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Books, Journals, New Media
March 22/29, 2000

MenstruationIs Menstruation Obsolete?

Author Affiliations
 

Harriet S.MeyerMD, Contributing EditorJonathan D.EldredgeMLS, PhD, Journal Review EditorRobertHoganMD, adviser for new media

 

Not Available

 

by Elsimar M. Coutinho, with Sheldon J. Segal, 208 pp, $24, ISBN 0-19-513021-9, New York, Oxford University Press, 1999.

JAMA. 2000;283(12):1623-1624. doi:10.1001/jama.283.12.1623-JBK0322-3-1

The main premise of this provocative book is that menstruation is unpleasant, unnecessary, and even unhealthy. The argument has merit for women with specific diseases such as endometriosis or anemia caused by menorrhagia. However, the author, a pioneer in the development and testing of oral contraceptives, seems to be making a case for broader application. He writes that the initial decision not to use oral contraceptives continuously, and thereby avoid regular bleeding cycles, was based on the belief that women want to menstruate to be sure they are not pregnant. This, he says, was a mistake.

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