Women without menstruation?
No much further than last week
the Lybrel pill was approved in the United States. Its continuous hormone
supply makes menstruation disappear (it is taken the 365 days of the year).
Those of us who are in daily contact with gynecological clinic know how
difficult it is for women to recover a normal menstruation or get pregnant
after having taken hormonal contraceptives for a long time. It is difficult
to believe in an immediate recovery of menstruation (one of the
argumentations of the pharmacological industry) and ovulation after having
abolished them chemically.
In general, women are not informed about the side effects the use of high
doses of estrogens may cause. This dose is much higher if the aim is to
completely abolish the menstrual period. A hyperestrogenic state can lead to
complications such as breast cancer, uterine cancer, obesity, an increase of
autoimmune illnesses, thrombosis, a diminution or lack of libido leading to
a lack of sexual appetite.
Abolishing the cycle aggressively ignoring its consequences in the long term
can be dangerous. As dangerous as it was, some time ago, the abusive
consumption of oral contraceptive methods which nowadays proves its
incidence in the increase of women suffering from cancer in first world
Research efforts in the last 50 years have been concerned with the
inhibition of the feminine cycle instead of trying to understand it and
modify its symptoms as homeopathic medicine has been doing for more than two
From a genre perspective, the panorama is not bleaker. If we consider that
very effective birth control methods already exist, as well as ways to
soothe some typical malaises of the menstrual period, the pill comes to
women’s life with the only purpose of setting us “free” from menstruation,
spreading the wrong and oppressive idea that a natural and vital process of
women’s body is something of which we need to release us from.
The feminine cycle does not limit itself to the genital apparatus and the
uterus, but the estrogen secretion and progesterone have effects on the
whole body every month. Menstruation and its symptoms are health
manifestations in women, and many times the changes of menstruation (not
only physical but also emotional) indicate an emotional or social
disequilibrium such as stress.
Moreover, taboos, mystification, and wrong ideas about menstruation are
nothing new: for more than fifty years TV has been encouraging us day after
day to feel safer, cleaner, or dare to wear a white pair of trousers not
From our earliest adolescence we have been directly or indirectly brought up
with the idea that menstruation is something dirty, uncomfortable,
embarrassing, symbol of female weakness, something to be hidden. The huge
amount of products devoted to this topic seem to direct their marketing
strategies towards these characteristics.
The new pill, not only strengthens this idea, but also goes beyond it.
Eliminating menstruation completely from women’s lives also means
eliminating the part of our organic lives which is exclusively related to
what is feminine, what is different.
However, our bodies’ welfare regarding their internal processes is certainly
not what this anti-menstruation crusade is pursuing.