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Aunt Flo has left the building!
August 3, 2001 11:24 AM   Subscribe

Aunt Flo has left the building! "A new drug being developed would eliminate menstruation altogether, while still allowing women to get pregnant. Another drug would eliminate both periods and pregnancy." Stock in companies that sell white jeans set to skyrocket, while sales of red and white patterned bedsheets plummet! On a more serious note, how much easier will this make it to plan adventurous vacations, honeymoons, and doctor's appointments? How much easier would life be if you never, ever had to think about having a period again?
posted by kristin (66 comments total)

 
Does that mean there is no rationalization for odd behavior? My girl is already a turn-off.
posted by Postroad at 11:26 AM on August 3, 2001


Kristin...you nasty.
posted by ColdChef at 11:31 AM on August 3, 2001


Malcolm Gladwell's New Yorker article on menstruation comes to mind. He offers some pretty convincing arguments that the 28-day cycle we think of as "natural" is a fairly modern, fairly western sort of "invention"...
posted by judith at 11:32 AM on August 3, 2001


and..."nasty"? please. hello metafilter, welcome to biology 101.
posted by judith at 11:33 AM on August 3, 2001


Personally (and maybe I'm weird), I don't seen any reason to get rid of my period. It's not *that* much of an inconvenience.

This message brought to you by the Department for TMI.
posted by binkin at 11:36 AM on August 3, 2001


"A new drug being developed would eliminate menstruation altogether, while still allowing women to get pregnant. Another drug would eliminate both periods and pregnancy. "

A third pill is in development. It simply turns you into Beatrice Arthur, allowing you freedom from the whole messy woman business altogether.
Mullet and wallet chain sold separately.
posted by dong_resin at 11:37 AM on August 3, 2001


That's right, I went after Maude! Suck it!
posted by dong_resin at 11:40 AM on August 3, 2001


Noise 5, Signal 1
posted by stevis at 11:51 AM on August 3, 2001


Fascinating link, judith.

I find the following quite offensive, however:

Once, one of her neighbors and best friends in the tribe roasted her a rat as a special treat. "I told him that white people aren't allowed to eat rat because rat is our totem," Strassmann says.
posted by rushmc at 11:53 AM on August 3, 2001


so menstruation is a disease? so what do you think happens once a biologically natural function is prevented? i'd hate to be those ladies in clinical trials. i bet the rates of vaginal infection are exponentially higher in women who take the drug.
posted by wantwit at 12:16 PM on August 3, 2001


My girlfriend looks forward to her period. I suppose it is proof that the pills are working. I can't imagine what it would be like for her to sit around taking the EPT every month.
posted by remlapm at 12:20 PM on August 3, 2001


rushmc: Offensive? To the rats or to the white people? I, as a white person, found it hilarious.

Rats are just animals trying to survive, like us. Rats are destructive to their environment, like us. Hmmm. Maybe she had a point.
posted by anewc2 at 12:23 PM on August 3, 2001


Once again science fiction (c.f. Connie Willis's "Even the Queen") becomes reality.
posted by kindall at 12:25 PM on August 3, 2001


...once a biologically natural function is prevented?

First, I have no opinion on this matter, since it's not my concern. If a woman wants to not have her period, that's up to her not me.

But, as regards the stopping of biological functions: we do it all the time. Antiperspirants, for example. Or, more relevant to the issue at hand, birth-control pills. Whether this is good or bad is, again, not up to those of us that aren't involved (IMHO).
posted by aramaic at 12:35 PM on August 3, 2001


Researchers focus way too much on controlling women's cycles. Wouldn't it be a much larger pay off to track and control men's hormonal cycles?
posted by Sqwerty at 12:42 PM on August 3, 2001


"i bet the rates of vaginal infection are exponentially higher in women who take the drug."

Um...why? Women don't bleed in order to flush infectants from their vagina. If they did, you would be seeing an enormous number of children and grandmothers with vaginal infections.

I just love how practical this is. I mean, you can eliminate periods by taking the pill back to back, without the sugar pill break in between, and women have been doing that for years, but to eliminate it and still be able to conceive is a pretty sweet deal.

Think of the practical applications. Think how easy it would be to schedule a backwoods camping trip, a little skin diving in Bali, your honeymoon, doctor's appointments, fishing trips - any time it has ever been mildly inconvenient to intensely annoying could now be no big deal.

What would you do with the extra $20 a month you normally would have spent on girlie supplies?
posted by kristin at 12:47 PM on August 3, 2001


so menstruation is a disease?

No, but it looks uncomfortable, messy, and just plain not much fun. If there was a safe pill that got rid of it, what's the problem?

I guess there are some people who would say that they like the discomfort, it reassures them of their womanhood or something. But that's the beauty of pills that stop menstruation: you don't have to take them if you don't want to.

so what do you think happens once a biologically natural function is prevented?

You mean like pregnancy? Or non-head hair growth? Or body odor? or the development of plaque on teeth? Or the lengthening of toenails?

I'm pretty sure the answer isn't "human explodes in shower of blood and organs."
posted by UncleFes at 12:48 PM on August 3, 2001 [1 favorite]


Does this mean no more of those "soft-lense mother-daughter talk commercials"? I vote yes on special little pills.
posted by hotdoughnutsnow at 12:50 PM on August 3, 2001


I'm pretty sure the answer isn't "human explodes in shower of blood and organs"

I have faith that Modern Technology will rectify this oversight, and soon our streets will be filled with exploding people.
posted by aramaic at 12:52 PM on August 3, 2001


Dang it, aramaic!

Or should I say, "Grand Emperor."

Beat me to it.
posted by UncleFes at 12:53 PM on August 3, 2001


I have faith that Modern Technology will rectify this oversight, and soon our streets will be filled with exploding people.

Working on it; the hard part is going to be the marketing end....

...and that's where I come in :)
posted by UncleFes at 12:54 PM on August 3, 2001


But, as regards the stopping of biological functions: we do it all the time. ...relevant to the issue at hand, birth-control pills.

My ex-girlfriend just finished a project researching the health effects of birth control pills. She decided to never, ever, ever go on them. Her research scared the living daylights out of her. Apparently, those things can really screw with a woman's body in certain cases.
posted by gd779 at 12:56 PM on August 3, 2001


maybe this is a stupid question, but -- how do birth control pills "screw" with women's bodies? i'm not skeptical, just curious.
posted by moz at 1:01 PM on August 3, 2001


She decided to never, ever, ever go on them.

How bad can they be? My wife took them for 15 years. She's so healthy she could probably take me in a streetfight. And the commercials say that, not only do you not get babies, but your acne goes away, too. What gives?

My wife's ob/gyn said that, after age 35 and if you smoke, they ain't great, because there is a fairly substantial increased risk of heart disease. But otherwise, safe and effective, certainly more so than the typical male birth control method (i.e., lying about a vasectomy), which, while safe, is less than 100% effective.
posted by UncleFes at 1:05 PM on August 3, 2001


I'm not sure that the convenience of a hiking trip or skindiving is worth the concept of meddling with my body's natural hormonal processes. We have no way of knowing whether or not taking the No Period Pill when I'm 34 will mean that at 64 I end up with endometrial or ovarian cancer.

I'd rather deal with a few days each month where a few (very few) activities would be inconvenient than fiddle around with something which could have unforeseen long-term effects.
posted by Dreama at 1:06 PM on August 3, 2001


My ex-girlfriend just finished a project researching the health effects of birth control pills. She decided to never, ever, ever go on them. Her research scared the living daylights out of her. Apparently, those things can really screw with a woman's body in certain cases.


Along with every thing else a human can put in their mouths. Food, medications, body parts, whatever... Any of them could conceivably kill you if there was something amiss.


Personally, I love being able to skip a period if I feel it would interfere with a trip or something. Now if only the pill was universally covered by insurance... grr.
posted by stefnet at 1:08 PM on August 3, 2001


Men are accused of being macho, and women need to bleed to feel womanly.

Huh?
posted by Ptrin at 1:20 PM on August 3, 2001


here's a story on a recent court decision on insurance coverage for the pill. it's also important to remember that many women are on the pill not because it's their birth control method of choice, but because it is prescribed for hormonal irregularities such as polycystic ovarian syndrome, which affects approximately 6-10% of all women.
posted by judith at 1:21 PM on August 3, 2001


rushmc: Offensive? To the rats or to the white people?

To integrity. She claims this person as one of her best friends ("among the savages" being the understood caveat, no doubt), yet lies to him to escape her own dietary squeamishness? To be successful, this sort of researcher must work very hard to build a relationship of trust with those she is studying, and honesty and directness is a two-way street. Instead she chooses to impose her own cultural biases into the dialogue, and to foment cultural misunderstanding between her and her "friend" rather than encourage openness--how capable are we to think her when it comes to an objective analysis and understanding of the weltanshauung of her subjects?

And she's so damn self-satisfied about having escaped the situation by feeding the silly little native such a hilarious line of bull...

It's no wonder that researchers are now realizing that the people they have studied have been lying through their teeth to and mocking them for 100 years when they hold them in such disregard.
posted by rushmc at 1:21 PM on August 3, 2001


And here is the article in The Sciences which Gladwell ripped off to produce the second part of his article for the New Yorker (which Judith linked to above). Four hundred periods a lifetime ... sheesh.
posted by sylloge at 1:29 PM on August 3, 2001


But, as regards the stopping of biological functions: we do it all the time. Antiperspirants, for example.

Actually, antiperspirants might be bad for you.
posted by Tin Man at 1:32 PM on August 3, 2001


i have not and will not ever have a period, but the idea of chemically stopping this cycle frightens the hell out of me. much in the same way prozac, ritalin (when i can't stop fiddlin, i just takes me ritalin) and most other pill form medication scares me. i understand it is an inconvenience at times, and i can see many benefits to not inviting aunt flo around anymore, but in the end, i think we need her around. i don't trust the companies that make these things enough to let them interfere so much with the natural flow of the universe.
posted by whoshotwho at 1:32 PM on August 3, 2001


Ah yes, the old "I don't want to mess with my natural biological processes" line. No offense intended to those who feel that way, that's all fine and good, it just makes me smile because I've had a couple of friends who have decided to not use the pill because they don't want to "mess with their hormones" and then they end up pregnant... which is a "natural biological process" that really "messes with your hormones" at the same time (post partum anyone?).

I'm on the Depo-Provera shot right now, have been for over a year and I stopped having a period. Although I've had a few side effects, the side effects have been far better than the side effects I get from menstruation. I don't have cramps or PMS anymore. Definitely natural biological processes I can live without. And nobody calls me Bea Arthur, surprisingly.

I just want them to hurry up and research that pill. I'd do it in a heartbeat. I don't see a problem with it unless there was government regulation MAKING you take this pill.
posted by witchstone at 1:36 PM on August 3, 2001 [1 favorite]


I'm not sure that the convenience of a hiking trip or skindiving is worth the concept of meddling with my body's natural hormonal processes. We have no way of knowing whether or not taking the No Period Pill when I'm 34 will mean that at 64 I end up with endometrial or ovarian cancer.

If you really want to be natural and not mess with your body's natural hormonal processes, you may need to get pregnant 6-10 times. That's what the article in judith's link was talking about. Women in industrialized societies have "unnaturally" few children (and spend less time breastfeeding) and end up having many more periods. So using the pill to reduce the total number of periods you have in your lifetime might end up being more "natural".
posted by straight at 1:46 PM on August 3, 2001


If you really want to be natural and not mess with your body's natural hormonal processes, you may need to get pregnant 6-10 times.

If I weren't opposed to the in-thread gratuituous self-link, I'd invite you to virtually meet my family. . . in any case:

Women in industrialized societies have "unnaturally" few children (and spend less time breastfeeding) and end up having many more periods. So using the pill to reduce the total number of periods you have in your lifetime might end up being more "natural".

Unfortunately, though, these pills do not replicate the entirety of the process, so there really isn't anything "natural" about it. Plus, we don't know that having more periods separate from having more periods because of fewer pregnancies and less time breastfeeding is as detrimental as has been suggested. Until there is a hell of a lot more study put to it, I'll have to refrain from accepting the thinking that tricking the body with one fraction of the extremely complex hormonal mixture is a good idea.
posted by Dreama at 2:19 PM on August 3, 2001


I'm assuming that if I took this little pill it would take away the emotional high I get around ovulation? That's a damn shame.

And for those of you following the "not on the pill = pregnant" line of thought, do some research on fertility awareness. Personally, I like not feeling like a breeder horse injected with hormones (which is how I felt during my 6 years on the pill). But that's just me.
posted by arielmeadow at 2:20 PM on August 3, 2001


Please forgive me for what follows...but I chanced upon the dead-tree-version of "The Onion" at a bookstore the other day, and the cover-page included a list of the top-10 euphemisms for menstruation. Number one nearly got me locked up for losing control and collapsing into hysterical laughter. Please don't be offended by this, but I simply must share: "Riding the cotton pony." I don't know why that struck me as hilarious, but it just dropped me into peals of laughter. My wife, for the record, was not amused.

Gosh, this link was timely...I've been trying for a week to figure out how to work this euphemism into a casual conversation, to no avail. Thanks for bearing with me...we now return you to regularly-scheduled posting.
posted by davidmsc at 2:46 PM on August 3, 2001


We always used to whistle like the frog in the cartoon:

"Hello, my baby/
Hello, my honey/
Hello, my...."
posted by ColdChef at 2:56 PM on August 3, 2001


When I clicked on the original link in the post, I got a popup ad with a graphic of a woman jumping and the caption: "Why is this woman happy?" Some stupid ad, but I thought the synchronicity was hilarious.
posted by tippiedog at 3:08 PM on August 3, 2001


ColdChef, expect to hear from my lawyer regarding the third degree burns and general emotional anguish caused by blowing piping hot espressso out through my nose.
posted by dong_resin at 3:40 PM on August 3, 2001


As long as its tested correctly and comes out safe, I think it would be great. My girlfriend would would likely kill or maim to get rid of her period. But I don't think that all it would amount to is simply making it easier to plan for a weekend of skin diving. The ramifications of something like this being widely adopted would be huge - at least as big as the pill was when it was first introduced.

Sure, for the women who have grown up with menstruation as just part of what it means to be female, the impact will mostly just be one of convenience. But, imagine that first or second generation of women who grow up without the requirement of menstruation? Even if usage rates are only as large as they are now for birth control pills, this means that there will be millions of women who grow up and grow old perhaps never having a period.

There has been so much attention paid to menstruation as part and parcel with the (current) feminine experience - some positive, but mostly negative - by the culture at large. Overall, I think the impact would be good, but I don't think we can honestly even imagine how this might change things.
posted by edlark at 3:41 PM on August 3, 2001


A possible obstacle to widespread use of the drug is the erroneous notion that it's unnatural or unhealthy not to get a period every month.

"Many women believe that having a monthly period is necessary for their well-being," Dobson said. "This belief dates back to the Dark Ages when people were bled for just about any ailment, and it should remain there. Women have a period to prepare themselves for pregnancy, nothing more."
posted by gleemax at 3:51 PM on August 3, 2001


You know for a thread that started by asking How much easier would life be if you never, ever had to think about having a period again? far too many males answered.

Oh, and rat is definitely my totem. Anyone who takes offense can go ahead and eat all the rat they want.
posted by rschram at 3:52 PM on August 3, 2001


Sign me up. And my girlfriend, too. We should be exempt from Aunt Flo, anyway. ;o)
posted by jillmatrix at 4:10 PM on August 3, 2001


Um...why? Women don't bleed in order to flush infectants from their vagina. If they did, you would be seeing an enormous number of children and grandmothers with vaginal infections.

Actually, Margie Profet argued that this is, indeed, the function of menstruation in her seminal (sorry) paper "Menstruation as a Defense Against Pathogens Transported by Sperm." At the time she took a lot of heat for her stance, as a lot of her male peers took offense at the idea that sperm was something that needed to be defended against. Since then, though, it has widely come to be accepted as one of the two main theories (it's technically a "hypothesis", actually) as to menstruation's biological role. Here's a brief summary of that article. (The other hypothesis, in case you are interested is that "cyclical regression and renewal of the endometrium is energetically less costly than maintaining the endometrium in the metabolically active state required for implantation." Yeah, I'm not sure what that means either.)
posted by Shadowkeeper at 4:15 PM on August 3, 2001


My ex-girlfriend just finished a project researching the health effects of birth control pills. She decided to never, ever, ever go on them. Her research scared the living daylights out of her. Apparently, those things can really screw with a woman's body in certain cases.

I'm sure that there are cases of things going wrong... But I just want to point out that the pill is the most clinically tested medication out there (see The Pill: A Biography of the Drug That Changed the World -- great book!). In the Netherlands, when I needed a prescription for the pill, I went in, talked to the doctor, had my blood pressure taken and voila, off to the pharmacy. It's not considered a big deal. (In the States, you have to have metal instruments stuck up your body. Medically unrelated blackmail, in my opinion, but that's another topic).

Personally, unlike many who say "wouldn't it be great to go back in time and live in another era", I'll stick right here in the age of the pill. And not drop 6 babies or so. And not feel 80 when I'm 30. Yay for the pill!

In comparison, this drug doesn't seem like such a big deal to me, but I happily say a small "yay" to this, too... periods are natural but gross. There have got to be (and are) better ways to tell that you're not pregnant.
posted by annekef at 4:20 PM on August 3, 2001


It is nice for Margie, being able to spout all this theory without any formal training or the data to back it up, but the fact remains, if her theories were true, they would be provable, and they don't bear out in the statistics, because there are many, many women who do not bleed monthly who do not have any higher instances of infection. Based on her 'theory', which has no evidence to back it up, post menopausal, sexually active woman would be just hotbeds of infection.

Check the summary - the part about how she presents no real tangible data to support her claim.

The first birth control pills didn't come with the week of sugar pills. When I started on them, I was encouraged to skip from one pack to the next without the week off - every girl I know was. So there is about 40 years of evidence to examine, re: the safety of it. That portion of the article isn't anything new.

But the real genius is being able to conceive without bleeding. I cannot wait until this is available.
posted by kristin at 4:52 PM on August 3, 2001


a lot of her male peers took offense at the idea that sperm was something that needed to be defended against

ROTFLMAO...that's...just...too...funny.... :::pant, gasp:::
posted by rushmc at 4:58 PM on August 3, 2001


moz: You asked how the Pill can mess with a women's body (given the topic, "screw" was probably a poor choice of words)... I think that the answer has been pretty well covered above. Reproductive cycles are very delicate things, and bad things can happen when you start deliberately interfering with them. Given that we don't necessarily understand all of the implications of a particular pill until years later (birth control pills taken prior to 1970 may increase the risk of breast cancer, for example, but nobody knew that at the time), women have to decide how risk-tolerant they are. It's a personal decision, I suppose. I'd give more evidence, but my girlfriend and I have broken up, and I really wasn't that involved in the decision (we're both Christians, so it was kind of a "someday, this is what I'll do" sort of thing.)

My best friend's girlfriend is on the Depo pill and has been experiencing mood swings, nausea, etc.. (According to her, it's like she's PMS'ing all of the time.) Other women I know don't have any problems. So there you have it.
posted by gd779 at 5:07 PM on August 3, 2001


What would you do with the extra $20 a month you normally would have spent on girlie supplies?

Spend it on this pill perhaps? I can't imagine it would be cheaper than the current birth control pill. Probably even more expensive for the initial short term. I dunno, I finally found a birth control pill that has cleared my skin, eased my hormones & brought my period down to one day--in the middle of the week even. My fear of complete cessation of a period leading to some far more nefarious thing down the line--like 3 headed babies should I ever decide to have one.
posted by thc at 5:35 PM on August 3, 2001


It is nice for Margie, being able to spout all this theory without any formal training or the data to back it up ...

Yeah, well the summary was written in 1996 by a student for a woman's studies class, so it's not the best account of the actual science. I've read the paper (which is why I knew about it in the first place) and that "no tangible data" line is bogus. (Here, by the way, is a much better article about Profet and her hypothesis.) I'm not arguing that this hypothesis is necessarily correct, although as an armchair scholar of evolutionary ecology I prefer it over the alternative hypothesis.

the fact remains, if her theories were true, they would be provable, and they don't bear out in the statistics ...

"The statistics?" What statistics are you citing?
posted by Shadowkeeper at 5:44 PM on August 3, 2001


This all sounds ideal, but all you need to do is look back through medical history at some of the other synthetic hormones that the drug industry has sold to women.

DES is just one example of a previous wonder pill that was trumpeted as helping women cope with the mess and inconvenience of their reproductive system. Synthetic hormones can help, but often carry an extremely negative impact.
posted by Sqwerty at 6:49 PM on August 3, 2001


Sorry... couldn't resist.

<noise>

Hi, my name's Dave Foley, and, uh, something you might not know about me is that .. I have a good attitude towards menstruation. That's right, I'm the guy! The guy with a good attitude towards menstruation!

Oh, I know a lot of men are made uncomfortable by this monthly miracle. But not me. No, I embrace it. Embrace it the way the way some men embrace the weekend! Why, I anticipate it the way a child anticipates Christmas!

Did you know that, uh, in a lot of native Indian cultures, menstruating woman were forced to leave the village, less they're *powerful* magic should overwhelm the Shaman? If I were Shaman, I wouldn't be so competitive. I'd be more open and giving. I'd be a shaman with... a good attitude towards menstruation!

'Cause after all, what is it? a cluster of blood vessels, awaiting a fertilized egg. Providing a safe warm place for that egg to grow. And if a life does not occur, the whole thing is flushed away, and the cycle begins again. Now is that anything to be ashamed of or disgusted by? No, this is the nesting stuff of humanity!

That's why the woman I shall love will be able to menstruate as fully and freely as she desires. Even if her monthly flow should build in intensity to a raging rust colored torrent! An unbridled river of life giving blood flowing from between her legs! An awesome cataract plunging off the edge of our couch. I wouldn't be fazed! No, no, even if coureur de bois would come up stream, battling the rapids, and singing a 'jaunty song'! I would take no offense, rather I would ford across that mighty womanly river, and fetch herbal tea and Pamprin. And then I would mop her brow and admire her fecundity. For I...Have A Good Attitude....Towards MENSTRUATION!

</noise>
posted by Hankins at 6:57 PM on August 3, 2001


The drugs block the action of progesterone, a hormone responsible for thickening the uterine lining

OMG--this is such an incredibly bad idea. Since progesterone is the chemical raw material for whole bunches of other hormones (including estrogen, testosterone, cortisol) and has receptors all over the body, blocking it would be incredible chaos. I'm not going to give a hormone seminar but I have only to look at the huge numbers of women who defy their doctors to take progesterone on their own after menopause and the fact that researchers have yet to understand female hormones well enough to produce anything other than cobbled-up HRT (hormone replacement therapy) to know that the state of knowledge is nowhere near good enough for massive tampering like this.
posted by salt at 8:29 PM on August 3, 2001


why is everything i say distorted and taken out of context?
posted by wantwit at 9:05 PM on August 3, 2001


why is everything i say distorted and taken out of context?

Because you posted it on MetaFilter?
posted by kindall at 9:10 PM on August 3, 2001


In the States, you have to have metal instruments stuck up your body. Medically unrelated blackmail, in my opinion, but that's another topic.

AMEN to that. I wound up going off the pill because the yearly exam was too much of an inconvenient hassle to get the prescription renewed.

I'm not sure that the convenience of a hiking trip or skindiving is worth the concept of meddling with my body's natural hormonal processes.

How about the convenience of not feeling like shit for 1/4 of your life?

I'm all for it. Mine is super irregular anyway. I only had monthly periods for about a year and a half in my teens. It was miserable! I felt like I was constantly either dreading my period, PMSing, having my period, or recovering from it. Then it dropped down to about 3 or 4 times a year. "Naturally", I guess (so that makes it okay, right?) The only problem there is the unpredictability of the cycle.

I don't regard my body's "natural hormonal processes" with much awe. I'm terribly nearsighted and I correct that with glasses. I take vitamins and aspirin, and eat chemicals not found in nature. I don't see this pill being markedly worse than anything I'm already inflicting on myself. I would love to be rid of menstruation for good.
posted by Zettai at 9:12 PM on August 3, 2001


I really don't see the problem here in the first place...
I was always taught that menstruation was God's lubricant. What's so wrong with it?
posted by ttrendel at 10:31 PM on August 3, 2001


Shadowkeeper, you linked to a site that explains that she has not done any research that supports her claim, and then wonder why I question her. Then you link to a site that states clearly that, "...Even if there are no direct data, she says that no one has come up with a criticism that her theory cannot handle. She maintains that her goal was to get women to "err on the side of caution until we have better information" and to stimulate scientific study. "I like looking for solutions to things. And for that you need good theory, and you need good experiments," Profet explains, adding that doing these experiments is not where her talents lie ..." and still assume she is right, well, I can't argue with the "I am making it up because it seems like it could be true" factions. Sorry.

I don't tell kids Santa isn't real, either. But you must admit, it is rather ludicrous to support a woman with no scientific background who cannot in any way substantiate her claims with any scientific data.
posted by kristin at 11:06 PM on August 3, 2001


I'm still waiting for a reasonably safe, long-term male contraceptive, other than vasectomy. News items about a 'male pill' pop up at regular intervals, but it hasn't seemed to have materialized, as far as I know, at least. Anyone know more about how close we are?
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 4:44 AM on August 4, 2001


just my two cents:

I was on Depo-Provera for four years, stopped having periods, and have never in my life had a "vaginal infection".

The number of people who react to this sort of thing with this horrified "but we're messing with nature" shock amuse me no end. I doubt any of us here on MetaFilter have ever truly and completely "gone natural".

and if I'm wrong, I'll thank you stinky and unkempt MeFites to stay behind your monitors and away from the world's elevators, restaurants, subways, and concert halls.
posted by Sapphireblue at 10:04 AM on August 4, 2001


Stavros:
Here's some info from a thread on my website.

Sapphireblue: I had a similar thought, standing in the shower this morning: hot water is unnatural. I wonder what bizarre ailments I am subjecting myself to by rinsing my skin in this artificial substance every day?

-Mars
posted by Mars Saxman at 1:12 PM on August 4, 2001


I'm glad that Depo-Provera worked for you but many women report such delights as acne, weight gain. Not to mention dizziness, headaches, nausea, and weakness. It's great if these medications work for people, but it doesn't mean that all patients will have the same rate of success.

Patients can still experience bleeding, and spotting while on Depo. Abdominal, back and breast pain have all been reported side effects as well.

Then there are the emotional side effects of nervousness, fatigue, and depression. A fair incidence of decreased sex drive too.

I don't know a woman who really enjoys the time spent dealing with menstruation, but it can be as bad (and in a signifigant percentage worse) dealing with the side-effects of medical intervention.
posted by Sqwerty at 2:19 PM on August 4, 2001


"I had a similar thought, standing in the shower this morning: hot water is unnatural. I wonder what bizarre ailments I am subjecting myself to by rinsing my skin in this artificial substance every day?"

Um...wtf? Hot water is not an "artificial substance." It's exactly the same as cold water, except it's been heated. Besides, let's not forget about hot springs -- 100% natural hot water.
posted by CrayDrygu at 7:41 PM on August 4, 2001


You know, shoes aren't natural either, but they're a whole lot better than getting a rash every time you walk through poison ivy...
posted by Ptrin at 8:09 PM on August 4, 2001


CrayDrygu: well, an awful lot of things are exactly the same as natural substances, except they're different in some way. And yes, I know about hot springs, but those certainly do not represent the normal human interaction with water.

If you don't like that one, then try "soap" - that's an unnatural substance. We certainly didn't evolve with soap.

-Mars
posted by Mars Saxman at 11:04 AM on August 5, 2001


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