Skip to comments.Final Period
Posted on 07/18/2007 1:35:10 AM PDT by neverdem
IN May the Food and Drug Administration approved a new birth control pill, Lybrel. It is as effective at preventing pregnancy as the other pills already out there (about 98 percent) but boasts one advantage: Women who take it will never get their periods.
Lybrel is landing on pharmacy shelves this month. And now war has been declared on menstruation.
Already the first few volleys in this battle have been exchanged. Gird yourselves, women, for a barrage of advertising and research highlighting the debilitating effects of periods and the joys of menstrual suppression.
After all, periods and their mood swings are bad for family values (who wants to have a stay-at-home mom when shes so darn cranky?), bad for womens health (women were never meant to menstruate so much; natural selection designed their bodies for back-to-back pregnancies and breast-feeding), bad for the fashion industry (how can beige be the new black if women wont wear it all month?) and bad for the economy (everybody knows women take to their beds at the merest whisper of cramps, fueling the nations employee-absentee rate). Western civilization, it seems, hinges on our ability to wrangle our messy cycles to the ground and stomp em out once and for all.
In a presentation by Lybrels maker, Wyeth, to investors and analysts last October, Dr. Ginger D. Constantine, the companys therapeutic director for womens health, laid the groundwork. Citing company-backed studies, she reported that menstruating women feel less effective at work and take more sick days. Not only that, but they dont exercise and they wear dark clothes more often, she said.
Suddenly, news articles are weighing the pros and cons of our monthly cycles. And while its great that the American news media are, for a moment, challenging the culture of concealment that...
(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...
Tough times ahead for manufacturers of feminine hygiene products?
I'm not a gynecologist and I didn't stay in a holiday inn express last night.
It's just that artificially prolonging the duration of this natural cycle by a chemical imbalance seems to draw obvious questions and concerns. I mean, even in my exceptional caffeine deprived state...
Despite the articles implications that "sans menstrual cycle" a woman will be the same as a man in a position of responsibility, a woman is still a woman.
Chemically altering her so she can be more competitive? Beastly...
However, for women who suffer tremendously due to severe menstrual discomfort and perhaps other concerns, this pill could be a miracle.
From the perspective of healing, I welcome reasonable exploration of this as a resolution.
From the perspective of "Let's give this to Cheryle in accounting so she won't go PMS on us!"? Just d@mn...
Not to mention landfills.
As a personal observation from both my wife and I,
1) Family and friends who were on the pill from say the time they were 16 or so and then tried to have children in their early 20’s to mid 30’s lost many to miscarriage before success, or had no success at all.
Others like ourselves (and there were only a handfull) never used hormone altering birth control and we all had an easy time of conception (way easy :>)
I had a hysterectomy and it cleared all of this up.
But could you check into this...I know the drug reps have to be beating down your door (they were when ran one)
The commercial says, four periods a year with breakthrough spotting, which can be a normal flow.
Isn’t this all just hype?
First, Depo-Provera often did the same thing and started being used nearly thirty years ago. It has fallen into disfavor, partly because of calcium losses.
Secondly, chemical imbalances are not important with respect to phamaceutical Stock Prices, and as proof, consider the new norms of serum cholesterol being reduced to 100 mg/DL.
EVERYONE needs statins! We need to turn off certain metabolic pathways common to all mammals that only took a half-billion years to develop, to save the investors.
< sarc >Besides, the candidates for menstrual suppression are only women. They are imagining the side effects anyway, and not a lot of them are the biggest stockholders.< /sarc >
The runaway success of The Drug Answer seems to be related to hospital adminstrators double-booking physicians, and pressuring them to prescribe-and-dump, in order to get the same thoughput as a McDonald's burger stand.
This makes the MBA's, who for some reason, are attracted to the Practice of Medicine as a hobby, very happy.
Is this a sign of the complete transformation of "progressives" and "feminists" into reactionaries? If they are against Lybrel, will they come out against all birth control pills and join with the Catholic Church? Just wondering.
Lybrel = Liberal
Or in other words, one is likely to be bleeding on and off throughout the year, sometimes heavily. This is new?
FWIW, the fact of not having a period, in itself, doesn't seem like it would be a health problem. Women who breastfeed intensively and experience regular pregnancies can go many years without a period.
>>FWIW, the fact of not having a period, in itself, doesn’t seem like it would be a health problem. Women who breastfeed intensively and experience regular pregnancies can go many years without a period.<<
I don’t know though, pumping your body with artificial hormones seems way different to me than the natural ones from pregnancy and breastfeeding.
Why on earth wouldn’t I want to skip my period? They’re messy, painful, annoying and not in the least necessary unless reproduction is planned. I suppose you think I should keep my reproductive parts past the point where reproduction is a desired option. Geeze... Guys are so clueless.
Another guy chimes in. Got a clue why women have periods, besides to make their lives as miserable as possible for a few days a month? Women do not need to bleed to be happy and healthy.
Well, I’m hoping you’re being humorous here. Otherwise, you must have some serious knuckle damage from dragging them on the ground.
Very true. According to the “Iron Time Bomb” by Bill Sardi, the reason women live longer than men by 6 to 8 years is because they have a monthly period and flush out excess iron. Men and women who have had hysterectomies die earlier than women who regularly lose blood every month.
Certainly the results from use of birth control pills, vs. a natural menstrual cycle, are significantly different. Although it might seem that the symptoms are the same, at the hormonal level it's not the same at all.
A good diet, plenty of vitamins, and lots of vigorous exercise helps with many menstrual-cycle problems.
>>A good diet, plenty of vitamins, and lots of vigorous exercise helps with many menstrual-cycle problems.<<
Or having lots of babies, right?
I will tell you, I never hear the whining about periods in my parish from women who are either, pregnant, nursing or waiting for the next, like I do from the moms who have had two children and are having no more.
(unless they are like me who are very blessed to have made it through both pregnancies!)
I would never take such pills. First of all birth control pills have side effects and can be dangerous for some women. Most women do not have much trouble with their periods anyway. I would bet that this would increase the risk of some cancers long term.
I’m not a guy and I will tell you this.
For years I had horrible periods, flow like a river, high back pain, breakthrough bleeding, you name it.
Artifical hormones were not something I considered putting into my body. Look at this.
Carefully consider what you are doing to yourself in the long term.
I have very unpleasant periods, but usually only one or two between babies ... because I tell my husband, “Being pregnant is better than THIS!”
It’s been almost 18 months since Vlad was born, and nothing’s been happening. It’s probably the running!
Geez! Seems like only yesterday that he was born.
Did I tell you that my namesake was born in Cleveland?
Bailey Anastasia joined her three brothers on July 3rd.
(Aunt Sta says as she beams!)
Four hours of labor and two pushes.
Her mom was meant to breed.....
18 months on the 30th (and I’ll be 41 on Sunday :-).
Congratulations on the new niece!
Uh, I thought this was a bad thing healthwise.
Given your large family I will take your word for the latter ... but to be honest, I can't see how you can "experience regular pregnancies" without having a period. Are you suggesting that those regular pregnancies can be timed and planned to occur exactly on your first post-breastfeeding ovulation?
What will be the long-term effect of this hormone on those who drink the processed water?
It’s not unusual for women who have a healthy reproductive system and regular marital relations to conceive on the first ovulation after childbirth. This can happen they’re breastfeeding and ovulate two years later, and within weeks of delivery, if they don’t breastfeed.
I think we already messed with Mother Nature when we instituted monogamy, and condemned sex outside of it. (By the way, if you think the earth and everything on it are only 6000 years old, please stop reading here.)
What was the 'natural' state of a human female before agriculture? After she had attained the age necessary to have menses (a number which has dropped significantly for centuries now, generally believed to be attributable to better nutrition) she would have either been pregnant or breastfeeding most of the time. Don't even factor menopause into this, because prehistoric women (and men) didn't often live that long. Of course, I'm operating on the assumption that women did not have a lot of choice when it came to a man wanting to initiate sexual activity.
Normal menstrual periods would have been quite rare, and probably a sign of relative infertility. Look at all of the ancient religious teachings that describe a woman as being 'unclean' during this time, and you can see that there was some sort of preexisting cultural basis for avoiding such a woman.
Limiting a human female to having sexual relations with only one man insured that she would have menstrual flows before relations began, and whenever he was unavailable to impregnate her. Menstrual periods are a fairly recent occurrence, in the history of humans, in my opinion. This drug just restores the situation that existed prior to civilization's establishment of rules for female sexual activity.
What scientific fact do you base that statement on? I have to ask, because I find it unlikely that the most incredibly advanced organism in the known universe would intentionally bleed once a month for no good reason. Whether by design or evolution, it's an extraordinary waste and process must yield some major advantages in the maintenance of health throughout the time when a woman is viable and capable of reproducing. I don't believe that a pharmaceutical company is asking the deeper questions here beyond an immediate solution.
Also, did you read the part where I stated: "From the perspective of healing, I welcome reasonable exploration of this as a resolution." I don't believe anyone should suffer needlessly, and I do know many women who complain severely about their "monthly" problem. I'd voice the same concerns to them.
Look, if you want to take what amounts to a "beta" test drug available on a national basis, be my guest. As with any "new drug", I'd urge caution and careful observation.
We are finding that as time passes, these "miracle drug based solutions" offer as many concerns as they do benefits.
I'm simply offering a voice of reason.
And your name is an oxymoron. There can never be "Too much coffee." As a home roaster, there can never be enough.
If you want men to sit back and let women pop some new drugs because they offer an easy solution, I'm sure there's plenty of them over at DUh.
But as long as your on this board, you're going to find people who are willing to question these things.
So yeah, another guy chimes in. Thank God...
So are you saying women should get hysterectomies at the moment they are done having children? That doesn’t make sense. Why not castrate men who want no more kids while you’re at it?
“Well, Im hoping youre being humorous here.”
“Well, Im hoping youre being humorous here.”
FReepmail me if you want on or off my health and science ping list.
There was a study out in the past few years which claimed the birth control pill over time trained the body like a vaccine to become immune to pregnancy. This probably accounts for the large increase in fertility treatments for women, especially in young women.
This is the first thing that came to my mind about this new drug - osteoporosis.
You are exactly right.
I thought this was going to be an article on menopause.
Good question, but I haven't heard much since that story, other than speculation about endocrine disruptors.
Thanks for the link.
In your world, life expectancy was less than 35 years.
I was skeptical when I heard about this a few years ago. But I was won over at a lecture by one of the researchers, a very pro-life, pro-family, pro-abstinence OB/Gyn.
“Nature” gives women 9 to 24 months “off” with pregnancy and breastfeeding. There seems to be less chance of ovarian cancer with fewer cycles in the life span. (Although I had a patient with 16 children who died at 56 years old of ovarian cancer.)
More than likely, there’s no endometrial build up and much less chance of breakthrough ovulation. (And so, much, much less chance for fertilization.)
The on/off cycling just allows the symptoms to come and go for women women with symptomatic endometriosis and fibrocystic breast changes. The neat thing about the long term suppression is no build up of the endometrium is great for women with endometriosis, and no monthly breast changes is great for fibrocystic breast syndrome.
Thanks for the feedback.
Best part will be all those lawsuits against the manufacturer when:
A) actual serious side effects emerge, or
B) various unrelated problems are imagined as actual serious side effects
Jus’ wonderin’ — why do women have *men*struation, but men have *her*nias?
Women have used birth control pills continuously for years to suppress their periods—this is just an easy way to do what they have done for years on their own for years.
Two pregnancies and five years of cumulative breastfeeding two boys suppressed my menstration for quite a few years—yea! I am all for fewer periods. Obviously I suppressed them naturally and now with birth control and I am very happy without the monthly “worry’. Lybrell is just a pre-packaged means to what many of us have done with the monthly packs for many years.
Yes, it was. Are you implying that having monthly menstrual periods is what led to an increase in life expectancy? If so, then how did it impact males?
Better nutrition, the mitigating influences of civilization, and ultimately the control of infectious diseases are what increased life expectancy, in my opinion. Causing women to have many menstrual flows did not.
My wife was prescibed Depo-provera for fibroids.
Of course, all trouble stopped. That was long ago, and to date there have been no adverse effects.
This just doesnt’ sound healthy.