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Seasonale And Lybrel Are No More "Unnatural" Than Old School Contraceptives

Illustration for article titled Seasonale And Lybrel Are No More Unnatural Than Old School Contraceptives

In the Fall issue of Ms., The American Prospect's Ann Friedman gets the real story behind Seasonale and Lybrel, the pills that allow women to menstruate only four times a year or not at all, respectively. Some opponents of these kinds of pills have argued that not having a period is "unnatural," and others say these pills "pathologize" menstruation.Friedman points out that the original pill was manufactured on a 28-day cycle as a way to convince Catholics that it was natural, not because it was actually any more natural than these newer versions. Friedman also notes that "the uterine lining does not build up as quickly for women on the pill, there's actually no medical need to slough it off every three weeks." In other words, all the research thus far has shown that these pills are safe, so why all the fuss? As Sarah Haskins told us already, it's all about marketing. When Seasonale first came on the market in 2003, it had Candace Bushnell as a spokeswoman. In the ads for the pill, the Sex and the City scribe said, "When you think about what women have accomplished with thirteen periods a year, think about what we can accomplish with only four." This makes the pill sound like a lifestyle choice, rather than a real medical decision with discernible benefits, Friedman points out. These benefits can include lower risk for uterine and ovarian cancers and hindering the progress of endometriosis. On the anti-pill side is anti-choice crazy Leslee Unruh. Leslee said of the period supressing Lybrel, "[It's] a war on women and children…[it's proponents are] wanting us women who are feminine and have fertility…to be like men." Of course, neither Bushnell nor Unruh have it right: regulating your period in whatever way you see fit is neither a lifestyle choice nor unnatural. It's a decision to be made with research and medical professionals. Like A Natural Woman [Ms. — Article Not Online] Earlier: Sarah Haskins Wishes You A Happy Period Control The Many Contradictions Of Leslee Unruh, Anti-Abortion And Purity Advocate

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DISCUSSION

As someone who had a rather icky experience with The Shot (as they call it) I am personally scared of the pills that claim to let women have less periods.

For those of you who never had the pleasure, you get the shot once every three months. It purported that you'd only recieve your period once every three months as a result.

That was true. However when I had it, it lasted for TWO MONTHS AT A TIME and would only go away when I got the next installment of the shot. I'd be with out for a month, then bam, two more months of hell. When I decided to go off it I endured my period for. Four. Months.