dr dave

Too cheap to buy the CD

I first met her while browsing through the fine apparel section of my local discount department store. She was speaking/singing to me over the K-Tel sound system.

Heard her again while lying catatonic in the dentist’s chair and yet again in an incense shop (I was absolutely livid that day and stopped in to have my anger addressed.) But most often her voice floated into my head while I was on hold over the phone. I loved the haunting, loving, soothing Enya. Too cheap to buy the CD, I often called 911 and asked to be put on hold.

I hadn’t thought of her in quite some time until a recent newspaper article caught my eye stating that a birth control pill named Enya or Anya (the anglicized version) was recently developed to soothe out menstrual cycles. Taken continuously a woman (duh) could be completely free of a period. This really isn’t big news to any doctor as many pills can achieve this feat.

But what really caught my medulla was the mention of the Maryland Museum of Menstruation. Now as I doctor you’d think I’d have heard of this museum, being well aware of the Amusing Museum of Armpit Hair, the Smithsonian Center of Saliva and of course the Navel Academy Museum (check out the Italian lint exhibit). The Museum of Menstruation (MuM) is an actual place complete with the latest and greatest menstrual artifacts you would ever care to imagine, period, er… If feminine hygiene ads on TV tend to make you fumble uncomfortably for the channel changer this place would make you fumble for your lunch. It can be easily located by the number of men sitting alone nervously in parked cars all around the street.

But the curator is actually a man, proud to put men back in menstruation. He claims the biggest issue umm…debate at his museum is concerning custom-made periods using medications like Anya. Is it good to fool Mother Nature?

I personally have found it was never a good idea to fool your mother when she has a big wooden spoon in one hand a cheese grater in the other hand and Tabasco sauce in the third. Are there benefits in having a natural monthly bleed? One school of thought states that a regular bloodletting may be a reason that women, on average, outlive men as it tends to rid the body of excess iron, too much of which can damage pleasant organs like the heart and liver. Men have to play hockey (against my sons) or drive (with my sons) to lose that amount of blood.

This bloodletting is also a reason why donating blood is somewhat cardio-protective. But now a woman can order up the type of menstrual pattern she’d prefer. She can reduce or eliminate periods altogether. Maybe have one every three months or once a year or none at all. Not only does this appeal to those who prefer the convenience i.e. athletes, soldiers, frequent travelers, frequent brides but also to those who suffer from painful periods or anemia secondary to too much blood loss.

According to the 1931 Home Physician, my most up to date and oft used medical reference text, painful periods arise mostly in “women of neurotic temperament getting their feet wet just before the period… or running a sewing machine. As well it is important to avoid exposure of the arms, shoulders and legs occasioned by present day fashions.”

Excessive menstrual flow, of course, stems from “excitement of any kind such as parties, dancing, theaters, novel reading, long hours of piano practice, exhausting school studies and indolent habits.”

Treatment involves covering up those “bare shoulders and taking an enema.” Wouldn’t you rather take an Enya.

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