For most women, the development of a new birth control pill that could also eliminate the discomforts of monthly menstruation would be a milestone in women’s health. But for others, they seem to view their monthly periods as a fundamental symbol for female health and fertility. It might sound puzzling but some women actually prefer to maintain their love-hate relationship with their monthly periods.
This confusing dilemma is also one of the reasons why the Food and Drug Administration is again embroiled in another controversy. The agency is expected to approve the first birth control pill that is specifically designed to eliminate periods for as long as a woman takes the pill. Doctors said that there are no known risks with using this new birth control pill. Still, some women are still uneasy about the whole idea. According to Christine Hitchcock, a researcher from the University of British Columbia, said that her concern is about changing or altering the normal menstrual cycle and hormonal processes inside a woman’s body. She also said that she is becoming worried about the idea that one can turn the body’s functions like ovulation on and off, much like tap.
This viewpoint seems to be one reason why birth control pills that can make women have only four periods in one year have not captured a larger scale of the birth control market. An analyst at Stanford C. Bernstein, Ronny Gal mentioned that this is not an easy decision for women to give up on their monthly period. But if the new birth control pill called Lybrel is approved, Mr. Gal can see an onslaught of marketing and advertising meant for persuading women to do just that. The company that makes Lybrel expects the FDA to approve this new birth control pill soon but has declined to discuss about their advertising and marketing plans.
Research shows that nearly two thirds of women surveyed have expressed an interest in taking medication to control the frequency of their periods. Studies have also found no extra health risks associated with the new birth control pill that stops menstruation, although some doctors caution that little research has been conducted on the long-term effects of these medications.
Whether women would still buy medications that promise better control over their monthly period still remains to be seen. What is sure is that women still need safer and more effective ways of contraception. The continuing evolution of the birth control pill might just make the availability of that product a distinct possibility in the near future.