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sheunique
I'm starting this thread because I recently started period suppression with LoEstrin birth control pills. I feel sexy....not moody....I can have sex every day if I want to. I feel a sense of freedom. I am 41 years old and am definitely not planning on having any more children, so why have periods!
pepper
well ms cunningham, some of us don't happen to think that having a period is a bad thing at all. in fact, if i didn't get to have mine anymore i'd be very, very upset.
please check with the other girls here by asking about starting a new thread in the community forum next time. thanks.
girlygirlgag
smells like spam.

Who says you can't have sex on your period? I give out the red wings;)

I feel sexy when I don't mess with my hormones by way of man made drugs.
sassy
I think you guys are being a little hard on sheunique's post. It isn't spam...she has posted often in the BV thread. I am only 21 but I take seasonale and it is WONDERFUL to not have a period every month. So, sheunique, I agree with you and I apologize that people are being rude to you.
littleidiot
I'm going to ask about LoEstrin when I see my doc for my annual exam next month... saw the commercial and got pretty excited about the idea of having a 3-day period instead of a 7-day one. I'm on ortho-lo now and my period lasts too long for my tastes... spotting goes on for days after it's over. I don't feel comfortable having sex while on the rag, personally--altho I don't think there's anything wrong with it for those who do. I hope the LoEstrin turns out to be a good thing for me--I didn't realize you could use it to stop your periods all together, and I probably won't do that, but I'm really looking forward to shorter periods!
culturehandy
I don't like SPAM! (in best monty python voice)
hummingbird
I think it's unhealthy to NOT get your period every month. There are intuitive, psychic reasons, there are spiritual reasons, there are physical reasons like releasing toxins in your body. Some women don't get their period every month, naturally, but there is a hormonal imbalance happening there. You never know what the side effects are going to be from these new and improved drugs. Go Frakenstein Go!
hummingbird
Damn it!

Go Frankenstein Go!

There.
tyger
okay, some people like having their periods, some people could do without them. i'm not on hormonal birth control (not will i ever take it), because i don't want to mess with hormones in my body. that's a PERSONAL decision and i don't judge anyone for doing what is right for them, so long as it doesn't involve eating small children or puppy kicking okay? we didn't need this thread, discussion relating to this issue could be discussed in one of the birth control threads

that said, sheunique, i am so sorry you were attacked like this. i don't know if you're new, if you are drop by the newbie lounge, and please don't let this experience chase you away or anything. it's always nice to have fresh meant...i mean, new members here at the lounge
sassy
You guys are pissing me off. This is not spam. I think sheunique posted this so other people who AGREED with her could discuss their opinions on different things. This place has become way too negative.
hummingbird
I think it's a good thread...I want to discuss it...Not trying to be negative...
p_176
no hormone imbalance here, but i get my cycle every 6weeks-3months apart. am interested to hear what folks have to say about not getting your period ever - does anyone know if there are detriments or benefits to not having a period?
hummingbird
I gets mine every 26-27 days.
tyger
i think i'm fairly regular (once a month). i've never been irregular, come to think of it. i had a friend who was amazingly regular in the oddest way: her period would either come the first night of a camping trip, or halfway through a game of bowling. for years. we were never sure if we just happened to be camping or bowling once a month, or if she was just extra special
smurfin
Tyger: Bwhahahahaha

Anyway, I haven't had any periods for over a year now due to having a Mirena fitted. It's worked well for me, but I can see other people would not like it.

Before my beloved Mirena I would go without for a few months everytime by not stopping the pill every three weeks. The bleeding you get then is not a period anyway, so why have it?

Before, I would get ill every three weeks because of my period. I would feel like shit and be on painkillers for three to four days. Talk about unhealthy. Now, you may think I'm just a whiner, but then I say: you didn't live my periods.

Now, I understand other people do not wish to take hormones, and that's fine. But please do not disparage me for making my own choice. I do not *do* psychic, I have no spiritual problems with suppressing my period and I intuitively *like* the fact of not being ill every three weeks. I think this method of birth control (because that's my primary reason for having the Mirena) has substantially improved my quality of life. That's worth a lot to me.

As to the toxins remark: I don't know what Hummingbird means by that but I would genuinely like to hear more. What kind of toxins? How are they released? Via the blood you lose?


Sorry about the slightly defensive nature of this post, but I don't like feeling that other people don't trust me to make my own choices.
hummingbird
smurfin: That makes sense, everything that you said and if my period made me terribly ill, I would seriously consider going on the hormones. I can respect that.

Toxins: toxins are building in the body all the time...bleeding every month is a way of slothing off toxins in the body, when a fetus isn't lodged in it. Ummm...I gotta run...I will do more research on this...I heard this on a radio program...it made sense to me...

Womenstration=Power
sassy
I've actually heard that having too many periods is dangerous for a woman. In the old days, women had far fewer periods because they were pregnant more and hit puberty at a later age. This is why my gyno recommends having less periods.
pollystyrene
Not everyone has the "spritual connection with the moon and tides" when they're menstruating that some have. As someone who has excruciating cramps, night sweats, heavy bleeding, tender breasts, sensitivity to light/dark and cold/hot, nausea, explosive diarrhea, lightheadedness, skin irritation and dizziness when they weren't on the pill (currently on Seasonale) you can count me in on the "as infrequently as possible" camp!

Yes, I do have some concerns about being on hormones for going on 8 years (without any immediate plans to stop) but right now, it's better than the alternative.
tyger
toxins going out with your period seems counter-intuitive to me. i mean, we get our period because our uterous was getting ready to host a pre-bebe, right? it wouldn't want a fetus to start out in a fleshbag of toxins

and having power to control menstruation, should one choose to do so = power
missladyj
I just recently went on the pill after years of saying I never wanted to put hormomes in me that weren't there naturally. what finally made me decide to take the pill was that I was sick of every month freaking out (I am married and we were not using any contraception so at any point pregnancy was a realistic possibility) about being pregnant and figured that I would try the pill out.

I had huge reservations about it. I thought I would gain weight and be extra moody and I now regret having waited so long to go on it. It is awesome ! I have no cramps no sore boobies, my flow is much lighter and I had none of the side effects that I worried about.

I had heard the same thing that sassy mentioned. I am not sure and would suggest doing some research on that and verifing the authority of the source.

same thing about the period as sloughing off toxins. technically what is leaving your body is the blood vessels and the lining of the uterus that has developed to prepare to nourish a fetus. this can only become "toxic" if you have a condition like endometriosis.

women are going to make different decisions about whether or not to go on any pill and their are a variety of options available. Everyone has to do what is best for them . If you don't want to put hormones into your body then don't take the pill.
chachaheels
I had all of your symptoms too, pollystyrene--for over 20 years. And I was the guinea pig for every new "miracle" drug to help these symptoms too, including a couple of birth control pill regimes.
None of them ever worked for me--but I don't suffer any kind of pain now whatsoever, and my periods are 3-4 days in length every 28 days...almost to the minute. What finally "cured" me was not allopathic hormone therapies--it was really a combination of fatty acid supplementation and finding a good homeopath, who prescribed the best remedy to fit my case. I'm only saying that because if you're turning to these new "miracle" drugs because of your period problems being too much, that's great...but there are always other options open to those who wish to avoid (the very serious side effects of) long term hormone therapies. It's not "one" or "the other"--not by a long shot.

That being said, I understand why some women would find it freeing to live without a monthly period. Mine's hardly an interruption in my life anymore, and it never hinders me from doing anything I really want to do (plus, I actually really like taking the occasional opportunity to just relax for a while, when I have it), but there are always those days when I think, "When is this going to end?" So I "get it" when women say they want not to have to deal with it.

I just wish Big Pharma weren't out marketing these drugs as The Big Liberators for women. My deal with my period has nothing to do with the "spiritual connection of the moon and tides"--which I don't doubt exists: my deal with it is that most of the world's adult population menstruates. It is, by rights, what the human body does--its how human beings create life, and how women literally renew themselves with every cycle. And yet we're still faced with a medical community that treats anything as "female" as a menstrual period as a pathology and a hindrance--something we've got to eradicate so we can "fulfill" ourselves and be "free" and "productive" (read: more like men). I just think that's a passel of very brightly lit up bullshit, all around what we already know is just another very risky hormone experiment on women, and I wonder why it is that conventional medical science has such a difficult time accepting the reality of women's bodies, menstrual cycles and all. They seem to want to sell pricey hormone drugs to young women to suppress periods; then sell more pricey hormone drugs to the post menopausal women to restore the menstrual cycle long after it should have stopped. What women's bodies do naturally is never quite good enough: and that, fundamentally, makes me very wary about "treatments" to suppress what healthy women's bodies do.

Tyger: endometrial tissue which isn't "utilized" by a fertilized egg stops developing, as it does during the cycle. When it stops developing, it actually becomes a waste product--one of the reasons we "bleed" is to get rid of this build-up of spent tissue. It has to leave the body or it will be "toxic"--just like suppressed urination or suppressed excretion becomes toxic in the body.
This isn't the only part of "cleansing" which takes place during the period--it is just part of what happens in the uterus. We actually "clear out" other organs in the body (liver and kidney for example--liver has to process and get rid of hormones involved in the cycle, stepping up its continuous "detoxification" function during this time).
jkat
I feel like adding my 2 cents in here. I used to get the most awful symptoms with my period....sweating, intensely painful cramps, diarrhoea, backaches, nausea...and on and on, to the point where I would spend the morning in bed with a pillow between my legs moaning and sweating. Very bad, very sick, and my periods would last up to 7 days. However, I have seriously restricted my diet since being diagnosed with health issues--very healthy, but limited which means basically vegetarian with few sweets and not too much alcohol. I have since had no to very little cramping, and my period lasts up to 4 days tops. It really has amazed me, and when I fall off the wagon and have a few bad weeks diet wise, my cramps and symptoms come right back. I think the body is a fascinating thing. It's just so hard to keep everything in balance.
smurfin
Chachaheels: good post. You have a valid point on the alternative options available. However, I don't think your point on the endometrium becoming toxic if you don't bleed is true. The hormones that suppress your period stop the endometrium from building up, so there is nothing to 'shed'.


As far as I know, there is no evidence of inherent danger of not having periods.
The only (possible) danger of the pill is associated with taking hormones, and the jury is still out on that. My (female) professor of oncology took the stance that if you took all the epidemiological data in consideration the pill had a more pronounced protective effect than a deleterious one. According to her, more women avoid dying of cancer by taking the pill than die of having taken it. But that's her point of view, and I know not everyone agrees. I can certainly understand that people would not want to mess with their bodies if there is (for them) no reason to.

Re: farmaceutical companies marketing the pill as a panacea. I think to a certain extend that's true, but I don't think the effect here (Netherlands) is that big. There are no adds for oral contraception at all, for instance. Of course I can't speak of other countries.

As for there being other ways to improve period pains and such: yes, I know, I tried some, they didn't work. This does. So I'll stick to this, thank you very much!

Due to my studies and my direction in life I think I am quite capable of making the decision of suppressing my periods. I looked up the relevant articles on PubMed and read them, and I have made my own conclusions.
I have not been convinced there is a deleterious effect of suppressing my period by having an IUS implanted. Medical science seems to agree with me on that. I cannot regret taking a drug that has improved my life in the way that it has, where no other options were able to do anything.

I don't understand why I'm (basically) being told I'm unhealthy and taking risks with my body. I do feel a bit attacked, in fact. I'm not making decisions for anyone, so please don't make me feel I can't make *my* own decisions.
chachaheels
Smurfin, the hormones that occur in the body during pregnancy actually continue the development of the endometrium so that the uterus can continue to change to accomodate and nourish the fetus.

But if there's no pregnancy, there's no more development of the endometrium. So it has to come out or it will be toxic to the body. That is what I meant to make clear. The menstrual cycle exists to remove the spent endometrium--and for many other reasons as well...but we actually bleed to get rid of it as it has no more use in the body. If it's retained, it becomes toxic to the body.

There is no evidence of inherent danger of not having periods if it is something your body "decides" to do on its own. If you don't have enough subcutaneous fat, or if you're under a great deal of stress, or if you're reacting to any number of emotional stressors, then yes, a woman's body may actually stop menstruating. No danger there, as long as no underlying pathology exists to continue the condition.

In pregnancy, it's not dangerous to not have a period. For reasons I hope I don't have to spell out.

At the onset of menopause, hormone levels change in the body and menses will be sporadic until the cycle actually stops taking place--which initiates a whole new series of changes in the body. So, in that case, no danger.

Suppressing the menstrual cycle with daily, monthly, quarterly or semi-annually induced mega-doses of more hormone than any group of women would produce collectively in several lifetimes, all in one body: that has left a ton of evidence of severe danger, I'm afraid. Evidence from as far back as the first "studies" done on using synthetic estrogens to create various forms of The Pill (strokes, heart attacks, weight gain, infertility, overfertility, painful periods, cyst growth, cancer, rare blood disorders, etc. etc. etc.) to all the evidence which finally surfaced and forced the medical community to admit that Hormone Replacement Therapy presents a huge risk of cancer to women. Just in terms of common sense, how can introducing so much of one particular hormone--synthetic or even bio-identical--not have a massive effect on the body? How is a 70 year old woman who menstruates every month considered "healthy"? Or a 25 year old who doesn't? A healthy 70 year old no longer menstruates. A healthy 25 year old does. That's by definition.

No one is attacking anyone here (I hope), and, like I said, I understand why someone would want to stop suffering from the monthly turmoil and actually enjoy the freedom to be active (sexually or otherwise).

I just wish that, if big Pharma and medical science really wanted to "help" women as they posture to do, they would stop just telling women to push their real concerns under some kind of hormonal rug that will simply suppress them and their very real symptoms and illnesses.
The aches, pains, digestive trouble, vomiting, bloating, etc. etc. described are all SYMPTOMS of pathology and they really must be addressed and treated so that the menstrual period does not cause so much distress. Conventional medicine has not focused on how to address these symptoms as though they were evidence of real pathology: in fact, they've responded by pooh-poohing women's concerns and by creating "treatment" drugs which don't solve the problem at all, by just suppressing the period all together.

The pathology is still there and it doesn't get treated if you just pump the body full of hormones so that it acts as if it were pregnant--in fact, the pathology just worsens.

I "get" that for many women, making a decision about how to deal with their symptoms often leads to taking a pill that will solve the problem (temporarily). But I doubt, highly, that they make the decision fully informed of the specific physiological consequences that decision very possibly brings about. I know for a fact that, when asked, most doctors actually "laugh" at women for being curious and concerned for their own welfare when presented with these drugs for their ailments.

These hormone drugs which "liberate" you from your period are being sold as the problem solver for painful menstruation. Painful menstruation, if I can pose an analogy, is like your Brake Warning lights in your car: when they come on, you need to have your car towed to the repair shop, where the brakes will be fixed so that they work to stop your car when you're travelling at any speed, so you don't die when you drive. Taking these hormones so that your period doesn't come at all is the equivalent of just disconnecting that wire in your car which makes the warning lights go on when your brakes need to be fixed--sure, the warning's no longer there...but you still have no brakes, and if you have to stop when you're driving, you just won't.

Yes, smurfin, you live in the Netherlands, where Big Pharma is certainly restrained in it's activities. But, believe me, it is NOT here in North America. Ads for every drug are everywhere, and marketing drugs takes place outside of ads, too (most of it looks like "journalism" here, but of course it's not).
hummingbird
Good luck to all, and to all no more periods!
missladyj
I have to say that before i went on the pill, I gave up caffiene and that had a tremendous effect on my period.REduced the amount of cramping and the soreness of my breasts. But I love being on the pill mostly because it means that I don't have to worry about getting pregnant.

smurfin, Pubmed is a great resource and a good place to get information.
jasmith
I'm on the pill to control my periods. Not for contraception. To be simple, my uncontrolled periods *are* a hindrance. the bleeding is incredible, and I'm just not willing to spend a week out of every month trying to stymie the flow when there are better things I need to be doing. I've tried the suppression route, though. I didn't feel right, physically, doing this. Whenever I did choose to have my period, the flow burned my skin. I don't know what that says for toxicity or anything, just putting that out there.
mornington
I'm with jasmith & smurfin on this one... I've been on the pill for gosh, five years now, because I was dealing with eight-day-long, irregular periods, cramp, migraines, major mood swings, the lot. Considering I was dealing with that almost from the word go, I'm not sure there is/was anything I could have done to alleviate the problem. I still get cramps, and mood swings, and even the odd migraine, but nothing like I used to - I am able to function.

Sometimes I wonder if I should stop dosing my body with hormones, and see what happens. But then I go do things like lamb for four weeks, and find myself thinking I couldn't do it - and I can't afford to loose a week out of every four just because my body needs to get rid of some useless tissue.
jasmith
Just read your post, smurfin. How much did your Mirena go for?
pepper
chacha, some people just do NOT want to hear that what they do is not healthy.

sorry girls, i whole heartedly agree that dosing yourself with hormones is dangerous and will lead to health issues eventually. and even if it can't be proven to your satisfaction, why in the world would you RISK it? that i don't get at all.
if your period gives you cramps why not take a pill then, like anaprox etc? i used to get throw-up-black-out cramps in highschool and one pill totally took them away. after twenty minute i could go from puking to riding my bike and jumping up and down on a trampoline.

one pill one or two times a month as needed or massive doses of hormones every day for the rest of your menstrual life?

of course you are all welcome to do as you please, i'd never presume to tell a woman how to live in her body. i just do NOT understand why anyone would increase their risk of cancer and whatnot on purpose. seems totally crazy to me.
jasmith
I'm not sure if you're addressing those who are suppressing their periods, or all who are using oc's. Seems like the latter. But I'll put this out there anyway.
Don't insinuate that any of us here who use birth control pills are crazy. We're not.
Furthermore, are you a women's health care professional? If not, don't go around talking as if you are. Anyone who is on the pill has been to see a GYN. And I'm inclined to think that a person who is a *medical professional* is much more informed about the intricacies of hormonal birth control than someone who is not.
pepper
nowhere did i say that anyone is crazy, but it's my opinion that risking your health with hormones is. that's my opinion, i'm entitled to it as much as you're entitled to yours. defensive much?
if other people choose to put their faith in *medical professionals* they are welcome to. i, however, happen to think that they are a bunch of pill pushers and i KNOW for certain that most of them know next to nothing about nutrition. pills are generally a bandaid solution at best. again, my opinion to which i am entitled. blah blah blah, like i said, some people just don't want to hear that what they're doing might not be good for them. whatever.
venetia
I've been on the same birth control pill for the past 15 years. In theory it is supposed to reduce my chances of cervical cancer but increase my chances of a blood clot.

At one point I stopped taking it, but the fear of getting pregnant was taking years off my life so I resumed.

The only problem I have ever had with my period has been 1. when I use the pills to "skip" a period (which I do occasionally if I have to stay with family with no running water, six cats and a plastic garbage bag that has nowhere to go) - if I do that, I always know the next one will be a real gusher. 2. taking too much evening primrose oil gives me menstrual cramps (I take it to clear up my skin and for improved hair).

For me, suppressing periods is seldom worth the grief; I even take my period camping with me, and I welcome havng it on special occasions because it brings with it extra radience and extra cleavage.

But I already "feel sexy....not moody", can already "have sex every day if I want to" and feel just as much of a "sense of freedom" when I have my period as at other times. I'm not sure what choice I wuld make if it really was a problem.
onepingonly
I suppress my periods during deployments - two to five months at a time, because my ship is 40 years old and has tricky water and sewage systems. It's no good at all to be bleeding when one of these systems go down.

Honestly, if I could get rid of them forever I would. I'm done having children, I don't need another twenty years of this. I lose a week of my life every month, a week where I can't work out, make love or make plans. Not fun.
chachaheels
Pepper, I understand where you're coming from; I'm not saying people are making unhealthy choices regarding their menstrual problems so much as I'm saying the choices offered in conventional medical treatment in this area of women's health are all unhealthy. The treatment options offered are all, without exception, "don't pay attention to the symptoms, just get rid of them by suppressing the period". If that's all you're told you can do, you'll only think about the status quo of your situation, vs. the single choice--no matter what the risk--that's offered. It's not hard to understand the decision to be made there if you're lead to believe that's all you can do.

What's really troubling, for me, is that so many women clearly have many difficulties with menstruation. I certainly did, so I understand how someone would want or feel as though they need to address those problems in any way possible. We're told what's offered by conventional meds is what's "possible". All I'm saying is, if we want to stay healthy, we have to consider the impact of such powerfully suppressive drugs on our bodies--and recognize what constitutes "health" in a female adult body. Menstruating is part of that state of health, at a particular stage of our lives. We risk losing our health completely if we ignore the fact that we also have the option of restoring healthy menstruation cycles in our lives.

Ideally, we ought to be looking at possible causes for those difficulties--such as what's in our water, food, and air to cause such imbalance in our cycles? What's wrong with our society that women are made to feel they "lose" a week out of a month if they need to pay attention to what their own bodies are doing, and instead pretend that "it doesn't bother them" and keep soldiering on just to get a paycheque? What's wrong with our own perceptions of what it means to be female if all we understand about our cycles is that we have to "put up with them" in order to have children? Why is it that older societies used to understand that this cycle meant so much more to individual and collective, societal health than just having babies, yet we "modern" women still buy into that persistent and incorrect medical idea that that's what our "femaleness" is all about--reproduction?

I don't want to blame women for doing what they feel they have to. I really just wish the reality of our lives and our bodies were much more accepted and respected by conventional medicine, so we'd have more choices besides "just suppress the hell out of that period and stop having one altogether!"
quietmadness
Wow. Just started reading through this thread. I'm glad Sheunique started it--really seems to bring out the "carnal" in Busties! And why it's such a hair in the ass crack of some if someone starts a new thread is beyond me. I just for sure wouldn't start one...fuck.

That being said, I think every woman's period belongs to HER. And that what she takes or doesn't take, uses or doesn't use, suppresses or flows like Niagra Falls--is HER OWN FUCKING BUSINESS--and whatever she does to "feel right" is not up to me to judge either way. Whatever.

As for me, I'm 40 (just), and I haven't had a period in about 4 months now. Before that for about a year, I'd been having them only about every 3 months, and before THAT I was as regular as a timepiece.

I used to take the pill, for years--until I had my kids, then I had a tubal. Was still regular for about 8 years, then the "slowing down" began. BUT--all during those years, I was seriously LUCKY that I didn't have the horrors and awful experiences some of my friends had. I usually always only used about 3/4 of a box of Tampons, and just used a panty-liner "in case of." Cramps--slight...manageable with Tylenol. None of the other horrors, except for some diarrhea.

I have seen other women, however--who literally SUFFERED through, --and dreaded--that week of the month. I've taken care of prisoners who would go through 30 pads in 24 hours. Others who couldn't eat, sleep or function well because of their periods.

And, if at the end of the day--someone doesn't want to have her period, or wants to skip one--then I'm just thankful to be a woman in America, in 2006--where women are FREE to make that choice!

What "Jane Doe" does with her body--her period--HER PUSS--well...that's on Jane.

Period.

missladyj
haha!

I get what chacha is saying but I LOVE THE PILL and will continue to take it until I can convince my hubby to get a vasectomy. Until then I think the birth control pill is one of the wonders of the modern or postmodern world and if you don't think so, don't take it.
pepper
ot from the main issue here but i was reminded of this today:
unfortunately women who take the pill piss those hormones out into our water supply which is then consumed by little boys (like my son) and affects their own little developing bodies and hormone balances. i'd love to say that what a women chooses to do with her own body is her own business, and generally i do, but this has a gigantic impact on me directly and the rest of humanity as well. i couldn't care less if a pill taker gets cancer from it, not my problem. i do mind if my son grows boobies though. there are enough scientific studies about the affects of hormones in our water supply to illustrate this if you care to look. i read a while ago that biologists have determined that the last fertile man has already been born on this planet. a little doomsday, i agree, but certainly a possibility.

i can be said that what another person does is no one else's business but i just don't agree. so i shouldn't pay any attention when my neighbour's husband gives her a black eye? when the baby next door is left alone in the apartment for 7 hours, hungry, wet and wailing? when bigpharma pushes dangerous drugs and influences doctors to perscribe them? i should ignore the infanticide that nestle perpetrates in the third world? i should pay no attention to sexist, racist, religious issues, i should be fine with pronography and child abuse? no more signing petitions or going to rallies for me. what IS my business then? now, those are more serious issues than the drug industry BUT i'm sure the people engaged in those activities would rather have everyone else butt out too.
too bad. no matter what it is, if you don't want anyone else's opinion, Don't Advertise.
jasmith
High and Mighty much?
You're sure as hell entitled to your own opinion. But is it your place to come in and tell people their decisions are crazy? No. Especially since you don't appear to have any medical training. Say what you want about the medical professionals. We all know they're *trained* in what they do, and then some.
And it sounds like some people don't like being told that they've stepped out of line. Hm..
pepper
no one has stepped out of line here. this is a discussion group. yup, coming in here and voicing my opinion is exactly what i'm here for.
yes, medical professionals do what they're trained to do. push pills and encourage surgery.
and btw, you have no idea what kind of training i have. it's actually quite a bit.
lucizoe
(back from hiatus)

I think it's really interesting how well we can manipulate our bodies with pharmaceuticals, herbs, hormones. I don't necessarily think blind faith in the medical community is wise, however. No matter one's training, one is human and therefore susceptible to one's own prejudices and biases, as well as projection of one's own fears onto patients.

I remember having to explain to my gynecologists' NP that I didn't have a yeast infection, but was in fact simply a few days post-ovulation and such discharge was normal for that time of my cycle. Something pretty basic; she should have known that. My former psychiatrist used to talk more about his daughter's college search than my self-esteem issues, while I was in the midst of my own application process, telling me I should look at this school or other, simply because that's where she was applying. My mom is very close to an osteoporosis diagnosis in her right hip; not actually diagnosed and not in any immediate danger, and yet the doctor she saw pushed a drug on her that, had we not taken it upon ourselves to research, would have been very dangerous to her, personally. She's not taking it. Not worth it.

I realize these are simply anecdotal stories, but I'm trying to illustrate the point that medical training, no matter how thorough, is no true guarantee of unbiased expertise.

Particularily in the field of women's health. There are infinite numbers of birth control pills available. There are injections and patches and rings and IUDs. I personally don't feel comfortable putting foreign hormones into my body on a long-term basis, so I'm not going to. But if everyone has researched the known long-term effects and is willing to take the risk, then go for it.

I agree with pepper and chacha, however, that there are too many people taking too many pills for too many things that should not be pathologized.

(And jasmith, is the snark necessary? That isn't what BUST is like, or at least, what it used to be like. I don't think pepper was using "your" to refer to anyone specifically in the thread; she was just expressing her opinion using the general "you." If she had something to say to anyone personally, she wouldn't be passive-aggressive about it).
venetia
It's so complicated. I don't use aerosols or drycleaning and I don't drive a car, but I don't hold individual busties who do use these things, responsible for the hole in our ozone that causes Australasia to have the highest rates of skin cancer in the world.

There are just so many things that we need to change. Over here, our problems with sewerage are more to do with effluent getting into the sea, and there are hormones in factory chicken (I'd like to see factory farming of chickens banned) and all sorts of shit out of farms leaching into our rivers. So at the moment I am focussing on eliminating triclosan and non biodegradable things from our wastewater (eg antibacterial soap). It's so weird that women get blamed for the hormones released from the pill, yet it never gets compared with the big environmental impacts of things like industrial agriculture.

hummingbird
Props to pepper, she be spicy!
jasmith
I never knew that women got blamed for hormones from the pill...??
How do they figure that???
pepper
yup, i'm not targetting anyone individually, only the behavior. it's about the practice and i'm interested in hearing opposing views as well as similar ones to myself.
excess hormones are excreted in urine. it ends up right in the water table, along with all the faux estrogens produced by the plastic industry. estrogen makes boys grow boobies and not be able to have children. goddess knows what all the hormone therapy that people are taking to be Able to get pregnant these days is going to do to the kids who end up drinking their recycled pee. scary.
the meat farming industry is unspeakably bad for letting things seep into the soil and wash out to sea and into rivers. dry cleaning, aerosols, new clothes (bedding, towels, etc.) are sprayed with formaldhyde and a multitude of other chemicals, the car industry is a mega polluter before those automobiles ever even get near any gasoline, one single seat on an airplane is responsible for more air polution than a car driver makes over a lifetime, nestle is responsible for thousands of infant deaths in third world countries and they have a money monopoly in the civilized world funding their practices. yes, there is SO much to focus on when looking at those issues, for sure.
and i too work at eliminating waste and poisons from my own household as my individual effort towards keeping the environment safe. here in canada there's a thing called the one tonne challenge where every canadain household is challenged to reduce their yearly greenhouse gas emisions by one tonne (the average is 5 tonnes per household).
but goddammnit, nobody wants to hear about any of that either.
jasmith
What the hell is urine doing in the water table in the first place? That should be more the issue, in my opinion.
venetia
I know. Here, my mother's house where I grew up has spring water from the hills - no flouride, but also no weird things from the catchment supply - but it's only a matter of time, as more and more waters in the new zealand bush are becoming unsafe to drink because, get this, giardia from human feces (travellers shitting in the woods, in other words)!

Pepper, I get what you mean. For me, there's so many behaviours I need to change - and sometimes it's hard to even know which is the lesser of two evils. I guess Im saying I pick my battles a bit, too. Going off the pill for me at the moment would be a major upheaval - not least because I feel like I have to do everything within reason to avoid having to abort anyone - and at this moment it's frankly more than I can take on. The pill is so reliable and seems safer than some of the other methods (I had a close friend almost die thanks to her IUD) and I wonder if there isn't a better way of changing the situation than for women to all come off it again. I'm very interested in our water (mis) management systems and see a lot of room for improvement (which I try to input whenever there's public consultation).

Then, I've always thought a male contraceptive should be developed to alleviate some of the pressure on women, but I wonder what the side effects to the environment would be for that one...

We are still miles away from our Kyoto targets. :-( I think it's harder than we thought.
pepper
goddamnit, there IS a male contraceptive. it's called a vasectomy and YES it can be painful for them for a couple of days but it's freaking reversable and it doesn't require abdominal surgery as does a tubal ligation. an iud, it's like a little bacterial highway straight into the uterus. what a fucking stupid invention. ancient women used to shove a pebble in there. primitive, yes, but effective and at least there wasn't a string hanging out that kept their cervix from ever properly closing.

jas, just where did you think the toilet water went when you flushed? we've been sending it almost straight off into the lake or ocean for ever. absolutely disgusting but true. urban sewage may drain directly into major watersheds with minimal or no treatment, never mind private septic tank use. you'd think our elected government wouldn't let such a hazzard occur but, just like doctors, imho they aren't all their cracked up to be.
pollystyrene
Any responsible urologist will tell you that a vasectomy should not be considered reversible. This is from www.vasectomy-information.com:

What if I change my mind in years to come? Is it reversible?

Vasectomy should not be considered contraception - it is sterilization, and should be regarded as permanent. If you think you might change your mind later, or are not totally sure you want to be sterilized, you should think about different methods of birth control. Reversal with restoration of fertility is possible, but becomes less likely as the years go on. In any case, the operation to reverse a vasectomy is expensive, reversal with restoration of fertility is uncertain, and becomes even less certain the longer after your vasectomy it is done.

Source of information on reversal are our medical journals section. We also have a page of links to reversal information and specialists, and the advice from the newsgroup section mentions doubts about being sterile.

Sperm freezing is also an option, but this is expensive to store and use (by IVF), and deteriorates over time in any case. www.spermbankdirectory.com has a good FAQ about sperm banking and donation, and a directory to pick a local one. The medical profession will tell you to consider it permanent.


I think that the impact of population is as much, if not more harmful to the environment (and not just the water) than the effects of hormones in the water. I'd rather women (and their partners) have the option of safe, easily accessible, 99% reliable birth control pills that give them the option of eventually having kids if they want to, than to outlaw bith control pills and have more unwanted kids out there, causing more strain on the environment and society than some hormones in the water.

Should the pill be the be all and end all of women's health? No, but like venetia said, you have to pick your battles, there's a myriad of reasons women choose to be on the pill and reasons why men choose not to have vasectomies. On top of my horrendous periods, I have PCOS and there are benefits I get from the pill for that. Yes, I plan on going off the pill in the next five years or so and talking with my doctor about what my options are after that (for both contraception and making my periods more regular and bearable) and how to transition myself off the meds.

There are several non-sterilization methods for men that are available in Europe, but the pharmaceutical companies refuse to believe there will be a market for them in the U.S. Why don't we fight that battle instead?

Personally, I think RISUG is the most interesting one (though I haven't looked into too many others)
chachaheels
Well, don't be too quick to dismiss the vast amount of hormone pollution in the environment, even if you just look at the birth control pill's "contribution" to that problem. Remember we've had at least 50 years of worldwide use of the pill and other "treatments" (DES, Hormone replacement therapy, cortisone therapies which are prescribed for every little thing and are also easily available over the counter; latest hormone debacles now include prednisone/prednosolone, also prescribed for just about everything). Hormones do cycle out of the body via urine, and that goes directly into the water table. Yes, you can "purify" water chemically in treatment plants, but there is no amount of filtering and chemical blasting you can do to remove the residual hormone levels in our water. They are there for good, and they continue to accumulate.

We have all, ladies and gentlemen, ingested the fruits of a 50 year cumulative dose of long term, repetitive hormone therapy.

It's one of the reasons breast cancer, which used to affect men and women almost equally more than 50 years ago and occurred in far fewer cases (ratio, I believe, was a 1:39 chance), now strikes women far more often than men, and affects 1 in 9 women in North America. To steal a line from Pepper, yes, no one's willing to talk about that little parallel.

But it is very, very misguided to blame women for this--women have been the target market for these medicines, pure and simple. Like I said, it's obvious there is a need for solid health care for women: a need for reliable and safe birth control (because men largely will not take responsibility for it), a need to address the very real concerns and symptoms women have around their periods and menopause (symptoms I have a hunch are directly related to the abuse of hormones by all number of industries which has left us all over-exposed to them--from farming, to plastics, to medicine).

But I don't believe women are actually being given
"good" or even "sound" and health-producing treatment options when they're presented with even more drugs which never address the real problems. It doesn't help, either, that women are made to feel like freaks of nature for having a period/cycle/menopause at all...when, ironically, all of it is so fundamentally vital to humanity. The symptoms of menstrual cramping and pain, irregularity of the cycle, concommitants that accompany these basic complaints--these aren't just symptoms that are "created" by individual bodies, they are a result of everything from the environment to heredity to society's whole attitude towards women in general (and it is NOT an accepting one). I think we'd all benefit far more if we were to examine some of these causes much more seriously, rather than have some institution we've allowed to sell themselves as a singular authority tell individual women to "toughen up" and shut the process down, as if they were somehow faulty or deficient as members of the human society for causing their own pain completely apart from anything else that happens in the world around them. We all really deserve to be taken far more seriously than that.



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