Periods: Do We Need Them Every Month?
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Periods: Do We Need Them Every Month?

Should you stop having periods? It's (probably) totally up to you, girl.

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Periods: Do We Need Them Every Month?
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There's been a lot of chatter recently about whether monthly periods are necessary or not. Based on the research I've been doing myself, it appears most gynecologists agree: monthly periods are not necessary and can be easily avoided using different methods of birth control.

I've been having monthly periods for almost 10 years, so you can imagine how foreign the concept of "no more periods" sounds to me, as well as to other girls who have been having their periods for just as long.

Danielle Braff of Refinery 29 says, "The menstrual cycle is a perfectly natural phenomenon, so it makes sense that women might feel uneasy about skipping it. When faced with the opportunity to do so, women often worry that forgoing the period is 'unnatural' or that you need a period for some health reason." Her article is worth a read; she calls her doctor's recommendation to skip her periods "life-changing."

Her words really got me thinking, "Am I a total weirdo for wanting to keep my period?"

So, I decided to post a survey to see if I was the only one. Of those surveyed, 73 percent were in my age range of 16-21 years old. Out of that group, 84 percent are using a traditional pill as their birth control and 49 percent said they would use a birth control to completely stop their monthly periods.

Including all of the ages surveyed, only 8 percent said their periods are not an inconvenience. The rest split their answers between, "Yes, it is an inconvenience," and, "It is somewhat of an inconvenience." While 63 percent said their periods are not necessary and 35 percent said periods are necessary.

When asked if they would take a birth control to completely stop their periods, "No," and, "Maybe," were tied around 27 percent. The other 47 percent selected, "Yes."

The rest of this article won't have an answer for the question, "Should I stop my periods using birth control?" because I don't think it's a question any one girl/woman can answer, and I'm personally not sure about the "science" saying we don't need them.

But, I do think the answer to, "Should I stop my periods?" depends hugely on the individual because not all periods are the same. For example, my periods are short. My best friends have periods ranging anywhere from five to seven days long. I don't have horrible cramps each month, but some of my friends do.

I think the best thing we can do as women is to talk about our periods more. Braff's Refinery 29 article comments on why most women don't opt to skip their periods: "...it’s such a foreign concept to them that only a few have taken [their gynecologists] up on it." We shouldn't be afraid to ask the question, "Should I stop my periods?" or, "Do I need a period every month?" These questions are essential if we're going to dialogue the issues, frustrations and concerns of menstruation.

Whether we decide to continue or stop our own periods, menstruation is something we've all had to face and learn how to manage. I think there's a sense of community in menstruating. Think about all the times you've asked another girl if you have something on your pants or any of the times you've loaned a pad to a stranger in the bathroom. Periods, no matter how or if we have them, bring women together and that's never a bad thing.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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