To the editor,

Beth Johnson's letter ("Q & A period" Nov 3) seemed to imply having fewer periods has a direct, beneficial effect on a woman's health. May I point out that in addition to less menstruation, women in tribes functioning under pre-modern conditions have something else that sets them apart from their "more advanced," Western counterparts—they lead a dramatically different lifestyle. For instance, it's safe to assume they eat almost nothing but whole, organic, raw and natural foods (not the processed, chemically stripped crap we try to pass off as nourishment), get more exercise, more sunshine, drink more water, lead a far less stressful existence (for the most part at least) and aren't bombarded constantly by chemical toxins in their immediate environment. Who's to say any number of these things aren't connected more tightly to their relative lack of health problems than bleeding less? And who's to say the cumulative effect of these isn't what causes them to bleed less in the first place? It was clearly in this spirit of a holistic approach to health Lezlie Lowe's column was penned, and I would think as a fellow granola muncher, this same outlook would have occured to Ms. Johnson. If it did, she didn't make it too obvious in her letter. I doubt artificially lengthening the time between periods by means of synthetic drugs will lead to improved health among women, especially when the only way any drug works is by fucking with your body's own natural processes (if you want proof of this, flip through a Physician's Desk Reference).

By Elizabeth Burke

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