chapter
16 Pages

Introduction

WithDanielle Redland

Menstruation is still widely upheld as the red badge of femininity for women of reproductive years. Coveted, unless pregnant, it indicates womanhood, motherhood and what it is to be female for many of our world’s population. By contrast, non-menses is widely viewed as being outside the social norm, somehow beyond the natural order of things. More formally (alas not yet commonly) known as secondary amenorrhea, this state describes an interruption and a continued cessation of menses is often thought of as a lack and an anomaly that needs correcting. Arguably too many doctors are too keen to oblige putting patients cheaply and conveniently on “the pill” or offering them surgery. But this book will paint a different picture; one that reveals just how much presence there is in this supposed absence, and how attached a woman can become to her condition. Separating the two might even be fatal. It is a mistake to believe that a return to menses is a return to better health and this book will show why. The introduction will initiate the reader in key areas ahead of more exploratory studies in the later chapters.