New Research Overturns the Misconception That Periods Are Necessary

When the birth control pill was first released around 80 years ago, the male-dominated medical industry believed it to be unnatural for the way it prevents menstrual bleeding. To appease men and the Catholic Church (who greatly opposed the contraceptive), placebo pills were included with birth control packets to induce bleeding. To this day, hormonal birth control is still sold with a week of placebo pills—despite the fact that this withdrawal bleeding (which is caused by a change in hormones) is not the same as menstrual bleeding (which is caused by the shedding of the uterine lining) and that researchers at the time knew it served no medical purpose. Many physicians and birth control users continue to believe bleeding is necessary, but new research is finally overturning this misconception. As more people opt to take birth control for reasons beyond pregnancy prevention (like period pain management or to help with acne) scientists have observed how the future of periods could be continuous birth control which could further help treat endometriosis. Learn more about the evidence and how it points toward the need for better education and autonomy in gynecology at INVERSE.

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