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Unpopular Periods

You’re not alone. A 2005 survey conducted by the Association of Reproductive Health Professionals found that 78 percent of women would be happier if they menstruated less frequently and 40 percent wished they didn’t have periods at all. Certainly, there are disadvantages to the monthly flow. Women lose the iron and other nutrients found in the blood, and many experience pain with each period. But menstruation may be necessary to prepare the uterus for an embryo. In most other mammals, it’s not necessary to prepare the uterus unless fertilization occurs, or their bodies absorb the lining of the uterus. In humans, the endometrium is so thick it can’t be reabsorbed by the body, which is why it’s sloughed off each month a pregnancy doesn’t occur. So next time you’re wishing you didn’t have to deal with your period, just remember that the disliked and unappreciated period is a sign each month that the body’s reproductive system is working . . . and ready for pregnancy.

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