Menstrual HealthOur Gyno Health

Do You Need to Have a Period?

A healthy menstrual period monthly prepares the uterus and the uterine lining for subsequent pregnancy. While specifically the blood loss during periods are not necessarily essential for a woman’s overall health, they are considered a natural and healthy part of reproductive physiology. However, some medical conditions or individual circumstances may affect menstruation or lead to the absence of periods. For example, hormonal imbalances, certain medical treatments, pregnancy, breastfeeding, menopause, or the use of hormonal contraceptives can impact the regularity or presence of periods.

In the case of hormone imbalance, there’s a need for regular periods or risk uterine lining gynecologic issues or uterine cancer.

Menstrual periods do not prevent infections or eliminate toxins.

While menstruation does involve the expulsion of blood and tissue from the uterus, it is not a mechanism for removing toxins from the body. The body has other systems, such as the liver and kidneys, that are primarily responsible for filtering and eliminating toxins from the bloodstream.

Additionally, menstrual blood itself is not considered toxic. It consists of a mixture of blood, tissue, and mucus from the uterine lining and does not contain harmful substances that need to be expelled from the body.

Contraception is designed to prevent pregnancy, but along the way, disrupting ovulation can help regulate the periods or irregular shedding of the lining, if that’s the goal, or eliminate, if that’s the goal instead, menstrual cycles. And it also has been associated with better fertility.

Often the amount of bleeding when you have break through contraceptive bleeding is actually very little blood lost. It’s thus not necessarily a medical problem. But lifestyle wise it’s better to have predictable and not have unscheduled bleeding. But for those with such heavy periods they are anemic, preventing the period is beneficial to health.

Long acting contraceptive (LARC) methods are staying in the news, and the CDC states that Nexplanon contraceptive is the best contraceptive with the fewest failures. The Nexplanon rod is a progesterone only method with a failure rate of 0.05%. It is used for three years and has etonogestrel as the hormone in the implanted rod. Most women on Nexplanon will still have periods which is no healthier for the uterus than the lack of periods with medicated IUDs or the DepoProvera shot.

When you have periods that are unhealthily heavy, prevention of periods is healthier, for example in the case of getting an endometrial ablation. The are lots of studies that say we feel better when we have periods, but . We suggest seeing your gyno for a reproductive life plan, and deciding what method is best for you to use depending upon your current plans for pregnancy and birth spacing



Suzanne Trupin, MD, Board Certified Obstetrician and Gynecologist and owner of Women's Health Practice, Hada Cosmetic Medicine, and Hatha Yoga and Fitness

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