Updated: Dec 3, 2019
Question of the day: Are we supposed to have periods?
Some Yoni Steam shops celebrate the 5 to 7 day menses. As owner of Ixchelation Yoni Steaming & an AMA physician I know that hemorrhaging is not normal, however I understand that menstruation on some level is. We really don't have to have “periods”, but I won't get into women sequestering and being able to choose when they can release their eggs. That's for another time.
So why do we bleed?
Reproductive science expert James Segars from Johns Hopkins University told Alana Massey at 'The Atlantic', that the only reason women bleed while on the pill is by design, not by necessity: "When people were designing the pill, they asked women what they wanted, and women said they wanted to have a period to confirm they’re not pregnant."
If you want to, there's no medical reason not to skip, except for peace of mind. "Having a monthly period is reassuring but it is certainly not necessary," says Segars.
Modern Western women have four times as many periods over a lifetime as our hunter gatherer ancestors and triple the number for women just a hundred years ago. In other words, what seems "natural" now is very different from what our bodies have historically supported or have evolved to support. It is said that some hunter/gatherer
tribes saw periods as something unusual. Aboriginal/Indigenous women from some tribes in the African continent see periods as a woman eating something that triggered abnormal bleeding. And from what I've heard other Aboriginal doctors witness... it is.
When the uterine lining sheds, there is only supposed to be some light spotting up to releasing 3 Tablespoons of blood each month. Anything more than that is hemorrhaging and denotes Estrogen Dominance in the body. See link: https://www.healthline.com/health/how-much-blood-do-you-lose-on-your-period . The Western Diet throws the hormonal balance off, with estrogen being imbalanced with progesterone. This diet messes with our hormones and we oftentimes go to the OBGYN to regulate our periods. To put it simply, we opt in for hormone therapy. So let's dig into THE PILL.
From the beginning, doctors recognized that there was no medical reason for women on the Pill to bleed, but they thought Pills would be more accepted by the public and by Catholic authorities if they mimicked a monthly menstrual cycle. For women who are taking oral contraceptives, monthly bleeding triggered by seven days of placebos isn't actually menstruation, but rather a response to hormone withdrawal. Real menstruation is evidence of a feedback loop in which a functioning hypothalamus and pituitary signal the ovaries and uterus, causing a follicle to develop and egg to be released into an environment that is ready to receive it. The hormones in most oral contraceptives suppresses this cycle of ovulation. In other words, women who are on the pill to regulate their periods aren't actually regulating them. They are suppressing them and replacing them with withdrawal bleeding, and benefits of menstrual suppression accrue whether the monthly bleeding occurs or not. For two generations, women using hormonal contraceptives have bled monthly for cultural reasons, most without knowing there were alternatives. See the actual article here: https://jezebel.com/a-brief-history-of-your-period-and-why-you-dont-have-t-5928316
Conclusion: We can go back to having light periods without having to opt in for hormone therapy. Re-Education is key. Ixchelation can teach you how to have enjoyable periods by simply changing your diet.