Cursed? Biologic and Cultural Aspects of the Menstrual Cycle and Menstruation

Elizabeth R. Bertone-Johnson (Editor)
Department of Biostatistics and Epidemiology, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA, US

Series: Medicine and Biology Research Developments
BISAC: MED033000

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Historically a taboo subject, the menstrual cycle has had a profound impact on women’s lives throughout history. Cursed? Biologic and Cultural Aspects of the Menstrual Cycle and Menstruation explores in detail how menstruation and the menstrual cycle affect the lives of girls and women around the world. In addition to presenting current research on biologic and health issues surrounding menstruation and menstrual cycle function, authors discuss how menstruation directly impacts culture, art, feminism and gender politics, education and global development. Questions addressed include:
• Does diet influence when menstruation first starts?
• Are women who regularly experience premenstrual symptoms potentially at higher risk for cardiovascular disease?
• How do modifiable factors such as diet affect ovarian aging and menopause timing?
• How does menstruation limit girls’ access to education in developing countries?
• How do third-wave feminists counter menstrual taboo through art and activism?
This collection of essays and original research articles offers a comprehensive perspective of the undeniable importance of the menstrual cycle in women’s lives.

Preface

Chapter 1. Premenstrual Syndrome: Epidemiology and Portent
(Elizabeth R. Bertone-Johnson, ScD, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA, US)

Chapter 2. The Relationship between Inflammatory Micronutrient Intake and Age at Menarche
(Serena C. Houghton, PhD, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA, US)

Chapter 3. Lactobacilli Probiotics: A Viable Alternative to Antibiotics for the Treatment of Bacterial Vaginosis
(Danielle Snider, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA, US)

Chapter 4. Micronutrient Intake and Premenstrual Symptom Severity in Young Women
(Maegan Boutot, Nicole Felix, Serena Houghton, PhD, Alayne Ronnenberg, ScD, and Elizabeth R. Bertone-Johnson, ScD, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA)

Chapter 5. Menstrual Cycle Characteristics Are Associated with Adiposity in Young Women
(Radhika Natarajan, PhD, Elizabeth R Bertone-Johnson, ScD, Serena C. Houghton, PhD, Sofija E. Zagarins, PhD, Carol Bigelow, PhD, Richard Wood, PhD, and Alayne G Ronnenberg, ScD, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA, US, and others)

Chapter 6. Menstruation and Depressive Disorders: A Reciprocal Relationship That Calls for Public Health and Clinical Concern
(Rachel Levantovsky, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA, US)

Chapter 7. The Effectiveness of Dietary Interventions for Treating Polycystic Ovary Syndrome
(Ran Zhao, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA)

Chapter 8. Dairy Consumption, Ovarian Aging and Reproductive Lifespan: A Narrative Review
(Alexandra C. Purdue-Smithe, PhD and Elizabeth R. Bertone-Johnson, ScD, Department of Biostatistics and Epidemiology, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA, US)

Chapter 9. Keeping Girls in School: An Exploration of How Menstrual Hygiene Management Affects School Attendance among Girls in Developing Countries
(Meghan E. Berry, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA, US)

Chapter 10. Blessed or Cursed? A Cross-Cultural Analysis of Taboos Surrounding Menstruation
(Zoe E. Hertz, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA, US)

Chapter 11. Singing during Premenstruation: A Guide
(Lydia Barrett, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA, US)

Chapter 12. Menstrual Activism among the Waves of Feminism
(Sarah F. Jacqz, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA, US)

Index

This text is aimed at readers from a variety of disciplines: women’s health, reproductive health, women and gender studies, and anthropology. It would be appropriate for undergraduate courses in these areas, as well as for educated lay readers with interest in these topics. It would also serve as a reference text for undergraduate and graduate students conducting research in related areas.

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