DIRECTORY of all topics

COMIC STRIP: "A Visit to the Museum of Menstruation"
DIRECTORY of all topics (See also the SEARCH ENGINE, bottom of page.)
CONTRIBUTE to Humor, Words and expressions about menstruation and Would you stop menstruating if you could?
Some MUM site links:
homepage | LIST OF ALL TOPICS | MUM address & What does MUM mean? | e-mail the museum | privacy on this site | who runs this museum?? |
Amazing women! | the art of menstruation | artists (non-menstrual) | asbestos | belts | bidets | founder bio | Bly, Nellie | MUM board | books: menstruation and menopause (and reviews) | cats | company booklets for girls (mostly) directory | contraception and religion | costumes | menstrual cups | cup usage | dispensers | douches, pain, sprays | essay directory | extraction | facts-of-life booklets for girls | famous women in menstrual hygiene ads | FAQ | founder/director biography | gynecological topics by Dr. Soucasaux | humor | huts | links | masturbation | media coverage of MUM | menarche booklets for girls and parents | miscellaneous | museum future | Norwegian menstruation exhibit | odor | olor | pad directory | patent medicine | poetry directory | products, current | puberty booklets for girls and parents | religion | Religión y menstruación | your remedies for menstrual discomfort | menstrual products safety | science | Seguridad de productos para la menstruación | shame | slapping, menstrual | sponges | synchrony | tampon directory | early tampons | teen ads directory | tour of the former museum (video) | underpants & panties directory | videos, films directory | Words and expressions about menstruation | Would you stop menstruating if you could? | What did women do about menstruation in the past? | washable pads
Leer la versión en español de los siguientes temas: Anticoncepción y religión, Breve reseña - Olor - Religión y menstruación - Seguridad de productos para la menstruación.

Continued to next earlier News & Notes

NEW this month (news & letters BELOW):

Mon Docteur boxed vaginal douche set (complete?) with printed material, U.S.A., 1928-29? - "The Fallopian Tubes" by Dr. Nelson Soucasaux, Brazilian gynecologist - Humor
Would you stop menstruating if you could? New contributions
Words and expressions about menstruation: England: Ladies' nappies; Ireland & English-speaking countries: The curse: does it really mean that? South Africa: Jam rags; U.S.A.: BUD, BV, Cut your finger, Going to Oklahoma, I am on, I have to go see Miss Fisher, Mouse mummies,
What did European and American women use for menstruation in the past?

Estimate your blood loss during menstruation on terrific site

A Scottish scientist, Dr. Steve Campbell, has created a Web site - here - which allows women to see if their menstrual blood loss is small, average, or too much - plus much more.

Read right below why he created the site - a funny story.

Description of the site

The concept behind the site is that women lack a visual reference (or calibration in scientific terms) when assessing menstrual loss. We have provided a reference using donated venous blood on sanitary towels [napkins or pads]. There is also an interactive blood loss calculator, record sheets,  information on tests and treatments and a section for women with language difficulties, learning disabilities or for use by learning disability nurses.

The Story [of, by Scotsman Dr. Steve Campbell, of Glasgow]

I should perhaps explain that I am a scientist, not medically qualified and male. In view of the site we have just launched you might think it hilarious that I have been shy about contacting I know from your [MUM's] FAQ page you will understand this feeling.

During the course of research here it became obvious that a female research nurse measuring menstrual blood loss in research studies could very accurately estimate whether or not women were suffering heavy periods without making measurements. This was despite other studies, which suggest women have difficulty scoring loss and reporting it accurately to their doctors. The reason the nurse was so good at estimating was that she had measured loss many times and simply came to know what "heavy" looked like. The nurse, a fastidious person, had never undertaken laboratory work before and so kept a visual score to check that the results of her chemical tests made sense. She tried two methods, "a rough score" where she just looked at the collection and made a guess and a more precise method where she sorted the used tampons and towels into piles of increasing loss then giving a score to each. By attributing numbers to the visual score she became confident that she could make a good tally and so produce a very good guess about the volume of blood loss. We used her notes to show that her system produced very useful guesses and have presented these findings at two small medical research meetings.

One of my senior academic medical colleagues suggested that if women could be shown what loss looked like then they could report it better to the doctors and nurses involved in their health care. He stressed to me how women would often tell him how severe their loss in the toilet is and how concerned they become about it. He suggested having an Internet site to explain loss. Ironically it was a man, although admittedly a gynaecologist, who felt that menstruation should not be a taboo subject.

I discussed the gynaecologist's idea with my wife and mother, who also happened to be there at the time. Neither saw any problem with what my mother, despite her strict religious upbringing and socially conservative views, referred to as "a natural biological function." Encouraged by this I announced that when I was going out that Friday evening to buy the food I would purchase a large number of sanitary towels from the supermarket so that we could add known amounts of blood to them in the laboratory. Both of my wife and mother immediately jumped in saying that they would do that for me. "Nonsense" I said, "after having to buy heavy duty sanitary towels after childbirth this is nothing to me." I duly unloaded the food at the checkout then the small mountain of sanitary towels and placed the "next customer" divider between them and the food. In as masculine a voice as I could muster I asked for a "separate receipt for the sanitary towels please." My face started to grow crimson and felt if it was about to catch fire. I had to say something to the young female checkout assistant, who was possibly in her mid 20's. "It's for medical research," I said again in my most masculine voice. "Well, somebody's got to do it," she said softly with a gentle and unembarrassed smile. Of course! She was absolutely correct. It is a subject where more research is needed.

In order to find out whether or not women did have a visual reference for assessing loss I asked my wife whether anyone had ever shown her used sanitary towels either as girl, as a medical student or when she was undertaking a post-graduate medical diploma in obstetrics and gynaecology. No, not even when she was training in the most medically relevant speciality. I then asked my sister rather sheepishly, then my mother, and then some of my female colleagues. It was clear that the site of menstrual loss had become a taboo, at least in this country.  Even if a woman were to show her doctor, gynaecologist or nurse what an example of heavy loss looked like would they know? By consulting  they would at least have better idea.

Around this time I became aware of a research paper that tried to include estimates of loss in the toilet when assessing menses. We therefore simulated loss using my own blood in the toilet. The very academic medical immunologist who took my blood for this purpose said it was the first time in her life that somebody was going take the blood that she had just withdrawn and put it straight into the toilet. She obviously found the situation pretty bizarre, although understood why we were doing this. Never having suffered blood loss in the toilet myself, I was amazed how much it actually looked like. 5ml in a man's hospital toilet looks really alarming although this is not even half the volume of a bottle of nail varnish.

Later, when testing an early version of the web site on my sister it became obvious she did not really understand what the volume of loss looked like, partly because she baked and cooked in fluid ounces and how this related to the total amount of blood in her body. I therefore returned to the supermarket and purchased every-day household items on which the volume was marked and had these photographed in the elegant female hand of a trainee gynaecologist.

When my wife, a psychiatrist working with those with a learning disability, saw the pictures of household items she felt it would be helpful if women with a learning disability could get access to the site. She felt that the very visual aspect of the site would be useful to those who could not read and pointed me to a very excellent series of "books without words" used for medical education. This is why drawings appear on the site. A speech and language therapist, who my wife introduced me to, explained that when helping those with a learning disability it is best to start with the real thing, then in order of preference a photo, a drawing, a symbol and last of all writing. Not surprisingly there were no female volunteers to be patients in illustrative photographs, such is the taboo of menstruation, although one female gynaecologist who has carried out laboratory research with me offered to play the doctor.

The concept of the web site is a simple one. If the site helps women to understand when they are having heavy loss then my embarrassment will have been worth it. The subsequent effort in producing the site might also help medical professionals know when they are confronted by heavy loss.

Treatment is available and for many women can be very effective. Recent medical developments have made effective treatment less invasive and should therefore give women even more reason to go to Hopefully a visit to the site should help them find their way around a subject their mother never taught them.

(Copyright 2005 Steve Campbell)

And an explanation for medical people and researchers:

An Academic Postscript

I did have another more academic reason for wanting to create this site that partly sprang from a conversation with a (male) pathologist with whom I collaborated in research. We were discussing why so many histopathology reports concerning the endometrial lining of uteruses removed at hysterectomies are described as 'normal' despite the complaint of heavy periods. He explained that often little or no clinically useful information is provided by the pathologist except when there is cancer (to simplify slightly). In other words, after examining microscope sections of human uterine tissue the pathologist usually does not send back a report to the gynaecologist that helps to explain why the patient had heavy bleeding. This might be partly due, he suggested, to the fact that pathologists and gynaecologists usually do not work together either on an individual patient basis or systematically in research on groups of patients to define what is normal and what tissue appearances are associated with particular clinical conditions. The classic but still relevant paper on the human endometrial cycle (by Noyes, Hertig and Rock) even includes infertile patients collected together with other women who have other types of complaints. 

In addition, there might possibly be a great range of what is normal in terms of tissue appearance. The differences that cause problematic bleeding might also be so hard to detect that simple observation alone might not be productive even with ideal communication. 

The other more obvious reason why it might be difficult to equate what the pathologist sees with what the gynaecologist deals with is the lack of accurate menstrual loss reporting by patients and their referring doctors. 80 ml of blood loss is regarded by many gynaecologists as the level at which menorrhagia (heavy periods) can be diagnosed. There is, and not surprisingly, a resistance amongst women to collect used towels and tampons so that chemical blood loss measurements can be made in hospital laboratories. However, even if women were to make such collections there are not routine services for measuring loss. These days many hospital laboratories are filled with very fast robotic machines measuring complex biochemical features on small blood samples. There is simply not the scope for rooms full of large receptacles hydrolysing blood on towels on tampons and then technicians later squeezing them out by hand wearing lots of protective clothing. The experience behind this web site suggests that there is perhaps no need for such procedures if reliable estimates can be made by a trained nurse. Presently however, about fifty percent of women recruited to some research studies on heavy menstrual loss have less than 80 ml blood loss per cycle. Could there be a way to improve research on dysfunctional endometrial bleeding by helping the patients report menstrual loss better to their doctors? Perhaps is one step on the way forward.

It is possibly not just patients who misreport. Research done by interviewing patients from hospital clinics has suggested that community based medical general practitioners over-report menstrual blood loss as a major problem when referring women to hospital-based gynaecologists. (Or at least the women report other symptoms such as pain and discomfort as important when they arrive at the hospital.) Perhaps the community based doctors, or the nurses who work with them might also benefit from even a brief look at the site.

Copyright 2005 Steve Campbell

Does menstruation lengthen life?

Excerpted from Getting on the Road to a Long Life: Secrets of the Very, Very Old (here)

"The average person has the ability to reach about 88," says Thomas Perls, MD, MPH, Director of the New England Centenarian Study, "but there's a great deal of variation around that with the average person falling short about 10 years."


Being born with two X chromosomes certainly helps, too, as 85 percent of centenarians are female. It is somewhat unclear why this is, but, according to Perls, the female secret to long life lies in menstruation. While only preliminary evidence exists, it is thought that iron levels are responsible; women tend to have lower iron counts than men because they lose a considerable portion of blood every four weeks or so during their period. Iron produces free radicals in the body, the element that drives aging. So, less iron means slower aging. Many centenarian women reported having a child after the age of 40, indicating they had a slowly aging body, possibly due to their increased number of menstrual periods that lowered iron levels.

So, how can a man compete with a woman? Well, Perls, for example, donates blood every eight weeks, in part to be altruistic, but also to lower the number of free radicals in his body. (He says that he'd do it every four weeks if he were allowed.) In one study, men that donated blood just twice a year had a 20 percent reduction in the formation of preoxidized lipids, the predecessor of artery-clogging plaque.

Many Brazilian women in a focus group oppose menstrual suppression

(From Contraception 2005; 72: 157-61)

"Most women, although they would like to be free from menstruation, feared negative consequences of induced amenorrhea and even regarded the proposition as a male intrusion into what they consider a natural female condition."

Letters to your MUM

Australian looking for coming-of-age ritual for daughter

Can anyone give me info of female rite of passage traditions, ceremonies, etc, for 12-to-13-year-olds?

I'm looking for a social ritual, as in passing knowledge, as my daughter has lost two very important female role models (grandmother and aunt) to cancer in the past 18 months. They were a huge influence on her in ways of intellect, social, economic, philosophic and political ideology. They had planned a walking tour of China for this year, and as my daughter observed, "If I had been a boy or Jewish I would have had a defined celebration." So If anyone can share any thoughts I'd be most grateful. We have thought of establishing a memorial scholarship for them, (an economics professor & lawyer), but that doesn't help with this as her 13th birthday is the end of August.



PS: We live in Australia.

[Reply to]

Her mother learned to knit her pads

Interesting site!!

Regarding earlier 20th century use of pads in America: My mother, at about age 10 or 11 in 1936/7, was taught to knit sanitary pads by her stepmother. By the time she started menstruating at 14, Kotex pads were available for purchase in town (Hannibal, Missouri) and she never used her cache of knitted pads. I believe her stepmother, born in 1905 in Missouri, was also taught as a young girl to knit sanitary pads.

A friend's mother, born about 1915 in an Idaho/Utah farming family, used, washed, and reused rags as menstrual pads. I remember this being a topic of amazement to my 12-year old friend and me, who in the 1960's had the advantage of Kotex and belts. Now even these are antiquated!

I know that two anecdotes don't mean that most late-19th century American women wore pads (as opposed to nothing), but I suspect that the two older women above (both English descent, one definitely poor and rural, the other more middle class) must have had history of pad use in their families, at least by their mothers in the 1880's and 90's. Otherwise my friend and I would have heard even more amazing stories from our mothers: Not just "My mother taught me to knit my own sanitary pads" or "I had to wash and reuse old rags", but also "and Grandma didn't wear ANYTHING when she was young!!"


[Read what evidence I have that some women in Europe (at least) wore no protection.]

Read about hysterectomy and alternatives

Dear Harry:

Please publicize our site

Hysterectomy and the Alternatives: Your resource for information on hysterectomies and alternative treatments for fibroid tumors and other conditions.


Michael Caroff 


She likes the Diva cup

I just came across your website and really enjoyed it. In reading the section about menstruation cups, I noticed that one product is missing. The Diva Cup is almost identical to the Keeper but is made of medical grade silicone, so it can be boiled if one so desires and is safe for people with latex allergies. I have just started using one myself and think it's amazing.

When I'm around the house I use washable cotton Lunapads to let things "air out" a bit. I wish I had known about the alternatives to disposable products sooner.

Thanks for such an informative Web site!


[Read a short history of cups.]

He sang of Mrs. Pinkham

We used to sing it (in college days  - 1950s):

Oh, we'll sing, we'll sing, we'll sing

To Lydia Pinkham, Pinkham, Pinkham,

And her gift to the human race:

A wonderful compound,

A dollar a bottle,

And on the label was her face (her ugly face).

I've forgotten the verses, but no doubt they were similar to the ones you've listed.

Thanks for tickling a fun memory!


[Read and see more of the very successful inventor of Mrs. Pinkham's Vegetable Compound here. You can buy the patent medicine here:

[ ]

Uh, oh

Dear Sister, [Um, Hi!]

I write to you in appreciation of your wonderful site.

As a women, I am sensitive to the stigma that surround the fact of menstruation. Ours is a world whose agenda is set by male constructs and your museum is a refreshing change.

In fact, I am French and live in France. Here there is no such institution as the museum of menstruation. I would like to embark on a project to found one.

Is there any advice you could give me?

With best regards,

And in the sisterhood of the blood,


[I wrote her that I'm male and that many people will criticize her for starting it. I wished her lots of luck!

[She never responded. Gee, maybe it's not so wonderful and refreshing since a man made it.

[See the next letter for more sexism.]

"I am woman" confuses facts with feelings

From viewing your Web site and hearing of your former "museum" housed in your basement [here] I am again saddened but not shocked at the endless display of sexism exhibited by men in this world. Your fetish on menstruation and women's bodies is disrespectful and creepy. Since you have never and will never know what it means to be female or to have to suffer the physical burdens that women do you have no right and no authority or authenticity in this field. Every single time you speak or write or present your opinion on this you are mocking what real women know and have to endure. Your suggestion that because you are a man you are taken more seriously on this issue is quite frankly a joke and it is insulting that you are so arrogant to think a male who does not experience menstruation knows more about it then women do. Your continue to insult by suggesting that women either gay and or feminist (and no one does not mean the other) would not be able to present the context of menstruation in a fair minded way. Ironic that you believe a male (you) are not biased when obviously this is a perversion for you. Men such as yourself and the women who support your fetish are unfortunately very present in this world. Lack of integrity, lack of authenticity always seem to win out no matter how hard those of us who fight for women's rights and women's justice work. So you can laugh at women on your site and you can disrespect us and most likely you even jerk off to all your period stories and props from your little basement enterprise but you should know that there are those of us who do not think you are clever or that you are offering anything of value. I hope you are one day treated to the same level of disrespect you are showing women.


Post my letter if you wish I assumed you would. I stand by it and at least I have the authority to do so since I am woman and you are not. And you can enjoy being all the advocacy groups watch lists for sexism.

Good day.


[I dare I-am-woman to immediately e-mail the female collaborators in the study below and tell them they had no business participating because they don't have penises. By her criterion, what can they know?

The article, "Inactivation of phosphorylated endothelial nitric oxide synthase (Ser-1177) by O-GlcNAc in diabetes-associated erectile dysfunction," appears in the Aug. 16 issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences and was published online Aug. 5 [2005]. Melissa F. Kramer and Robyn E. Becker, also of the Brady Urological Institute [of The Johns Hopkins University], collaborated on this study.

[I-am-woman's sexism - it's the purest sexism since it's explicitly and obsessively based on gender - puts down women everywhere who want to research any subject that interests them.

[I-am-woman: don't write me again unless you send me your e-mail and the collaborators' replies.]

[I-am-woman's sexual accusations probably reflect her own desires, not mine.

[I endorse the words of Louis Menand, professor of English at Harvard, who wrote of the great American critic Edmund Wilson in a recent New Yorker magazine (August 8 & 25, 2005 issue, p. 88):

"His whole career was devoted to the opposite principal: that an educated, intelligent person can take on any subject that seems interesting and important, and, by doing the homework and taking care with the exposition, make it interesting and important to other people." The principal he says Wilson disagreed with is for a professor "to pick out a single furrow and plow it for life."

[The culture of menstruation is interesting and important - surely you agree, I-am-woman - so where is your museum that you're willing to endure such calumny for?]

Polycystic ovary syndrome information


I visited your website today and I'm very interested in exchanging links with you.

Please add the following information about us on your site.

 Title: Find Treatment Options and Latest Advances for Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) - Trustworthy, Current Guidebook

Description: Find the Recently Updated Peripheral Neuropathy Guidebook at Medifocus - the Site That Helps Answer Critical Key Questions About Medical Issues.


Thank you for your time,



Continued to next earlier News & Notes

Grab the new edition of the famous book about women's health
Read about the new edition (pdf).
Take a quiz about women's health (pdf).
Buy the books through the books' home pages for the English and Spanish editions.
Click on the covers to go to the books' Web sites, where you can learn more about them and get 'em for yourself!

"[Barr] fails to mention frequent and sometimes substantial bleeding, the FDA . . . said"

Barr Pharmaceuticals makes Seasonale, a hormone drug that allows women to have only four periods a year - at least that was the plan. But read on . . . .

"FDA Warns Barr Over Seasonale Commercial

"Fri Dec 31, 2:49 PM ET Health - Reuters

"WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A television commercial for Barr Pharmaceuticals Inc.'s Seasonale misleads consumers by excluding risk information to make the birth control pill seem safer, U.S. health regulators warned in a letter released on Thursday.

"The commercial suggests use of the oral contraceptive leads to only four menstrual periods a year but fails to mention frequent and sometimes substantial bleeding, the FDA (news - web sites) said in the Dec. 29 letter.

"Barr's advertisement plays down the risk of irregular menstrual bleeding that can be as heavy as a regular period by suggesting it would subside with continued use of the pill, the letter said.

"The FDA posted the letter Thursday on its web site at" (a pdf from December 2004)

Results of a trial of the new pill to suppress menstruation, Seasonale: "effective, safe and well tolerated"

Christine L. Hitchcock, Ph.D., Research Associate, Centre for Menstrual Cycle and Ovulation Research (CeMCOR), Endocrinology, Dept. of Medicine, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada (URL:, sent this to members of the The Society for Menstrual Cycle Research (which includes me).

Here is the first article from the Phase III trial of the higher dose extended schedule pill (Seasonale).

In Contraception. 2003 Aug;68(2):89-96.

A multicenter, randomized study of an extended cycle oral contraceptive.

Anderson FD, Hait H.

The Jones Institute for Reproductive Medicine, Eastern Virginia Medical

School, Norfolk, VA 23501, USA.

OBJECTIVE: To assess the efficacy and safety of Seasonale, 91-day extended cycle oral contraceptive (OC). METHODS: A parallel, randomized, multicenter open-label, 1-year study of the OC Seasonale [30 microg ethinyl estradiol (EE)/150 microg levonorgestrel (LNG), and Nordette-28 (30 microg EE/150 microg LNG)] in sexually active, adult women (18-40 years) of childbearing potential. Patients received either four 91-day cycles of extended cycle regimen OC, or 13 cycles of the conventional 28-day OC with daily monitoring of compliance and bleeding via electronic diaries. RESULTS: When taken daily for 84 days followed by 7 days of placebo, the extended cycle regimen was effective in preventing pregnancy and had a safety profile that was comparable to that observed with the 28-day OC regimen that served as the control. While unscheduled (breakthrough) bleeding was reported among patients treated with the extended cycle regimen, it decreased with each successive cycle of therapy and was comparable to that reported by patients who received the conventional OF regimen by the fourth extended cycle. CONCLUSION: This study demonstrated that Seasonale, 91-day extended cycle OC containing 84 days of 30 microg EE/150 microg LNG followed by 7 days of placebo, was effective, safe and well tolerated.

PMID: 12954519

Press release from the maker of Seasonale, Barr Laboratories

(Kathleen O'Grady, of the Canadian Women's Health Network, kindly sent this to The Society for Menstrual Cycle Research members)

WOODCLIFF LAKE, N.J., Nov. 18 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Barr Laboratories, Inc. (NYSE:BRL) today announced that it has begun promoting SEASONALE(R) (levonorgestrel and ethinyl estradiol) 0.15 mg/0.03 mg tablets directly to physicians and other healthcare providers. SEASONALE is the first and only FDA-approved extended-cycle oral contraceptive indicated for the prevention of pregnancy and designed to reduce periods from 13 to 4 per year. The Company has initiated physician detailing and promotional activities using the 250-person Duramed Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Women's Healthcare Sales Force. Duramed is a wholly owned subsidiary of Barr Laboratories, Inc.

The Company began shipping SEASONALE in mid-October. Promotional Programs directed to physicians include a variety of patient education initiatives, various medical education programs and a publication plan that includes journal advertising. Women and healthcare professionals who would like to learn more about SEASONALE, including full prescribing information, should visit or call the toll-free number 800-719-FOUR (3687).

"We are excited to begin marketing this new choice in oral contraception to healthcare providers and patients through extensive promotional activities and an education campaign," Bruce L. Downey, Barr's Chairman and CEO said. "Our market research indicates that the extended-cycle regimen represents a substantial opportunity with patients and we believe that the already high awareness of SEASONALE will be even higher among target physicians and patients following the launch of our promotional activities and detailing by our Women's Healthcare Sales Force."

"SEASONALE is a 91-day regimen taken daily as 84 active tablets of 0.15 mg of levonorgestrel/0.03 mg of ethinyl estradiol, followed by 7 inactive tablets and is designed to reduce the number of periods from 13 to 4 per year," explained Dr. Carole S. Ben-Maimon, President and Chief Operating Officer of Barr Research. "With SEASONALE, women now have an FDA-approved, safe and effective alternative to the traditional 28-day oral contraceptive regimen."

Clinical Data

The clinical data supporting FDA approval of the SEASONALE (levonorgestrel and ethinyl estradiol) 0.15 mg/0.03 mg tablets product resulted from a randomized, open-label, multi-center trial that ended in March 2002 and an extension to that trial. In the trials, SEASONALE was found to prevent pregnancy and had a comparable safety profile to a more traditional oral contraceptive.

In the trial, the most reported adverse events were nasopharyngitis, headache and intermenstrual bleeding or spotting.

SEASONALE(R) has been formulated using well-established components, long recognized as safe and effective when used in a 28-day regimen. SEASONALE offers 4 periods per year as compared to 13 per year with traditional oral contraceptives. When prescribing SEASONALE, the convenience of fewer planned menses (4 per year instead of 13 per year) should be weighed against the inconvenience of increased intermenstrual bleeding and/or spotting.

Important Information About Oral Contraceptives

It is estimated that more than 16 million women currently take oral contraceptives in the United States. Oral contraceptives are not for every woman. Serious as well as minor side effects have been reported with the use of hormonal contraceptives. Serious risks include blood clots, stroke, and heart attack. Cigarette smoking increases the risk of serious cardiovascular side effects, especially in women over 35 years. Oral contraceptives do not protect against HIV infection (AIDS) and other sexually transmitted diseases.

Use of SEASONALE provides women with more hormonal exposure on a yearly basis than conventional monthly oral contraceptives containing similar strength synthetic estrogens and progestins (an additional 9 weeks per year). While this added exposure may pose an additional risk of thrombotic and thromboembolic disease, studies to date with SEASONALE have not suggested an increased risk of these disorders. The convenience of fewer menses (4 vs. 13 per year) should be weighed against the inconvenience of increased intermenstrual bleeding/spotting.

Barr Laboratories, Inc. is engaged in the development, manufacture and marketing of generic and proprietary pharmaceuticals.

Forward-Looking Statements

The following sections contain a number of forward-looking statements. To the extent that any statements made in this press release contain information that is not historical, these statements are essentially forward-looking. Forward-looking statements can be identified by their use of words such as "expects," "plans," "will," "may," "anticipates," "believes," "should," "intends," "estimates" and other words of similar meaning. These statements are subject to risks and uncertainties that cannot be predicted or quantified and, consequently, actual results may differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Such risks and uncertainties include: the difficulty in predicting the timing and outcome of legal proceedings, including patent-related matters such as patent challenge settlements and patent infringement cases; the difficulty of predicting the timing of U.S. Food and Drug Administration, or FDA, approvals; court and FDA decisions on exclusivity periods; the ability of competitors to extend exclusivity periods for their products; the success of our product development activities; market and customer acceptance and demand for our pharmaceutical products; our dependence on revenues from significant customers; reimbursement policies of third party payors; our dependence on revenues from significant products; the use of estimates in the preparation of our financial statements; the impact of competitive products and pricing; the ability to develop and launch new products on a timely basis; the availability of raw materials; the availability of any product we purchase and sell as a distributor; our mix of product sales between manufactured products, which typically have higher margins, and distributed products; the regulatory environment; our exposure to product liability and other lawsuits and contingencies; the increasing cost of insurance and the availability of product liability insurance coverage; our timely and successful completion of strategic initiatives, including integrating companies and products we acquire and implementing new enterprise resource planning systems; fluctuations in operating results, including the effects on such results from spending for research and development, sales and marketing activities and patent challenge activities; and other risks detailed from time to time in our filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Source: Barr Laboratories, Inc.

CONTACT: Carol A. Cox, Barr Laboratories, Inc., +1-201-930-3720,

Free documents from Women's Health Initiative to celebrate its one-year anniversary

To mark the one-year anniversary of the Women's Health Initiative Study, which highlighted possible health risks associated with long-term hormone therapy use for menopausal women, the Canadian Women's Health Network has now made the following documents available online and free of charge:

Frequently Asked Questions, answered in plain language:

What is Menopause?

What is Hormone Therapy (HT)?

What are the Alternatives to Hormone Therapy?

Menopause and Heart Disease; What are my Risks?

How do I Stop Taking Hormone Therapy?

In-depth articles:

*The Pros and Cons of Hormone Therapy: Making An Informed Decision

*Health Protection Measures from the Women's Health Initiative

*The Medicalization of Menopause

*HRT in the News: The Women's Health Initiative

*Challenges of Change: Midlife, Menopause and Disability

*Natural Hormones - Are They a Safe Alternative?

*Perimenopause Naturally: An Integrative Medicine Approach

*Thinking Straight: Oestrogen and Cognitive Function at Midlife

*The Truth About Hormone Replacement Therapy

*Menopause Home Test: Save Your $$$

*Recent Studies on Menopause and Pain

*What The Experts are Saying Now: A Round-Up of International Opinion

*Women and Healthy Aging

... and many more!

Check us out at
The Canadian Women's Health Network
Women's Health Information You Can Trust

Many thanks to the Women's Health Clinic, Winnipeg, and A Friend Indeed newsletter, for making many of these documents available to the general public.


Kathleen O'Grady, Director of Communications
Canadian Women's Health Network/Le Réseau canadien pour la santé des femmes
Suite 203, 419 Graham Ave.
Winnipeg MB R3C 0M3
Tel (204) 942-5500, ext. 20


Jobs, conferences, prizes, etc.

Book about periods needs your input, MEN!

Kaylee Powers-Monteros is writing a book about women's periods called "Bloody Rites."

"I consider a woman's period her rite of passage. . . . My book is focusing on the language we use about periods and how that impacts our perceptions of it," she writes.

She has a chapter about men's first learning about menstruation and would like to hear from men in response to the question, "When was the first time you ever heard anything about a period and what was it?" I already sent her mine: when I was in sixth grade the kid next door said his sister had started bleeding from you-know-where. I didn't know anything about you-know-where, actually, having grown up in a prudish military household with two bothers, no sisters and a mother who must have felt very alone.

E-mail her at

Women's Universal Health Initiative

Women's Universal Health Initiative

Women's Universal Health Initiative is by women for women - if you have ideas, events, information, or comments to share, send them to

In these difficult times, all advocacy groups are struggling financially. WUHI is no exception. Please consider becoming a member to support the continuation of the web site and our work on universal health care.

You become a member of WUHI with a tax-deductible donation of any amount. Go to the WUHI website to join online, or send your donation to WUHI, Box 623, Boston, MA 02120.

Health Care Reform: a Women's Issue

Anne Kasper

Anne Kasper, a long time women's health activist, discusses why health care reform is a women's issue. Anne is an editor, with Susan J. Ferguson of Breast Cancer: Society Shapes an Epidemic, a powerful and informative book on the politics of breast cancer.

To read the complete article: <>

Health care reform has long been a women's issue. Since the beginnings of the Women's Health Movement in the late 1960s, women have known that the health care system does not work in the best interests of women's health. When we think of the health care system and its component parts ­ doctors, hospitals, clinics, and prescription drugs, for instance ­ we are increasingly aware that the current system is not designed to promote and maintain our personal health or the health of others. Instead, we are aware of a medical system that delivers sporadic, interventionist, hi-tech, and curative care when what we need most often is continuous, primary, low-tech, and preventive care. Women are the majority of the uninsured and the under insured as well as the majority of health care providers. We are experts on our health, the health of our families, and the health of our communities. We know that we need a health care system that must be a part of changes in other social spheres -- such as wage work, housing, poverty, inequality, and education -- since good health care results from more than access to medical services.

Featured Site

UHCAN - Universal Health Care Action Network

UHCAN is a nationwide network of individuals and organizations, committed to achieving health care for all. It provides a national resource center, facilitates information sharing and the development of strategies for health care justice. UHCAN was formed to bring together diverse groups and activists working for comprehensive health care in state and national campaigns across the country.

Their annual conference, planned for October 24-26, 2003 in Baltimore, MD, is one of the best grass-roots action conferences available. They consider universal health care justice from many perspectives.

Visit UHCAN's website for resources, analyses of health reform issues, and more information on their campaigns for health care justice.

Proposals, Policies, Pending Legislation

Health Care Access Campaign - the Health Care Access Resolution

Health care in America is unjust and inefficient. It costs too much, covers too little, and excludes too many. As the economy deteriorates, it is rapidly getting worse.

One in seven Americans, 80% of whom are from working families, lack health insurance and consequently suffer unnecessary illness and premature death. Tens of millions more are under insured, unable to afford needed services, particularly medications. Health care costs are a leading cause of personal bankruptcy. Communities of color endure major disparities in access and treatment. Double-digit medical inflation undermines employment-based insurance, as employers drop coverage or ask their employees to pay more for less. State budgets are in their worst shape in half a century. Medicare and Medicaid are caught between increases in need and a financial restraints.

In the 108th Congress, the Congressional Universal Health Care Task Force will introduce the Health Care Access Resolution, directing Congress to enact legislation by 2005 that provides access to comprehensive health care for all Americans. Legislators, reacting to the urgency for health care reform, will likely introduce several proposals in this Congress.

Check out the link to learn more about the resolution and how you can contribute to it.

Proposed Health Insurance Tax Credits Could Shortchange Women

Commonwealth Fund report, reviews federal policies designed to help low-income adults buy health insurance, which have focused on tax credits for purchasing coverage in the individual insurance market. This analysis of premium and benefit quotes for individual health plans offered in 25 cities finds that tax credits at the level of those in recent proposals would not be enough to make health insurance affordable to women with low incomes.

Time for Change: the Hidden Cost of a Fragmented Health Insurance System

An excellent overview by Karen Davis, President of The Commonwealth Fund, of factors in the US health care system that lead to it being the most expensive health system in the world.

A Place at the Table: Women's Needs and Medicare Reform

By Marilyn Moon and Pamela Herd

This book, published by the Century Foundation, shows that women have different retirement needs as a group than men. Women are more likely to require long-term care services because they live longer and are more likely to suffer from chronic diseases. Suggests guidelines that would make Medicare reforms work for women, including how to deal with comprehensiveness, affordability, access to quality care, and the availability of information.

Women in the Health Care System: Health Status, Insurance, and Access to Care

Report from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) focuses on women in the United States in 1996. Health insurance status is examined in terms of whether women are publicly insured, privately insured, or uninsured, and whether insured women are policyholders or dependents.

Health Insurance Coverage in America: 2001 Data Update

Although not specific to women, this resource contains valuable information about women and health insurance coverage and provides valuable information and facts for general presentations on universal health care. The chart book provides year 2001 data on health insurance coverage, with special attention to the uninsured. It includes trends and major shifts in coverage and a profile of the uninsured population.


Health Care Links

Links to state, national and international organizations working for single payer health care and universal health care. A resource of Physicians for a National Health Program - check out the site for many other resources and excellent factual information on a single payer health care system [ <> ].

Universal Health Care Organizations in Your State

A list of state organizations working for universal health care. Resource of Everybody In, Nobody Out [EINO: ]. Not all states represented.

Families USA New Online Service .

Families USA online service to provide registered users with the following benefits:

Free bimonthly newsletters with articles on health policy issue.

Announcements about organization events.

Discounts on publications

Kaiser Network for Health Policy - Publications and Reports <;hc=806&amp;linkcat=61>

Reports and publications on health policy, access, uninsured and insurance. Supported by the Kaiser Family Foundation. Good source of information.


May 8 - 9 2003

Health Policy and the Underserved

Sponsored by the Joint Center for Poverty Research, looks a social, economic, and outcomes of policies for the underserved.

May 14-16, 2003

2003 Managed Care Law Conference

Colorado Springs, CO

Co-sponsored by American Health Lawyers Association and American Association of Health Plans. Presents legal issues facing health plans and providers.

October 24-26, 2003

National Universal Health Care Action Network [UHCAN] Conference

Baltimore, MD

One of the best grass-roots action conferences available. Considers universal health care from all its perspectives. Check out their website for an overview of their orientation.

November 15, 2003

Physicians for a National Health Program Fall Meeting

San Francisco, CA

November 15 - 19, 2003

American Public Health Association Annual Meeting

San Francisco, CA

Meeting of professionals in public health. Has many sessions on health care reform and women's health, including universal health care.

January 22-23, 2004

National Health Policy Conference

Washington, DC

Wide-ranging discussions of health policy, including health care reform and universal health care.

Women's Universal Health Initiative

PO Box 623

Boston, MA 02120-2822

617-739-2923 Ext 3 <>


Canadian TV film about menstruation Under Wraps now called Menstruation: Breaking the Silence and for sale

Read more about it - it includes this museum (when it was in my house) and many interesting people associated publically with menstruation. Individual Americans can buy the video by contacting

Films for the Humanities
P.O. Box 2053
Princeton, NJ 08543-2053

Tel: 609-275-1400
Fax: 609-275-3767
Toll free order line: 1-800-257-5126

Canadians purchase it through the National Film Board of Canada.

Did your mother slap you when you had your first period?

If so, Lana Thompson wants to hear from you.

The approximately 4000 items of this museum will go to Australia's largest museum . . .

if I die before establishing the Museum of Menstruation and Women's Health as a permanent public display in the United States (read more of my plans here). I have had coronary angioplasty; I have heart disease related to that which killed all six of my parents and grandparents (some when young), according to the foremost Johns Hopkins lipids specialist. The professor told me I would be a "very sick person" if I were not a vegetarian since I cannot tolerate any of the medications available. Almost two years ago I debated the concept of the museum on American national television ("Moral Court," Fox Network) and MUM board member Miki Walsh (see the board), who was in the audience at Warner Brothers studios in Hollywood, said I looked like a zombie - it was the insomnia-inducing effect of the cholesterol medication.

And almost two years ago Megan Hicks, curator of medicine at Australia's Powerhouse Museum, the country's largest, in Sydney, visited MUM (see her and read about the visit). She described her creation of an exhibit about the history of contraception that traveled Australia; because of the subject many people had objected to it before it started and predicted its failure. But it was a great success!

The museum would have a good home.

I'm trying to establish myself as a painter (see some of my paintings) in order to retire from my present job to give myself the time to get this museum into a public place and on display permanently (at least much of it); it's impossible to do now because of the time my present job requires.

An Australian e-mailed me about this:

Wow, the response to the museum, if it were set up in Australia, would be so varied. You'd have some people rejoicing about it and others totally opposing it (we have some yobbos here who think menstruation is "dirty" and all that other rubbish). I reckon it would be great to have it here. Imagine all the school projects! It might make a lot of younger women happier about menstruating, too. I'd go check it out (and take my boyfriend too) :)

Hey, are you related to Karen Finley, the performance artist?? [Not that I know of, and she hasn't claimed me!]

Don't eliminate the ten Regional Offices of the Women's Bureau of the Department of Labor

The Bush Administration is planning to propose, in next year's budget, to eliminate the ten Regional Offices of the Women's Bureau of the Department of Labor. This decision signals the Administration's intent to dismantle the only federal agency specifically mandated to represent the needs of women in the paid work force.

Established in 1920, the Women's Bureau plays a critical function in helping women become aware of their legal rights in the workplace and guiding them to appropriate enforcement agencies for help. The Regional Offices take the lead on the issues that working women care about the most - training for higher paying jobs and non-traditional employment, enforcing laws against pay discrimination, and helping businesses create successful child-care and other family-friendly policies, to name only a few initiatives.

The Regional Offices have achieved real results for wage-earning women for eighty-one years, especially for those who have low incomes or language barriers. The one-on-one assistance provided at the Regional Offices cannot be replaced by a Web site or an electronic voice mail system maintained in Washington.

You can take action on this issue today! Go to to write to Secretary of Labor Elaine Chao and tell her you care about keeping the Regional Offices of the Women's Bureau in operation. You can also let E. Mitchell Daniels, Jr., Director of the Office of Management and Budget, know how you feel about this. You can write a letter of your own or use one we've prepared for you.

If you find this information useful, be sure to forward this alert to your friends and colleagues and encourage them to sign up to receive Email Action Alerts from the National Women's Law Center at

Thank you!

I'm decreasing the frequency of the updates to make time for figuring out how to earn an income

I can retire from my graphics job in July, 2002, and I must if I want to continue developing the site and museum, because of the time involved. But I can't live on the retirement income, so I must find a way to earn enough to support myself. I'm working on some ideas now, and I need the only spare time I have, the time I do these updates on weekends. So, starting December 2001, I will update this site once a month rather than weekly.

Book about menstruation published in Spain

The Spanish journalist who contributed some words for menstruation to this site last year and wrote about this museum (MUM) in the Madrid newspaper "El País" just co-authored with her daughter a book about menstruation (cover at left).

She writes, in part,

Dear Harry Finley,

As I told you, my daughter (Clara de Cominges) and I have written a book (called "El tabú") about menstruation, which is the first one to be published in Spain about that subject. The book - it talks about the MUM - is coming out at the end of March and I just said to the publisher, Editorial Planeta, to contact you and send you some pages from it and the cover as well. I'm sure that it will be interesting to you to have some information about the book that I hope has enough sense of humour to be understood anywhere. Thank you for your interest and help.

If you need anything else, please let me know.

Best wishes,

Margarita Rivière

Belen Lopez, the editor of nonfiction at Planeta, adds that "Margarita, more than 50 years old, and Clara, 20, expose their own experiences about menstruation with a sensational sense of humour." (publisher's site)

My guess is that Spaniards will regard the cover as risqué, as many Americans would. And the book, too. But, let's celebrate!

I earlier mentioned that Procter & Gamble was trying to change attitudes in the Spanish-speaking Americas to get more women to use tampons, specifically Tampax - a hard sell.

Compare this cover with the box cover for the Canadian television video about menstruation, Under Wraps, and the second The Curse.

An American network is now developing a program about menstruation for a popular cable channel; some folks from the network visited me recently to borrow material.

And this museum lent historical tampons and ads for a television program in Spain last year.

Now, if I could only read Spanish! (I'm a former German teacher.)

Money and this site

I, Harry Finley, creator of the museum and site and the "I" of the narrative here, receive a small amount of money from Google-sponsored ads on this site; I have no control over which ads Google sends. I'm hoping this Google money will cover what I pay for a server to host this site and the cost of the site-specific search engine. Otherwise, expenses for the site come out of my pocket, where my salary from my job as a graphic designer is deposited. Sometimes people donate items to the museum.


What happens when you visit this site?

For now, a search engine service will tell me who visits this site, although I don't know in what detail yet. I am not taking names - it's something that comes with the service, which I'm testing to see if it makes it easier for you to locate information on this large site.

In any case, I'm not giving away or selling names of visitors and you won't receive anything from me; you won't get a "cookie." I feel the same way most of you do when you visit a site: I want to be anonymous! Leave me alone!

Help Wanted: This Museum Needs a Public Official For Its Board of Directors

Your MUM is doing the paper work necessary to become eligible to receive support from foundations as a 501(c)3 nonprofit corporation. To achieve this status, it helps to have a American public official - an elected or appointed official of the government, federal, state or local - on its board of directors.

What public official out there will support a museum for the worldwide culture of women's health and menstruation?

Read about my ideas for the museum. What are yours?

Eventually I would also like to entice people experienced in the law, finances and fund raising to the board.

Any suggestions?

Do You Have Irregular Menses?

If so, you may have polycystic ovary syndrome [and here's a support association for it].

Jane Newman, Clinical Research Coordinator at Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard University School of Medicine, asked me to tell you that

Irregular menses identify women at high risk for polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), which exists in 6-10% of women of reproductive age. PCOS is a major cause of infertility and is linked to diabetes.

Learn more about current research on PCOS at Brigham and Women's Hospital, the University of Pennsylvania and Pennsylvania State University - or contact Jane Newman.

If you have fewer than six periods a year, you may be eligible to participate in the study!

See more medical and scientific information about menstruation.

Mon Docteur boxed vaginal douche set (complete?) with printed materail, U.S.A., 1928-29? - "The Fallopian Tubes" by Dr. Nelson Soucasaux, Brazilian gynecologist - Humor

Would you stop menstruating if you could? New contributions
Words and expressions about menstruation: England: Ladies' nappies; Ireland & English speaking countries: The curse: does it really mean that? ;South Africa: Jam rags; U.S.A.: BUD, BV, Cut your finger, Going to Oklahoma, I am on, I have to go see Miss Fisher, Mouse mummies,
What did European and American women use for menstruation in the past?


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privacy on this site

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