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The study engaged with feminist and sociological discussion about the usefulness of medicalisation as an analytical concept (for a fuller discussion of medicalisation and menstrual suppression see Gunson 2010).
The selection criteria was to include all biomedical literature relating to ECOC following the publication of endocrinologist Elsimar Coutinho's influential book advocating menstrual suppression entitled Is Menstruation Obsolete?
The most recent studies on menstrual suppression demonstrate that unexpected bleeding that occurs during active pill-taking was common and dissatisfaction with bleeding patterns was the most common reason for discontinuation," says Hitchcock.
Ingrid Johnston-Robledo, on the Board of Directors for SMCR and also a Professor in the Department of Psychology at the State University of New York notes that "it is also important that research address the social, psychological and cultural implications of menstrual suppression, as well as the biomedical effects.
As part of the menstrual suppression trend, in late May, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved a "new" form of hormonal contraception--Lybrel--that is not quite as new as women might be lead to believe.
The common thread for all of these menstrual suppression products is that they are chemically identical to traditional oral contraceptive (OC) pills.
Chesler's film examines all sides of the menstrual suppression debate with equal weight given to the medical/scientific issues concerning the practice and the personal stories and viewpoints of those who menstruate.
In a bloodless, detached voice gynecologist and menstrual suppression supporter Andrew Kaunitz suggests that girls starting their periods at 11 or 12 are not ready for the "hassle" and "unpleasantness of menstruation.
Firstly, there's too much that we don't know about menstrual suppression for healthy women (those who have unproblematic periods).
But for the majority, of women--the target market for both HRT and menstrual suppression products--our cycles are a sign of health, not of illness.