Fewer periods could help women reduce cancer risk
Mar 3, 2006, 12:51
Women who regularly skip menstrual periods using methods including contraceptive pills may reduce their risk of getting some gynaecological cancers, scientists say.
Though the common perception is that regular menses means 'a good cleanout' but too much menstruation could cause several diseases including breast, ovarian and endometrial cancers, says Professor Ian Fraser, a professor of reproductive medicine at Australia's University of Sydney.
The fewer periods a woman has the better, he says, reported ABC science online.
"In our society women have many more periods than in primitive societies and each menstrual cycle leads to big swings in the ovarian hormones oestrogen and progesterone."
According to Fraser, this over stimulates the reproductive organs and the breasts.
"The uterus, lining of the uterus and breasts were not designed to cope with this and it causes some cells to grow and regress each month, which means a greater chance of error in the proliferation process of abnormal cells," he says.
In our society, girls menstruate earlier and women have more periods before giving birth.
Women from traditional societies however breastfeed for extended times, often conceive soon after their menses return, average five to six pregnancies and have an earlier menopause - all factors that reduce the number of periods they have in a lifetime.
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