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October 9, 1954


JAMA. 1954;156(6):578-580. doi:10.1001/jama.1954.02950060004002

In discussing a few of the more homely truths about menstrual bleeding I will, perhaps, revive an old argument that some have tried to bury. To avoid misunderstanding, I believe it is essential to start with a reasonably precise definition of the subject. This implies that menstruation lends itself to a solitary and well-delineated description, acceptable to all who deal in any manner with this phase of physiology. Regrettably, such is not the case and at least two different points of view as to what constitutes menstruation have been defended by acknowledged authorities.

DEFINITIONS OF MENSTRUATION  In his widely quoted review, published in 1937, Bartelmez1 said, "Menstruation is a bloody discharge associated with necrosis of uterine mucosa, recurring, in the absence of pregnancy, at intervals of from 31/2 to 5 weeks in certain primates." He had been impressed by the observations of Markee,2 who felt there were no

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