Being a girl, I found this week's reading to be really interesting. I remember seeing a commercial for Seasonique, which is a menstrual suppressing oral contraceptive (MSOC), a few years ago and thinking that having your period only four times a year sounds great and all but would that really be healthy for you? Back then I didn’t really think about the mismatch between contemporary women living in industrialized nations and our ancestors. Women’s in today’s society on average have an earlier age at menarche, later age at menopause, and a later age a first birth compared to ancestral women. This results in contemporary women who use contraceptives having about 400-459 menses throughout their lifetime while our ancestors might have only had a median number of 94 menses throughout their lifetime (Sievert, pg185). From this you can see that there is a great gap between the number of times the modern women menstruates versus the ancestral women. Sievert also goes into the four hypothesis of why evolutionarily humans menstruate. The first hypothesis states that menstruation is an evolutionary byproduct of endometrial preparation for pregnancy; so using MSOC is neither bad nor good for your health. The second hypothesis is that menstruation is for the purpose of removing pathogens from our body that are associated with sperm. In this case using MSOCs could be bad for your health since it could lead to pelvic inflammatory disease and infertility. The third hypothesis is that menstruation removes defective embryos from the body, so as long as a woman isn’t at risk for becoming pregnant using MSOCs will not negatively impact her. The fourth hypothesis suggests that menstruation is an indication of whether or not a woman is fertile.
I also found the article, “Women know something you don’t” to be really interesting. In the last election, Mitt Romney wanted the constitutional amendment stating that life begins at conception to be passed. He didn’t understand that would make most contraceptives illegal, and oral contraceptives help reduce the risk of ovarian and endometrial cancers.