Skip to main content

Period...

Bugger, just lost a big post, stupid keyboard!!!

Ok, so starting again...

I want to talk about monthly bleeding, LOL, yes I see some of you skulking away right now, I understand! Really I do! For most of our society periods are something to loathe, something that is painful and inconvenient, something for the major sanitary products producers to spend millions on making less of a "problem" and more comfortable to endure...

That is one way our society views the humble, or mighty - depending on how you experience it -, period.

Other pockets of society view the monthly (or so) bleed as something to be honoured and revered, a time to connect spiritually with the woman's place in the circle, or should that be cycle, of life. Bleeding every few weeks is a great sign of fertility (except for those women for which it is not because they, unfortunately, don't ovulate)...

Two very different views on these times of bleeding. One where bleeding is an act of war from a woman's body, betraying the woman with hormones and smells and bodily fluids, the other where it is a gift from the gods that enables women to do the godly act of growing new life within themselves...

There is a third view, or making I'm just going to create a third view right now, because the other two just don't sit well with me, hahaha... But honestly, I don't think I'm alone in this view...

Looking at bleeding historically, we find that women never had regular bleeds the way we experience them these days. Yes, women did have periods, but they were very irregular and only really occurred maybe a couple of dozen times in their lifetime. Today this is often put down to poor nutrition, but I'd like to argue that point, LOL (because I'm me)...

If women were so poorly nourished, how did humanity even survive all these centuries? Sure women didn't live as long as we do now, but could it be that we are outliving our natural lifespan? I mean, the world's population has literally exploded in the past hundred years or so and we're now accusing ourselves of raping this lifesustaining planet we inhabit (but that's another blog, hahaha, let's get back to this one)...

I'd say, for the sake of this argument, that women ate LESS than we do these days, and worked a hell of a lot harder than we do, physically. They had greater muscle mass versus fat ration. They also had more children than we do now. Breastfeeding actually worked as a nature child spacer for them, a natural contraceptive because they didn't eat all the hormone and chemical laidened foods we gorge ourselves on these days.

Women, I believe, used to live a LOT closer to nature than we do these days, and it was NATURAL for them not to bleed very often at all.

I've done some maths... I started having very regular bleeds at the age of 12.5 (June of 1984), and so next month is my 24 year anniversary of my first bleed. In those twenty four years I've missed 59 bleeds due to pregnancy and breastfeeding, and I've had 204 bleeds in total. I'm completely certain I've ALREADY had more bleeds in the past 24 years than a woman might have had in their entire lifetime 70 or 80 years ago... And that is with having four children and breastfeeding for 9 years solid (12 years, in total, if I don't overlap them)...

So, my view is that bleeding is a natural part of life, but bleeding every month, for years on end, is not how nature intended it. There are vegans and raw foodists who beleive that a healthy woman's body doesn't bleed as a matter of course, that sex stimulates ovulation that will result in a bleed if the egg isn't fertilised, but that it is more a sign of our very unnatural eating habits that we bleed far more often than any other mammal on the planet, even though our gestation time is longer (and there we should bleed less often if we followed the same patterns as other mammals)...

Siritually, for me personally, bleeding regularly every month that I'm not pregnant or feeding a newborn (non-solids consuming baby), is a reminder that I'm NOT living as closely to the earth as I probably should be, and I'm not having as many children as I'm built to have. It is a time to remember to better my relationship with natural and the universe, not a time to celebrate the status quo...

Comments

Sumara said…
That's really interesting Sif. I agree with you about diet, workload etc changing patterns of fertility.

I've never heard before that women used to only bleed rarely - where did you find that? I always though that, historically, it was all very naturally aligned with either the moon or with community rtitual (for example as is described in "The Red Tent").
I like it though, because I've always had very long and irregular cycles, before and after children, and the prevailing assumption that women always bleed every month or so really irritates me!
Sif said…
"Some have criticized menstrual manipulation as unnatural and raise concerns about the long-term effects of taking synthetic hormones. However, those in favor of altering women's cycles counter that the number of periods a woman has today is more unnatural. Historically, women had fewer than 150 periods over their lifetime compared with 350 to 400 today. Women used to undergo puberty at a later age, had more pregnancies and spent a longer time breast-feeding than they do now."

From:
http://www.period.com/Menstruation_Cycle_Women_Menstruation_Cycle_5031.html

This is not actually where I got my info. from, but it does back up what I was trying to say...
Sif said…
I should add, I'm not supporting chemical amenorrhea, LOL...
Sif said…
And this too - again, I want to emphasise that I believe these MEN have the wrong end of the stick, you CAN'T achieve a more natural menses chemically, but you could by living more naturally, rofl...

"In tribal societies, where pre-modern conditions prevail, monthly periods are still the exception rather than the rule. Scientist and anthropologist Beverly Strassman, for example, spent two and a half years tracking the menses of women in the Dogon tribe of Mali, Africa between 1986 to 1989. Strassman found that a Dogon woman, on average, reaches menarche — the onset of menstruation— at the age of 16. From her first period to the age of 20, she averages seven periods a year. From 20 to 34, she averages slightly more than one period per year. From 35 until menopause, a time of declining fertility, she averages four periods a year. She gives birth eight or nine times in her lifetime. During Strassman’s years with the Dogon tribe, the only women who made regular visits to Strassman’s menstrual hut were the village’s two sterile women.

Contemporary Western women, in contrast, menstruate many more times over the course of their lives for several reasons: they live longer, they reach menarche earlier, they are less likely to breastfeed (an activity that prolongs menstruation-free stretches), they have fewer children, and they begin bearing them later in life. Historically and anthropologically, the original, “natural” state for women is having fewer periods. Taking the pill continuously, then, induces a “natural” state in women. And this leads to a somewhat counter-intuitive conclusion: in today’s contemporary landscape, where women marry late and hold full-time jobs, a woman must engage in the “artificial” practice of oral contraception to return to her “natural” physiology of infrequent menstruation."

From: http://www.portlandphoenix.com/archive/features/01/01/19/feat_menstrual.html
Sumara said…
Ah, wow, thanks. :) That's really interesting. Makes me feel good actually, because those numbers cited are pretty much how my cycles have gone up til now. I'm sure that'll change though when I finish feeding this last bub.

Popular posts from this blog

12 Things Happy People Do Differently - a self-reflection...

A few days ago a Facebook friend posted the above poster on her wall. I believe she got these points from this blog which she enjoys reading, and the bloggers on the Marc and Angel Hack Life blog derived their discussion of these points from this book, available on Amazon - you're welcome! I have to admit, I haven't read the blog or the book I've just mentioned but wanted my readers to have access to the sources of the poster for their own reflective purposes.
The New Year will be upon us in but a few days and I thought this a great opportunity to do a little personal assessment on how I'm playing the happy game. I'm often not very happy at all - I don't need to be happy all the time, let me just say that up front - I personally believe that life is a balancing act and those who seek euphoria often will also often feel desolation because in all things there must be balance. The great riches of the few on this planet come at the personal cost of the many as is …

The symbolism of elephants...

Just recently I've been seeing and noticing elephants everywhere!

A few weeks ago I saw the Samsung Elephant Ad, and watching that led me to watching a video with an elephant painting (seriously, you have to watch it to believe it!).

Then last night the boys told me they were having a free dress day at school to raise money for 'Mali the Elephant' - who turned out to be a paper maché statue which the children will paint and then show around the council before it comes back to the school to stand outside the performing arts room.

Then this morning I followed a link from Twitter to Toushka Lee's blog and read this post about an elephant orphanage in Sri Lanka.

This morning the Grumpy Old Man did another driving test and unfortunately didn't pass. We've booked his next test and are looking forward to that now. About ten minutes before he walked in the door I saw this poster on Facebook...


At the time, I didn't know if the Grumpy Old Man had been successful or …

Alone... And Stuff...

Do you ever just need to be alone?



As the boys are growing up, we have more times when the house is quiet. The youngest will be asleep. One will be reading, one will be playing on his computer with headphones on, one will be painting and there is stillness.

Sometimes, even that is not enough.

Sometimes I crave being alone, with no possibility of someone suddenly realising they have to tell me something important or ask me a question or even just crash about in the kitchen.

Sometimes I crave S P A C E, lots and lots of space, being able to walk from room to room without encountering another soul.

This is how I felt when I woke up this morning, so instead of getting ready for work, I decided to stay home. Get up, but not go anywhere, no hear the sound of my own voice, or anyone else's.

I think this might just be part of getting older. After a lifetime of chasing after other people and trying not to be alone, my mind and body is full of thoughts, experiences, feelings, and busy-ness …