painful, emotionally disruptive cross to bear ever since. I don’t feel a sense of female solidarity for the discomfort I go through every month. I don’t feel supernaturally smug that my lunar cycle is aligned with the phases of the moon. As far as I am concerned, when I’m on the pill, my period serves no real purpose other than to ruin my underwear and make sex unappetizing.
I don’t get those women feel strongly that using the pill to manipulate their cycle goes against nature. If you’re taking hormones, you’re messing with nature to begin with, so why not get some benefit out of it by skipping over that time of the month? There is no need for your body to ‘get rid of toxins’ or shed its lining when you’re not ovulating. The only purpose my period serves is to tell me whether or not I’m pregnant. And assuming I’m not one of the .01% of chicks who take it and get knocked up anyway, I say good riddance to Aunt Flow.
Louisa Turandot, 29, Chicago
|I am a firm believer that a monthly period is necessary. Like it or not, getting your period is your body’s way of telling you that all systems are a go and your reproductive system is in tip-top shape. Not that I want a child (although I am in the market for a baby-daddy), but knowing that I could get pregnant, and my uterus is healthy enough to handle an undertaking of this gestational magnitude is reason enough for me to endure a few days of female discomfort.
Is a period really that bad? It’s a minor nuisance AT MOST. Furthermore, isn’t a regular birth control pill regimen enough? As a longtime birth control user (first Mircette then Yaz), I’ve noticed that most of the annoyances that accompany one’s period (pimples, weight gain, uncontrollable desire to eat AND cry at the same time) are ameliorated by a once-daily serving of hormones.
While it’s great that modern science has taken us this far and we women now have myriad options when it comes to managing our reproductive cycle, I cannot help but invoke the old adage: just because we can doesn’t mean we should. It’s once a month, deal with it.
Abigail Cusick, 27, New York City