What do YOU think? Would you stop menstruating indefinitely - for years, maybe?
Put your comments with the ones below. No need to add your name or address, but writing your age might give a hint of generational differences,
and it would be informative to give your nationality or part of the country.
(Some writers, below, have allowed their names, etc., to be included.)

Menstrual humor - Words and expressions for menstruation in many languages

CONTRIBUTE to Humor, Words and expressions about menstruation and Would you stop menstruating if you could?
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Leer la versión en español de los siguientes temas: Anticoncepción y religión, Breve reseña - Olor - Religión y menstruación - Seguridad de productos para la menstruación.

THE e-mails below
are too long to put on the regular page.
August 2016,  January 2016, July 2015, February 2014 (at top), Sept. 2013, July 2013, December 2012, January 2012 & December 2011

The New York Times quoted from your e-mail from this column for an article on menstrual suppression in the 14 October 2003 edition, Science Times section (online here).

August 2016 e-mail:

I found the museum online many years ago, I think it was when I heard about menstrual cups.

I had wanted to find something reusable and not unpleasant for years and I love my Mooncup, although it does interfere with sex.

I never thought I would write to you, but looking again and seeing people who have in this year I see it is still a current entity.

I now have a daughter and have been trying to let her know about periods. Last night she finally read about them in a book I bought. She got scared and tearful so I considered showing her this site, which, thankfully, is still here.

When I was a teen I would have happily stopped having periods. However, I was never regular so didn't have that many, until my mother said I should 'go on the pill' as she had found out I was sexually active at the age of 20.

The pill didn't suit me, whichever one I tried, so I stopped. I once asked the doctor about my irregular periods, he thought it could be a hormonal thing. It wasn't.

When I left home my periods became absolutely regular, without any medication. Years later therapists have been very interested in this, I forget the name of the condition for irregular periods. It seems to have been a way my body responded to the situation at home. Once I left, although I was in a relationship with an alcoholic which was stressful, I was obviously less stressed than I was living with my parents, so my cycle became more regular. That was annoying to start with as it meant having to buy more tampons.

I suppose I mean to say that I would not be without periods, although I dislike the PMS. As others have said, your period has ways of telling you things about yourself that are useful. I know my mother used to use them as a way of manipulating others (as an excuse for her behaviour, why she couldn't do something so someone else would have to do it for her) so I am still determined to do the opposite, no matter what. Although since having my kids I have a vascular problem in my leg which flares up, and is painful, on the heaviest day of my period. I'm hoping that disappears when I stop having periods.

Perhaps I won't share the site with my daughter until her periods actually start.  But I hope things will be different for her. Women of my age still don't talk about their periods, and it is so unhelpful. I love your site for answering the questions that I have about the past.

Thank you

January 2016 e-mail:

Hello, I came across the MUM website while browsing Google for "I don't
want to get my period anymore." The subject matter in general and a lot of
the responses struck a chord with me. I typed out my own rather long and
candid opinion in response to the question, "Would you stop menstruating
indefinitely?" and would be happy to have it added to the website. Thanks.

"Yes" is my answer. I would stop menstruation if possible.
I can see why some women are okay with it but in this day and age it seems
unnecessary for a lot of women and should only be fair that we be as
unburdened as men in this respect.

I would love to stop my period. I am 24 years old and have probably been
menstruating for a little over 10 years by now. My periods have not been
especially traumatic or held me back, but are definitely messy and
uncomfortable. It is a monthly dread that decreases my quality of life
overall. I inevitably end up scrubbing my underwear and get minor cramps,
some muscle soreness, and some grumpiness. And I must say that the bleeding
itself literally makes me depressed. Have always despised the bleeding.

But just as bad is the thought of taking hormone pills. I generally avoid
doctors and hate medical settings. Also when i was younger that was not
really a subject i could just bring up with my parents, so i never got
started on contraceptive pills. I strongly dislike the thought of putting
synthetic/ extra hormones into my body and disrupting the natural cycle. It
is also disturbing to know that taking such pills could cause an increased
risk of cervical cancer (and yet I read that taking them could provide a
protective effect against ovarian cancer that could last for years, which
would be a plus.)

I fear that i will get cancer and i know it is something i will not have
the will to battle. I am convinced that i will get some type of cancer in
my lifetime, because of how common they are and because there are various
instances of cancer in my family history. So that holds me back from taking
hormonal contraceptives. They seem more harmful than beneficial overall. It
just seems like there's no good way to circumvent womanly woes about this
subject; there is always some sacrifice that must be made (for example,
take pills and risk cancer, plus other possible side effects, or don't take
them and be miserable with a period.)

Currently, I do not use any sort of contraception and thus became pregnant
at the end of last year, which was a devastating experience. The only good
thing about that was the absence of my period for about 2 months. That
ended when i brought about abortion with pills i had ordered online.
Now my cycle is messed up. I got a scare when an ultrasound i underwent the
day after the abortion showed something on my ovaries (which could have
been cysts or retained tissue matter.)  I got my period again about 4 weeks
after this, and the bleeding did not completely stop for 2 weeks. I got
another big scare when i had heavy bleeding almost like a mini episode of
the abortion, just the other day. That's not even 2 weeks after my period
just ended! My worries keep stacking up and my reproductive organs are to
blame. The ideal situation at this point would be to just get them all
taken out but of course that is not possible and i also read that doing so
when there is no urgent need and the female is generally healthy could be a
detriment to her life in the long run.

I do not think i will ever have kids. It has been my opinion for a long
time that my female organs are useless to me and only burden my life. At
the very least, i wish our (human) menstruation occurred like that of most
other animals, like if the blood would be reabsorbed by the body instead of
being shed and excreted via the vagina. It is frustrating to me, it ruins
my sex life and now the worry of cancer is ever-present and growing. I'm
sure it's bound to happen sooner or later. Doctors and scientists
apparently don't even know why ovarian cancer manifests. Having the organs
seems like a good enough reason to get cancer these days.

I may have gone off on a tangent of sorts here, but i suppose it was to
illustrate all of the woes that female reproduction brings me. The period
is a plague. I don't need it to feel like a woman and wish there was some
simple and non-dangerous way to
just get rid of it. I don't have vicious fantasies of tearing my abdomen
open and pulling all the hated organs out, but sometimes wish i could trade
my fertility and all that goes with it to a woman who desperately wishes
for a child and cannot conceive in return for sterility.

October 2015 e-mail:

"Today, I would not choose to stop menstruating if I had the choice. ... When I was twelve years old, my step mother did brujería [Spanish for witchcraft] on me."

I found your website through an article I read about your museum, and I immediately felt like I had to email you.

While reading your page on what almost broke you as a teenager/another reason why you started the museum, I found myself in what you went through in more ways than just one.

I’ve been to five different high schools and have just started my junior year at a new school. This is mostly due to the fact that I was in and out of the hospital, psych wards, and rehab, even going to a “therapeutic rehab” school for a couple months before being kicked out. I was diagnosed with MDD with psychotic features, BPD, anxiety, and PTSD. I have missed a lot of school in the past due to my mental condition, and am finally catching up and getting my life back together. On your page, you said that you were on a decades-long difficult trek to recovery, and I couldn’t have put it any better. I very much hope you no longer feel ashamed when you look at your arms. I think it’s beautiful how your body can repair and take care of itself.  I used to be so embarrassed of my scars. Now they serve as a reminder of my humanity and the beauty of my ungraceful angsty teenage years.

Now, onto my period. I don’t know what your faith is, and you can believe what you want, but I hope you to read this with an open mind (which I don’t doubt you will).

When I was twelve years old, my step mother did brujería [Spanish for witchcraft] on me. She took my underwear to a black magic witch doctor, who then buried it in a cemetery. She put a ghost on me to make me go insane. Her intention was to put me in an institution so all of my father’s money would go to her. I blame a lot of my recent mental health history on her and the magic she did on me. This witchcraft also affected my period and uterus/vagina in general, since she used my underwear to bury. I began to experience my first inexplicable anxiety attacks. During these episodes, I would make myself throw up and I wouldn’t know why.

A couple months later, I got my first period. Days before I got my first period, I would begin to cry multiple times a day for no reason. The sight of my own blood from my vagina that day was not beautiful. I did not feel womanly, fertile, and capable of growing life in me. It scared the fuck out of twelve year old me. My mom told me I was now a woman, and that a woman endures more suffering and pain than a man ever could know. This is what my period meant to me. All she could do was hold me while I cried. 

I had a bunch of problems involving my period. If you had asked me a couple years ago if I would stop menstruating if I had the choice, I would say yes without a doubt. My flow was too heavy and my period would last for weeks. when I was 13, I was on birth control and taking iron and folic acid supplements to try to reduce my flow, regulate my periods, and help ease my cramps and PMS symptoms. I would bleed through all of my clothes and feel so dirty, ashamed, and embarrassed. When I was 15, I had a spiritual cleansing done by a white magic witch doctor (my mother is Brazilian and very involved with brujería). I began to get better mentally, and my periods became regular.
Today, I would not choose to stop menstruating if I had the choice. I look at my period as a beautiful part of my femininity. I say mine, as to not discriminate against any non-cis females, females who have no menstruation, choose not to have their period, went through menopause, or offend any female who doesn’t see their period as a defining feature of their femininity. My period makes me feel more connected to my sisters, to nature, and to my own body. I am capable of starting and growing life in me. My menstrual blood carries the ingredients of life. New life and the lives of my female ancestors. My period can be in sync with the moon and with my sisters. My period is a way of female purification. When I’m on my period, I am more emotional, emotionally receptive, more intuitive, creative, and nurturing.

It’s crazy to think that just a couple years ago I was so embarrassed of bleeding through my clothes or telling someone I had my period. You wouldn’t be embarrassed about a bloody knee scrape, so why should you feel embarrassed about the blood on your pants and skirt when your blood is a sign that your body is capable of carrying life? Personally, I find blood amazing, especially menstrual blood. My friends and I are all proud of our stained underwear, and of our bodies and periods.
I appreciate all the work put into your website and have massive respect for you and all the research you’ve done. You truly are an inspiration. The fact that you are a male does not mean your research should be disregarded, discounted, or less legitimate or important. The female body and what it is capable of is fascinating, and it should not be a topic of discussion only limited to females. I wish more women and men were as comfortable as you are about the topic of menstruation. I hope you continue you educate others until the end. I’ve only known about your website for a couple hours and already feel compelled to educate others and get involved somehow. If you ever end up doing anything (talks, classes, etc.) in New York please let me know. I know I’m not a big important person who works in the field of menstrual research, a historian, or an art curator, and that right now I’m just a high school student, but i’d love to get involved someday with making a physical museum a reality, or helping to organize the website, even though my knowledge on the topic is not very extensive yet and my fascination is not unique.
I apologize for writing so much. Midway through writing this I realized that my venting is probably more beneficial for me than for you. But anyway, I hope that one day I have the chance to meet you. Again, thanks again for everything you’ve done.

**** ****

July 2015 e-mail:

"Periods are a good reminder of why the sexes exist. Woman are the ones
responsible for birth."

I found your site today and have greatly appreciated it. I've been thinking
about how I wish I knew more about how every day people handled every day
things hundreds of years ago, and I wonder to what degree any of those
things were deemed important enough to record. So, with that, I would like
to say my piece. The question involves a lot of factors that I've been
spending a lot of time thinking about lately.

I would not stop my period if I could. I already chose not to!

I, and many other women it seems, link my period with my womanhood. So the
question almost sounds like, would I give up my womanhood?

I have learned so much about what it means to be a woman the past two
years. I'm 22. In the past two years, I began tracking my period and I got
an intrauterine device (IUD). I didn't realize there was so much to know.
Before I started tracking my period, I didn't notice when I would PMS.
People always complained of cramps, but I didn't have cramps consistently.
I did notice they were worse when I gained weight. Today I learned that PMS
symptoms worsen with age, and I wonder to what degree that has to do with
the weight gain that  to happen often with age and to what degree that
is completely true. Regardless, I'm definitely becoming more aware of my
body as I get older.

Getting an IUD has had a strong impact on my body and how I understand it.
There are a few options with IUDs right now. I wanted to make the best
choice. Paraguard is the non-hormonal option made of copper. It lasts
longer than other IUDs--Planned Parenthood says up to 12 years. I have had
brief stints with the pill and with depo provera (the shot) and didn't like
how the hormones effected me, so I decided to go with Paraguard. Paraguard
worsens period symptoms. This is different from the hormonal ones that
either lessen period symptoms or stop them. When I was told that, I
understood it to mean I would cramp more and bleed more once I had
Paraguard, which is true. I did not expect my hormones to react, or to
emotionally react, and I'm not entirely sure why that happens. One's body
is supposed to adjust to it and it has gotten less dramatic the ten months
I've had it, but I cramp for typically a week before my period starts and I
usually cry a lot. My symptoms were never like this before. These symptoms
make me understand why periods are a thing of shame and why in so many
countries women don't go to school when on their periods. It is very sad
that one's nature would be one of shame. That should never be.

I once stumbled upon a book that addressed how different cultures perceive
time. It had a chapter dedicated to "women's time." That of cycles. I've
always liked that idea. It would be nice if the world could operate with
enough flexibility that women's time was not something that led to a
woman's disadvantage. That being said, it could already be interpreted that
way! It is something of power. A menstruating woman is feared by so many
cultures! Does that not speak of something significant? Even here in a
culture we like to think of as modern and progressive, it is something that
is rarely spoken of. And to contrast it with ovulation... Women are more
easy going and aroused and pretty when ovulating. Women are likely overall
more engaged when ovulating. Menstruation seems necessary to balance that.
If one must be overly agreeable sometimes, it is only right to have a need
to be disagreeable other times! It is usually good for all angles to be
considered. If ovulation is the time to surrender to desires, menstruation
is a time to surrender to what needs to be done!

I feel like biologically I'm supposed to be popping out babies right now. I
never thought that was something I would want. I grew up learning about the
feminist movement in a household where my mom supported us and my dad
stayed home (due to physical disability). I learned of how women were
breaking through gender norms and I always thought gender roles were silly.
Now I fantasize about those gender roles and as an intelligent woman who
assumed as a child I would get my PhD, that is strange. If I want kids, a
career sounds so, so challenging. Now the idea of being a stay at home mom
intrigues me. I suppose I shouldn't feel guilty for merely exploring the
idea. I guess I needn't be guilty even if that were to come to be.

It is interesting to note how men have an impact on a woman's cycle. A
man's sperm induces ovulation! There are other chemical components of a
man's sperm that have a deep impact on a woman, and we're only finding this
out now. It impacts a woman's happiness! That leads me to question if birth
control is necessarily in the interest of the woman. It is all so complex
and mysterious.

Periods are a good reminder of why the sexes exist. Woman are the ones
responsible for birth. One thing I have been considering is that periods
kind of feel like the sort of reminder that's telling us we're doing it
wrong. This has been a concern of mine of late. I can understand why women
wouldn't want to be told that all the time. Damned if you do, damned if you

It is interesting to consider how gender roles came to be. It helps me to
understand myself and the world. Having a better grasp on how periods were
handled in the past--by both men and women--helps to put 'now' in context.

Thank you for allowing for and helping to build a good medium for that.
Thank you for inspiring me to write this long email.

Since there's interest in where women are from, I am originally from
Missouri, but am currently living in Washington state.

Below, e-mail dated February 2014.

I wrote in December 2008 about how I'd love to not have to deal with having
a period, because it had done nothing since cause me problems since I first
started menstruating (at 18). It was invariably heavy, uncomfortable, and
extremely painful, and often lasted up to eight days.

In February of 2012 I had a hysterectomy, because I had a giant dermoid
cyst on my uterus (9cm by 13cm, eek). I also had my left ovary removed,
because I'd had a history of ovarian cysts, which are also very extremely
painful, and the doctor said that by then the ovary was just a mass of
cysts and scar tissue. A hysterectomy is not minor surgery, and I was in
traction for a good six weeks, but I am so, so happy I no longer have to
deal with menstruating. While I've developed a few menopausal symptoms,
mainly night sweats and the occasional hot flash, they're much preferable
to having to put up with a period every month.

The first doctor I saw was hesitant to give me a hysterectomy, because I
was only 28 at the time, and he was convinced I would someday want
children. I have two step children, who I regard as my own (though their
father and I are now divorced, I've always been on good terms with their
bio-mom, and see them a lot through her), and have never had a desire to
have more, but he wasn't keen on listening. He wanted to just remove the
cyst (and leave the damaged ovary, for some reason), but I have a history
of recurring cysts and thought he was an idiot. The second doctor I saw
thought so, too, and he had no problem with giving me the surgery. It's a
good thing he did, too, because the thing turned out to be full of blood,
and if it had burst, it probably would have killed me through blood
poisoning. I have a pretty epic scar, because the cyst was so big they
couldn't do the surgery laproscopically, but I don't care. The last two
years I have been so happy not to spend three days doubled up with cramps,
not to mention saving the $20-$30 a month I was spending on tampons. (I
could run though a whole box of tampons in four days.) I'm less tired as a
whole, and weirdly, my immune system has been better since I had my uterus
taken out. I'm also no longer borderline anemic.

I know there are women out there who enjoy that they have periods, but I
was not one of them, and getting a hysterectomy was one of the best things
that's happened to me. The three months leading up to it were a nightmare:
I bled the entire time, and had to take Vicoden to keep the cramps from
making me throw up. By the time the surgery came around, I was so anxious
for all that to be over that I wasn't scared at all. I found out later that
my former husband was terrified, though my doctor had assured us both there
was very minimal risk of complications, and my recovery was
textbook-perfect. I don't feel any less a woman without it: I'm just a
woman who no longer has to go through hell every month.  I am a little
worried about my right ovary, because in the last week I've felt pressure
and mild pain over it, but I haven't had a cyst burst or anything, so I'm
keeping my fingers crossed that it's okay. Even if it has developed a cyst,
I'd still take that over a monthly period.

Below, e-mail dated September 2013 about customs in India affecting the writer's desire to stop menstruation

Dear Harry,

You know, that is a difficult question. If I'd been asked this about
15-20 years ago, my answer would have been a resounding yes. But that
is not my period we're talking about; I'm talking about my mother's.
I'm about 25 now. When I was about 5, we lived outside the country but
still returned to my grandparents' home in India for summer vacations.
And the thing I dreaded the most about this 2 (sometimes 3) month long
holiday was my mother's period. You see, in India, a common practice
among certain communities is banishment of a woman from the household
during her period for three days. This of course did not mean that my
mother had to find alternate means of lodging. But she had to sleep
separately, use a different (often uncomfortable) bathroom, had
separate utensils for her eating and drinking and oh yes, I could not
touch her. All the things she used during this time would then be
'purified' (read given a good scrubbing) on the fourth day. When I
grew up a bit and understood what 'mommy's days off' were all about,
what horrified me the most was that she didn't get a mattress during
this period, simply because mattresses are hard to launder ever so
often. She typically had to spend her day sitting on the floor or on
an un-upholstered chair ('cause chairs are even tougher to launder,
see?) reading or watching TV. So yes, I wish the whole business could
be done away with altogether. It goes without saying that my household
has never been so hopelessly primitive or so unkind to their girls.

I had very difficult and painful periods too, when I was a teenager.
But things slowly clicked in place and now I have a predictable and
rather light cycle. However, I still get excruciatingly painful cramps
although PCOD has been ruled out after tests. I also have terrible
PMS; I am unreasonably depressed, my facial skin takes another week to
recover from the ravages of this week and I bloat up a lot. I take
painkillers so I can actually function and continue going to work. If
I do find a form of curative therapy that would eliminate my period
and the associated nastiness, I would gladly jump at it. However, all
of the reading that I have done up to this point has not convinced me
that my hormonal levels, physical appearance and sex drive will remain
unaffected. I do not like children and do not intend to have any, so I
only see this as a nuisance without any positive side-effects. As to
the social aspect, my family is simply not as backward or anal about
socio-cultural norms as my maternal grandparents' household. I am not
religious either, so being barred from religious ceremonies during my
period is simply a bonus. But, when I think about all the incredibly
uncomfortable things that girls in my community and country have to
put up with on account of something they have no control over, I'm
certain anything that would rid them of their monthly time-outs would
be immensely popular.

Read more on MUM about the menstrual situation in India: in Almora, Uttar Pradesh state, southern Rajasthan, India, and about halfway down this page that includes an invented quote from me by The Times of India.

Information about menstrual huts and mikvas.


Below, e-mail from Australia dated July 2013

I am 47 living in Australia, and found your site while web surfing for information on suppressing periods by continuously taking active low dose contraceptive pills and skipping the sugar pills. I have recently been recommended to do this by a specialist I finally consulted after many years of putting up with a half life due to irregular, frequent, prolonged and very heavy periods with a lot of pain and exhaustion, and that fact that things were getting even worse since my 40s! Not only were my periods themselves a problem, for the short time in between when I wasn't bleeding, I had to contend with a seemingly endless series of related issues including 2-3 days of extreme ovulation pain, sore breasts, and raging mood swings and headaches leading up to the cycle of torture starting over again! As you can imagine, my sex life with my husband was under extreme duress. I am lucky that he was so patient and understanding. My doctor had a whole series of tests and scans done and I was found to have ovarian cysts, uterine polyps and endemetriosis. I have been on continuous pills for 10 weeks now and although I have had occasional spotting, I cannot believe the difference in my life. I have so much more energy and emotional stability, I have such unimaginable freedom to plan and do any activity I please that I can hardly get used to it. When my doctor asked how it was going recently, I said it was like a permanent holiday in the Bahamas! I knew that my menstrual cycle was seriously affecting my quality of life and my physical and mental health, which was why I finally reached the point when I nearly had a breakdown, and I was in tears at the doctor's office because I just couldn't face this going  on and on for years to come. But it is not until now, that I am truly realising how much of life I was missing out on. My marriage has been revitalized too... We now actually have a sex life and it is fantastic! I am sure I am generally a much happier person to live with these days too. I wish I had had the information and advice to realize years ago that it is not normal or acceptable to suffer debilitating pain, mess, discomfort and crazy mood swings for what amounts to well over 50% of your life. Like many others whose comments I have read here, I talked to several doctors over the years about my problems, and was told that what I was experiencing was NORMAL and just part of what women have to endure. We are made to feel like we are making a fuss about nothing and that we should just put up with it. Well, I stupidly put up with it for far too long and I believe there are millions of women out there who put up with a shadow of a life because they think this women's curse is natural, normal, what every woman has to endure. The message needs to get out there that there is no need for anyone to endure it if it has a major negative impact on their life. It is not right that we are led to believe that as women we have to accept decades of unrelenting cyclical disability. I am not sexist, but I do believe that if men had to endure the same thing, the 'cure' would have been found, fully subsidized and widely implemented a very long time ago in human history. The fact is that scientists and doctors have had the means to allow women to control and even stop their periods for many decades now, but this has been deliberately suppressed for cultural and religious reasons. Even in today's modern society there are few doctors who inform patients of this option, as the attitude persists that menstruation is a woman's cross to bear. It is only in recent times with more and more female doctors that we are starting to see a more logical and sympathetic response, although I think many female doctors still feel pressured to not 'rock the boat' by challenging the long-held views of their male colleagues. This is born out by the revelation that many female doctors have been secretly suppressing their own periods for years, but did not openly admit it or advise it because it was not widely accepted by their peers. As women, we have come a long way in achieving equal rights in our society over the years, but for some strange reason the right to control our menstrual cycles and the freedom to live a full, balanced life is still being oppressed by a male dominated medical system.

Below, e-mail from Moscow, Russia, dated December 2012

I would gladly stop this monthly hell if it would be possible and safe enough.
Sadly now there are only little few options left for people not wanting it, and all of them have some counter-indications and quite intrusive themselves. First you have to attend a gynecologist, which is not quite possible when you actually not even feel female enough. And explaining this to Russian doctors... And explaining why you don't want it... Hard and psychologically uncomfortable.
I agree with people here saying such frequent bleeding and hormonal bursts can be even unhealthy. Still society keeps insisting it is all normal and only few doctors disagree and only few people are brave enough to voice their problem not fearing to be called stupid or even insane.
Together with that I don't think that frequent pregnancies (if any!) and deliveries are any healthier than menstruation.
So together with the 100% effective contraception which could stop periods it would be nice to invent something like a fake womb to make women free from such tasks and give them even more options in life.
I do know there are more ways to avoid all such things nowadays then, say, 100 years ago. And appreciate it! But it is still so much to overcome and still so much to do.
And I am thankful for such sites to exist and to pose such questions to society not letting them to be silenced.
I do hope that specialists working on such problems will finally pay more and more careful attention to them and start working on something that can help many and be safe.
Just a story of an American woman having not enough money and no insurance to overcome them says so much!
So why in some fields of technology we reached such heights and when it comes to our bodily functions we don't want and that are so bad we are so retarded? That is just so unfair.
As for me wanting no kids and being more of a bigender I feel it being completely useless. And also restricting in many ways. And painful. To the point that sometimes I even have to skip a working day which is also a stress :-( The only reason why I still agree with menstruation is a proof I am not pregnant. And even if I am not too much into sexual practices it is just good and safe to know that if something I still have such a marker to fully rely on. Just to make sure and just for the sake of it, for no birth control I think is 100 % reliable yet, even sterilization.
So all those troubles I undergo I feel are coming from me having periods and being born in the body dictating me what to do, when I want to dictate.
This is just my experience though and I do believe that for other women it can be different and they can find some pluses and benefits in this condition. Which is all fine of course and I don't want to diminish the importance of their opinion in any way.
But I would love them and the rest of society to still try to listen to us too. To those who for some reason would like to get rid of it. And for the science and medicine to pay more attention to it too. And do something.
I would love to invent something that might help us myself, but sadly I don't have enough knowledge or resources for it. So only have some ideas.

[The contributor added this a day later:]

So I read a comment dating from 2009 from a girl hating menstruation very strongly for considering it to be "dirty" and even "making her vile".
It is sad to see some people feel SO bad about it. And I want to probably write a comment of support. I don't know if that woman reads it, but maybe someone else who is in the same trouble will.

I used to feel the same way just a few years ago, maybe not to that extent but still, pretty much the same.

But lately my attitudes concerning "shame" (http://www.mum.org/shame1.htm) or "dirtiness" changed a lot!

You can not feel guilty for something that is completely not your fault and also so hard to change!

It is not by your will but just by the will of the cruel nature it goes this way. So it is just a mistake that nature made once and we have to somehow live with it.

Also nature has no attitudes towards anything, just anything that happens. Neither to the physiology of ours.
It just happens... Nature made it very nasty and painful and messy, but it did not label it as "dirty, vile and bad"!
For nature it's all pretty neutral... Not positive, not negative. Just neutral.

But humans did, society did, and we feel the same, for society taught us so... But we can change it, and society can change it next!
I am somehow sure it can, even though I am not such a happy-go-lucky and positive person. But the thoughts of the "dirtiness" of the whole process I managed to change to the better. Not all by myself though and it took a while... Reading much information on feminist and gender/genderqueer related resources over the Net providing answers to my questions and meeting my boyfriend who gave me consolation and helped me to kind of accept it or at least take it easier and gave me a link to this site.

So now it is just hard for me still for it gives some real inconvenience, actual hurdles and pain, and me being somewhat genderfreak, not feeling too feminine for such a thing to happen, so making me think each month -- "what is that and why? ...something I don't really need, something that does not 'belong' to me" -- being lost in thoughts for it feels like I had to have a different body.

But not any of natural/physiological functions of our body should make us feel ashamed or malfunctional just because of them! Not at all!
Not for something that happens against our will and of course not for something that is not "vile" or "dirty" in any way. Well, apart from us having to clean or "dispense" it in order not to get sick or smelly. But the same goes with any excretions of the body, like urine in all people or ejaculate in men. Even probably tears that have to be dried... And tears are by no means dirty! :-)

I hope those my words can still help some women and men or people "inbetween" to accept right something nature did wrong.
For I just want people to feel better. And even if it is hard to get rid of a problem, it can still be useful to change our attitude to it at least for a bit, before we can make further steps in solving it.

* * *

And I want to thank you once more for such a great work and for all the surveys and all the research.
It is important thing to do -- helping people understand how things work, helping them to think over their situations and to let it all out.
And again -- for the subject of menstruation not being neglected as "unimportant" or even being looked down at and considered to be a "dirty" thing.

Only by enlightening and informing people we can grow a healthier society consisting of understanding and educated individuals and not of the churchy freaks only able to torture and terrify.

Best regards,


P. S. Some great art work of yours as well! Fine portraits of humans and cats. Specially those in graphite pencil. Nice to see someone who loves cats so much :-) They are beautiful creatures full of grace and intelligence.

30, Moscow, Russia.
December 2012


Below, e-mail from a man dated January 2012

It was interesting to read some of the comments from women in this section
of your site.  As a 54 year old man it is thankfully not something I would
ever have to experience but if men had periods, or if I had been born a
woman, then I have no doubt at all that the answer would be yes.

To be honest, I don't like bodies, or anything that goes on inside them,
'out of site and out of mind' is my attitude towards them, and I can't bear
to have people touch me; I avoid going anywhere near doctors for example, I
really don't like it when they hold my wrist to take a pulse.

My first encounter with this subject was pre-school age, when I would see
that my mother was clearly in pain for a few days every few weeks.  I didn't
understand why; she just said it was because she 'was a woman'.  I didn't
understand this; If I fell over and grazed my knee it hurt, but to be in
pain because you were a woman, and not for any obvious reason seemed both
strange and rather disturbing to me.  What was wrong with my mother?  Was
she going to die?  Aged about four or five these questions did not seem
unreasonable to me.  There were two other things which puzzled me, when we
went shopping she bought large paper packages of something; when I asked her
what they were she replied that they were 'cotton wool'.  What would she
need large quantities of that for?  Also, she would sometimes dispose of a
small package wrapped in paper via a coal-fired hot water boiler which we
had.  I didn't understand this either, and had no reason to connect the
three things.

My mother was 42 when I was born, so all of these things stopped when I was
still young, and I thought no more about it.

The subject of menstruation stayed out of my life for a few years until the
upper end of primary school, probably aged about nine or ten.  'Something',
we were told,  had happened to a few of the girls in the school; we weren't
told what, but they might sometimes not be able to take part in all of the
usual activities, and we should 'treat them nicely', or words to that
effect.  Did that mean that we could be nasty to all of the others? <evil
grin>  Somewhere I heard the word 'period' mentioned, but had no idea what
it meant.  Mother had a large medical/health type book, with lots of
drawings of bits of bodies in it.  I'd looked in this book once, a few years
before, but I didn't like it, and quickly put it back on the shelf.  I think
I was too young to be able to read the words in it at the time.  However,
this book now seemed to be the place to look up 'periods'.

I knew that women had a place where babies come from, but that was about
all; I had no idea at all that menstruation happened to them, and when I
read about it I remember thinking that it had a pretty high 'yuk factor',
and how on Earth can they go through that every month?

Left primary school, went to all-boys secondary school; subject of periods
mentioned for about one minute during first-year biology lesson, but
otherwise never thought about.  Had a very bad time at that school, was
eventually diagnosed as being 'schoolphobic'.  I would dispute this
diagnosis, but anyway, I was sent to a special school.  There ware only
about fifty of us there, all ages from 6-18, but only about a dozen of us
were of secondary school age.  Much better than the previous school, we got
to do some practical things, like cookery and woodwork, but not really
anything academic.  Something over half of us 'older ones' were girls, and
several of them were really badly affected.  At that school periods were
never something which couldn't be discussed with, or in front of, boys, and
were a fairly frequent topic of conversation.  After all, they affected more
than half of us.

The building had previously been an old primary school, built around the
turn of the century, and had terrible toilet facilities, basically outdoor
roofless brick structures on opposite sides of he playground, and you had to
get wet if it was raining; typical of British schools built at that time.
At some time before I went there' probably in the '60s, new girls'
facilities were built indoors, and the old ones closed, but the dreadful
boy's facilities remained.  We often complained, but nothing was done about
it.  The girls then suggested that we share heir facilities, and the staff
had no objection, so we did.  These toilets were in a huge room, easily big
enough to have both boys and girls facilities built into it, so I don't know
why this wasn't done.  Due to it's size the room tended to be used as a sort
of makeshift common room, as well as toilets.  Along one wall were usually
to be found a few chairs which had been dragged in, and where one of two
girls could often be found, often doubled up in pain, unable to face going
in to class, or not daring to leave the toilets.  There was an ancient
sanitary towel machine on the wall, but I don't think it was used.  If one
of us (boys) was going out to the shops at lunchtimes we never gave it a
second thought if we were asked to buy tampons for one of the girls who
didn't feel like going out.

This was enough to convince me that periods are not a good thing; nobody
should have to go through that every month.

In 1974 I left school, and started a four-year training course to become a
technician.  During the first year I was sent to work for six-week blocks at
a large girls' school.  We had several rooms in our department, and the
headmistress would sometimes bring in a girl with some sort of 'problem' and
ask if we had a quiet room which wasn't being used that she could sit in for
a while.  The 'problems' could be all sorts of things, but were often
period-related; sometimes they would say so, but even if they didn't you
could often tell, the obvious pain, and the fact that the same faces tended
to appear at fairly regular intervals.  The headmistress herself used to
home in quite frequently to heck that they were ok, which I thought was good
considering her position, and the size of the school.

After the training finished I worked in another school for 12 years.  Again,
it wasn't uncommon to see girls who were in pain and distress from an
obvious cause.  We even once had a first year girl who spoke little English,
and who was found on the floor in a corridor, screaming and with blood on
her hands and clothes.  It turned out that she had been told by her mother
that periods are caused by being possessed by evil spirits, and the poor
girl had just discovered that it wasn't a one-off event.

In 1990 I left that school, and went to work in a college.  Older women do
seem to cope with periods better than teenage girls do, but you still
sometimes see  a student, or a member of staff, who is obviously suffering.

I have never had a sister, daughter, girlfriend, wife etc., so this is a
subject I have cause to think about now.

A few women have written here they enjoy having periods; some have said
things like the pain isn't too bad, or it doesn't last for long.  Would you
not prefer that you didn't have pain at all?

Clearly, not all women suffer as badly as some of those that I've seen, and
these were spread over many years, but what I have seen, and what many women
have written here, suggests that many do go through considerable suffering.
Toothache is horrible, but at least once you get the bad tooth out it stops.
Knowing that you've got this coming again every month must be terrible.
Also, as several women have said, it seems so pointless; nobody spends 30 or
40 years of their life producing babies, but periods have to go on for so

The teenage years do seem to be the worst time, and for anybody suffering in
that position every month, you have my greatest of sympathy.  Finally, if
you are in that position, please do not feel that this is something that you
cannot talk to boys about; they will treat you with greater respect and
understanding if they understand what you are going through.  Information on
this subject for teenage boys really is pretty minimal.  It's a long time
ago now, but I used to be a teenage boy.


Below, e-mail dated December 2011

First, since I went through Menopause at such an early age, 32 yr. as did 
my mother, I would have done anything not to have this happen at such a
young  age. So I'd never want to stop Menstruating until they put me in the
grave. I'd  actually like to be menstruating at my funeral! :)
Not to be flippant, but the newer products to prevent normal menstruation 
or MENSES aka Monthly in Latin, I believe from scientific and personal 
experience, how much this can affect so many other hormonal functions in your 
Your Estrogen decreases for one reason. Say you? What's the big deal? It's 
a major hormone to prevent your heart, bones, brain and so many other 
physiological functions from warding off serious diseases, Cancer of just about 
every organ as example.
Secondly, if you do stop menstruating with VAGINAL BLEEDING (I personally 
don't give a damn who likes or does not like the proper terms), the outcome
will  be devastating if you have significant Post-Menopausal "Hot Flashes",
headaches,  some associated with early vascular build-up of fatty plaque on
your major  coronary arteries. In other words, if you really want to stop
your Menses early,  then you're wishing for your body to age must faster. In
far too many  scientific articles e.g. those of the American Journal of
Medicine. American  Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology and some in
Endocrinological Journals(those  associated with our secreting and excreting glands)  as
well, demonstrate  serous complications post-menopause.
And let's face it folks, if women are so eager to stop bleeding the normal 
way in which they were meant, you are playing with real hot fire, in your 
longevity. The new drugs to "decrease menstrual flow" have not been studied 
sufficiently to demonstrate their safety over a 20 year time frame.
There's one other MAJOR problem if you screw around (pun) by stopping your 
normal Menses, during sexual intercourse, Estrogen lack, makes the vaginal
walls  so dry, a women experience SEVERE excoriation; so take it from me,
IT'S PAINFUL  AS HELL, to have sexual intercourse without the normal
lubricant, Estrogen  produces. There's no scientific study out yet, (at least none
that I've read)  which demonstrate an increase in divorce rate as a result of
inducing what is,  "Iatrogenic (means medically induced) Menopause.
I'm writing this because as a nurse, I worry about you young girls who are 
looking at the NOW CONVENIENCE FACTOR. Sure, it's a lot easier to have 
intercourse if you're not bleeding. But think about it? Do you think whoever or
 however our bodies evolved as women, there was not a good reason to hold
back a  few days to a week, WITHOUT SEX? I think so.
In summary: The term Menses or Menstruation are the proper terms for a 
human woman to shed OLD BLOOD, from their bodies every 28 days in general. We 
are I feel, far too concerned with the "troublesome" bleeding we have/had
during  child bearing years.  The hormones given to prevent normal menses are
far  from being proven SAFE later in life. It's a normal process to shed old
blood  (blood incidentally that may cause some women to have an allergic
reaction at a  cellular level, and increase their propensity for EARLY CANCERS
of the Uterus,  and most seriously the OVARIES. Cancer or Sex? You decide?
PS: Just one other value to NOT preventing early menopause with 
meds/chemicals....Estrogen beside preventing Hot Flashes, etc., WILL KEEP YOUR  SKIN
Isn't that enough justification in and of itself, NOT to screw around with 
what nature has designed as normal?
Menses". Be PROUD of it!
****, RN, MSN

December 2011

I just wrote a very long thesis I guess one would call it [above],  on the  Value
of Menstruation or Menses. I was meant to encourage to feel positive  about
their Menstruation. This young woman who wanted an Hysterectomy because  she
does not want children, and thinks,  her monthly  bleeding is  "dirty"
It sounds as if you've had a very negative and significant event in your 
life to make you this adamant having an early Hysterectomy.  I hope you'll 
read my comment for one, and two, your blood is not in any way "dirty". It's
not  any different than if you cut your hand and bled.  It is a build-up of 
older blood which must be sloughed off every month because a few days 13-16
days  prior, it would have been the blood which was designed to go through
a little  clean baby's cardiovascular system. But if you do not conceive
i.e. the egg  you've sent from your ovaries, is not fertilized, then that blood
is not as able  to provide the oxygen and nutrients needed for a new baby
to grow. But it's NOT  bad, or dirty blood.  Granted, you should keep as
clean as possible and  change whatever you use. to stop the blood from
saturating your clothing,  whether a pad, or tampon. Change those at least every 6
hrs or 8 hrs at the very  latest. Any blood, whether it comes from your vagina
or your hand when cut, will  smell if not cleaned. And I AGREE! I didn't
want kids because I wanted to have a  great career in nursing. It was and
still is, my belief children need their  mothers to care for them. On that I
make no apologies. But to have an  Hysterectomy is going a bit far both
surgically in terms of the risks any woman  takes, and you may change your mind
after you've done whatever it is, you want  to do in life. But my word! 
Please? Don't ever feel dirty with your  Menses. Remember, there's not a man on
earth who has the miraculous ability to  spawn and let a child grow inside
them. Women's body is so beautiful and not  just on the outside. WE ARE
You are too beautiful, to want an Hysterectomy at your age. If you don't 
want kids but want to have the Intercourse of course the best way is to use a
 Condom. But if you have a special guy in your life where you are
exclusively  with one another only, then use a very mild birth control. Look! Even if
you did  get pregnant, while I know, I REALLY know, an Abortion is another 
alternative.  It's not one to be used on a regular basis, but if it's not 
against your religious faith, then some women do not feel guilty about
having a  planned abortion. I don't normally advise Abortion for psychological
reason,  even later in life. But compared to tearing out your womanhood, it's
a definite  better choice.
Best Regards and hope you never feel that blood is dirty EVER again. It's 
no different than your body making new Red Blood Cells every few weeks. It's
****, RN, MSN
December 2011

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