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Can Women Really Synchronize Their Periods?
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In addition to being messy, uncomfortable and inconvenient, some estimates project that women spend over $18,000 over the course of their lifetime on their period on things like pads and tampons. Every month, the lining of a woman's uterus thickens in response to hormones like estrogen and progesterone. It grows into layers and becomes filled with blood vessels in preparation of egg implantation. If the egg becomes fertilized and implants itself in that lining, pregnancy has begun. However, if pregnancy doesn't happen, menstruation occurs: the lining sheds and for many women this is accompanied by cramping.
Birth control revolutionized so much in our society. From the pink pill to the little copper coil, birth control gave women a degree of control over their bodies. Do women really need to have their period? Turns out, they don't. Most prescription birth control pills contain synthetic versions of the hormones progesterone and estrogen. These hormones prevent pregnancy in a few ways. Some types prevent ovulation by tricking your body into thinking it's already released an egg. This way an egg doesn't get released. And the progestin actually prevents the build up of the lining of your uterus and might also make the vaginal mucus thicker, making it more difficult for a sperm to get where it's trying to go.
Some pills are required to be taken every day for like 21 days and a placebo for a week to menstruate, other types stop menstruation completely. According to a 2006 study published in the journal Contraception, not menstruating is completely fine. In 2007 a pill that stops menstruation completely was approved by the FDA. The only downside being that some people might experience some breakthrough bleeding or spotting throughout the month. And many, many people were really interested. One survey by the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine found that more than two-thirds of women were interested in stopping their periods. And even more promising, 97 percent of physicians said suppressing menstruation is "medically safe and acceptable".
Year-round Contraceptive, Elimination Of Menstrual Cycles Safe, Study Shows (Science Daily)
"Researchers for the first time have demonstrated the safety and effectiveness of continuous-use oral contraceptives that can eliminate menstrual cycles."
Why Do Women Have Periods When Most Animals Don't? (BBC)
"Apart from humans and our close relatives, the only animals that menstruate are elephant shrews and certain bats. Why did it only evolve in these species?"