Saying Yes to Periods

Experts explain why women should not avoid their natural cycles

Why women should not avoid their natural cycles

Eliminating periods out of one’s life has become a new reality for some women for the past several years. Since some medical professionals expressed the idea that periods can be optional, many people have started taking contraceptive pills to alter their periods and have more freedom to plan daily activities.

However, menstruation is an important part of the natural cycle and gynecological health. Sexually active women usually refer to it as a positive or negative indication of pregnancy. For many women, it is also a part of their feminine identity, according to Vilmante Markeviciene, the founder of Genial Day, a woman-owned company focused on intimate health and conscious period products, and Dr. Svitrigaile Grinceviciene, an OB/GYN and specialist in vulvovaginal disorders. 

Why do some women refuse to bleed?

The decision to get on with one’s period-free life might be motivated by several factors, Ms. Markeviciene pointed out. “Periods are messy and at times inconvenient. Add occasional leaks, cramps, bloating, nausea, fatigue, and people might start thinking they are actually better without them.”

Those in favor of menstrual elimination contribute to the dilemma with arguments that periods are not medically justifiable if a woman is not trying to get pregnant because they cause unnecessary stress for the body. Also, the contraceptive pill is said to reduce the risk of ovarian cancer by 27% and endometrial cancer by 50%. Therefore, the control of one’s fertility, easier management of period symptoms, and reduced anxiety to participate in social, professional activities tempt many women to join the “no period” trend. 

Even though periods are uncomfortable, hormonal contraception has its own negative effects on a person’s body—many people suffer from hormonal contraceptive-induced mood changes, weight gain, or irregular bleeding. It has been also associated with severe mental conditions like depression, and can even be linked to a general decrease in people’s well-being.

How to determine if menstruation should be repressed or embraced?

Dr. Grinceviciene argued that the only time the menstrual cycle should be suppressed is when it is a pathological one, meaning, it can lead to certain illnesses: endometriosis, risk of fatal hemorrhaging, severe premenstrual depression or migraine, some allergies to a person’s own hormones such as progesterone.

“In cases of pathologies, physicians recommend to suspend the menstrual cycle and treat the illness with medication,” the OB/GYN added. 

However, if there are no underlying medical issues that would indicate the need to repress periods, menstruation can help women to become more attuned with their bodies. The menstrual cycle has three stages—during each one, the levels of different hormones (follicle stimulating hormone, luteinizing hormone, estrogen, testosterone, progesterone) either rise or fall, and this shift affects productivity levels, sexual arousal and emotional state.

“No drugs could ever imitate the feelings a woman has during that time between the period and ovulation—high libido, energy, productivity, and efficiency,” Dr. Grinceviciene said.

By tracking and identifying their body’s state during different days of ovulation, women can learn to use these hormonal shifts to their advantage—discover the best time to rest, work on new projects or pursue sexual ventures when their libido is at its highest. 

Embracing periods to reduce period stigma 

“The discomfort during periods might have been true once but now we have many options which would bring the most sense of security and help to fall in love with menstruation,” Ms. Markeviciene said. “Breathable, non-allergenic, highly absorbent pads, menstrual cups, and period panties are designed to ensure maximum comfort and protection, and let women feel confident and capable in every situation, be it work, school, hobbies, or sports, even during the heaviest days of period.”

Both experts agreed that celebrating one’s menstrual cycle might be also beneficial to combating period stigma and negative associations related to menstruation. “Rather than suppressing periods, we should have open conversations about them, especially with the younger generation which is still learning to navigate their menstrual cycles,” Ms. Markeviciene added.

Genial Day is a woman-owned brand, which focuses on organic, hypoallergenic feminine hygiene products, using FAR-IR anion strip technology in the sanitary pads. The company was first introduced in Lithuania in 2009, where it became a top organic sanitary napkin brand in just four years, and later expanded to Europe, reaching the U.S. market in 2016. Currently, Genial Day is available in 15 countries worldwide. The product range includes sanitary pads, tampons, menstrual cups, and period panties.

Other articles by HVP News Reporters

  • Get Hooked on Fishing, Not Drugs

    Third Annual Orange County District Attorney’s Office Youth Fishing Derby

    The Third District Attorney’s Office Youth Fishing Derby will run from April 1 through Sept. 4, 2023. The event is open to young people between the ages of 4 and 18 who are children or grandchildren of Orange County residents. read more »
  • Kids aren't eating fruits and veggies

    Happiest Baby's Dr. Harvey Karp has tips to change that

    A new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that approximately 32% of 1- to 5-year-olds did not eat a single piece of fruit a day and nearly one half (~49%) didn't eat any vegetables a day. Roughly 51% drank a sugar-sweetened beverage, like fruit drinks or soda, at least once a week. read more »
  • 5 sleep habits essential for heart health

    Make sure you get your zzz's with these tips

    In the days following a time change due to daylight saving time, research shows a marked increase in heart attacks and strokes. However, losing sleep anytime can be a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease. read more »
  • Take these 6 steps to manage your blood pressure

    Hypertension can be dangerous

    High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, affects nearly half of adults in the United States, and only about 1 in 4 with this condition have it under control, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). read more »
  • Make your St. Patrick's Day spread green with envy

    These open-faced noshes can be perfect for lunch, snack time or an appetizer

    Freshen up your St. Patrick’s Day menu with easy, light sandwiches inspired by the traditional color of the festivities. These open-faced noshes can be perfect for lunch, snack time or even as an appetizer for get-togethers with friends and family. read more »
  • Lucky mint brownie perfection

    A twisted combination of mint and sweet chocolate

    How lucky you must be to come across this recipe just in time for St. Patrick’s Day. This one is a twisted combination of mint and sweet chocolate that’s sure to have almost anyone’s taste buds screaming “yum.” This dessert might just be the pot of gold at the end of your rainbow this year. read more »
  • 3 ways parents can encourage social emotional learning in children

    Parents focus on social emotional skills, mental health, kindness and understanding differences

    Most parents would agree the quality of their children’s education plays a key role in their overall development. While parents are optimistic about the future of education, they also recognize children have educational needs beyond what is considered the standard. read more »
  • Selecting a health care provider

    Resources to guide your selection

    Getting health care for yourself or a loved one is a big responsibility, especially if you’re just getting started with Medicare or have changes in your life, such as a new diagnosis of a condition or disease. It can be overwhelming if you need services like nursing home care, have to find a new doctor or get home health care. read more »
  • 5 simple solutions for proper nasal hygiene

    Keep your nasal passages clean, clear and moisturized

    Your nose is essential for conditioning the air you breathe and serves as the first line of defense against dust, pollution, bacteria, viruses and more. The presence of these substances in your nasal passages can trigger infections, disease and illness. read more »
  • Have a bump on your foot?

    Don’t ignore it

    Have a lump or bump on your foot? Whether it’s painful or not, it could potentially signal a serious condition. Foot and ankle surgeons warn it’s important to have it checked out, no matter its size or location on your foot. read more »