Sunday, April 22, 2007

Contraception...

Yesterday, I came across a New York Times article that stated that contraceptive pills that eliminate periods get mixed reviews. I was so curious about what exactly that meant that I did a little bit of research on contraceptive methods. And boy!! Was I shocked to find that I was terribly uninformed about the types and variety of contraceptive pills on the market. As far as I had seen, contraceptive pills came in packs of 28 with 21 active and 7 inactive pills, after which a woman got her period like she always does. Yesterday, during my research I discovered that there is something called a seasonal pill that a woman takes for 3 months. This therapy apparently restricts the number of periods to 4 a year. Even more shocking was the new pill that apparently completely get rid of the monthly nightmare as long as one continues to take the pills. Now, although studies suggest that the side effects are no different from that of the normal contraceptive pill with a 28-day cycle, I am sceptical. How can something that puts an end to what we all consider a natural phenomenon possibly be healthy?

The medical consequences apart, what I found even more disturbing was the way women likened their monthly period to persecution and claimed that they felt "liberated" when they were on the pill that rid them of the menstrual cycle. They claimed that their period kept them from what was considered "normal" activity and resulted in absenteeism caused by painful periods or excessive bleeding. While I sympathise with the pain and other problems caused by irregular periods, I do not understand how getting rid of it will actually help matters. In their shoes, I for one, would be constantly stressing about whether my birth control is working properly or not. A regular period, for any woman, should be an assurance that their biological clock is functioning propoerly. It is also an assurance that one is not pregnant. Maybe I am conservative and old-fashioned. But for me, my monthly period is one of the most reassuring outward signs of my womanhood. I wouldn't like to get rid of it through medication.

Here I am, launching a tirade against the die-hard feminists of the 21st century yet again. I have nothing against equality of the sexes, nor do I think that women must be kept isolated and miserable during the course of their monthly period. But, I do think that having a period is not a sign of weakness. After all, it is the woman who carries the child for 9 months. Why should one be ashamed of a biological cycle that ensures that the female reproductive system is up and running until such time as it becomes necessary to put it to use? What is so bad about enduring 4 days of bleeding if it ensures that your baby will be born healthy and robust? I will never understand feminist views on the issue. And I have stopped trying.