Is Menstruating Bad For Women?


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Julii Brainard Profile
Julii Brainard answered
It can be.

Women who don't menstruate normally at all (due to malnutriation, such as that caused by anorexia) are at risk of losing bone density. So for those prone to anorexia, menstruating is a very good sign of health.

However, with every menstrual cycle there are subtle and wearing changes on the body. Menstruating causes hormonal changes in the breasts, ovaries and cervix. When a woman ovulates the ripe egg literally bursts out of the ovary, causing minor damage. With each period a woman has, this damage accumulates. In effect, each period a woman experiences very slightly increases her chances of getting either ovarian or breast cancer in her lifetime.

Until the early 20th century, most women did not start menstruating until they were about 17. This was because of the lower calorie diets in childhood than tends to be experienced today. Most women (assuming they survived childbirth and other hazards) would have repeated pregnancies and spells of extended breastfeeding (breastfeeding can suppress ovulation and thus periods). It's been estimated that the biological norm for human females should be to have about 100 periods in her lifetime, whereas most western women will have closer to 400 periods in their lifetimes.

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