Full stop to periods


Lord of Penmai
Jul 5, 2011
Full stop to periods

For women looking for options to skip their monthly cycle, experts have some answers

"Why us?" ask girls when they get periods the first time. And they ask it to anyone who cares to listen. Too much is involved as baby-bearers are reminded of their natural role every month - PMS, stomach cramps, hygiene issues, uncomfortable sanitary napkins, sometimes even anaemia. There's no denying that many of us wish to get rid of the monthly trial forever. Maybe we can...

Dr Nandita Palshetkar says lately there's a minuscule section of young women who prefer skipping the monthly chore. "Career women who travel a lot sometimes ask for a way to skip periods for hygiene issues," she says. In such cases, doctors prescribe oral contraceptive (OC) pills. "OC pill prescription ensure women don't get periods for three to six months," she informs.

Menstruating is the way your body expels the uterine lining that builds up each month in preparation for an egg to be fertilised. But if you're on hormonal birth control, the lining never builds up so there's nothing to expel - the only reason you bleed is that a traditional 28-day pill pack has seven sugar pills. It's the absence of hormones in these pills that triggers the flow.

Suppressing your period isn't only about convenience - it can end menstrual migraines, lessen mood swings and reduce the risk of anaemia for some women. Dr Palshe-tkar says girls and women with heavy bleeding are also put on such prescription to ensure haemoglobin levels don't drop."

While suppressing menstrual bleeding may not really be a norm, it's common to postpone periods for a week or 10 days among Indian women, say doctors says Dr Hrishikesh Pai. "Women often request for medication to postpone periods for important pujas and festivals." Weddings and honeymoons also feature on this list.

But then again, young unmarried women are jittery about taking OC pills with horrid stories caused by hormonal imbalances floating around. There is another option, says Dr Aditi Parmar. She talks about a hormonal device that is inserted in the uterus. "It's actually used as a contraceptive, but eventually, even the periods stop. I used it myself when I had little kids for the sake of convenience," she says. The device is inserted under general anaesthesia or even in OPD and is stay for five years. "You can dance run, even jump with it," says Dr Parmar. Though an expensive preposition, it's considered safer as the hormone released by the device acts locally, thus there is no hormonal imbalance.

Though American College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists say period suppression is safe, most doctors in India prefer it's not done as rule. Dr Pai says, "It's important that women get cyclical periods. Women need to shed the endometrium regularly."

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