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Menstruation: the fifth vital sign  

June, 2005, I exhibited vagina vérité® at the 16th biennial conference of the Society for Menstrual Cycle Research. It was a great experience, for the project and for me, personally. Mainly, I learned how little I really knew about the workings of my body.

Some of what was raised about which I'm still thinking:

  • the implications of woman being identified by her body, biology, reproductive capacity
  • what are the markers of well-being across our lifespan?
  • who is deciding what characterizes quality of life?
  • how do doctors learn what's normal? until recently a normal subject was a 70 kilo white male
  • if you're not going to have children, is menstruation dispensible?
  • the military and prisons do not provide menstrual products
  • there are diseases/symptoms that respond to changes in the menstrual cycle...

Society for Menstrual Cycle Research
16th Biennial Conference

Menstruation: The Fifth Vital Sign

Some of the topics explored:
menstruation has been historically banished to the private realm; does menstrual activism challenge conventional definitions of public and private?—private, domestic life, typically seen as women's domain, complementary and inferior to public, political, work life...

learning about menstruation: knowledge acquisition and cultural diversity—results from mother-daughter in-depth interviews....

the politics of post-menopausal women's sexual desire

how self-knowledge acquired by observation, charting and interpreting your menstrual cycle events can impact a woman's future health care decision-making regarding her sexual, reproductive and general well-being

the problem of "lifestyle choice" as a way of discussing women's decisions about menstrual suppression and selective fetal reduction

tracking your menstrual cycle

  Society for Menstrual Cycle Research

The Society for Menstrual Cycle Research (SMCR), a nonprofit organization, was founded in 1977 by a multidisciplinary group of women who were pioneers in understanding the centrality of menstrual cycle research to women's health. SMCR is an interdisciplinary group of researchers, health care providers, policy makers, and students who share an interest in women's lives and health needs as they are related to the menstrual cycle.

SMCR's mission is to be the source of guidance, expertise, and ethical considerations for researchers, practitioners, policy makers and funding resources interested in the menstrual cycle. SMCR offers a network of communication and support that spans discipline, professional responsibilities, and geography to provide woman-centered perspectives on menstrual experiences. SMCR website...more on SMCRre: Cycling, the Society for Menstrual Cycle Research blog

Centre for Menstrual Cycle and Ovulation Research

The Centre for Menstrual Cycle and Ovulation Research is an accessible research centre with a mandate to distribute information directly to women about changes through the life cycle, from adolescence to menopause.

CeMCOR has a vibrant Community Advisory Council and an international Scientific Advisory Council. It is the only centre in North America that focuses on ovulation and the causes for and consequences of ovulation disturbances. CeMCOR website...more on CeMCOR

 respond to the menstruation questionnaire 

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