Could a woman’s period become a thing of the past?
In coming weeks, the Food and Drug Administration is expected to decide whether to approve the first oral contraceptive designed specifically to reduce the number of annual menstrual cycles a woman has. Seasonale, developed by Barr Laboratories, would reduce menstruation to four times a year instead of the typical 13.
Gynecologists say that suppressing the monthly period would mean fewer women would have to worry about bad biological timing spoiling a honeymoon or vacation. More important, they say, it could spare women from pounding headaches, wrenching cramps and other menstruation-related medical troubles.
And of course less of those troubling side effects still known today in society as “children.”
A growing number of physicians are questioning the necessity of menstruation, sparking fierce debate around the country – from gynecologists’ offices to women’s studies departments – about its biological role.
“It is a needless loss of blood,” concludes Elsimar Coutinho, a Brazilian reproductive biologist, in his provocative book Is Menstruation Obsolete? A few gynecologists go further, arguing that menstruation should be eliminated.