Cloth $75.00 ISBN: 9780226847436 Published June 2001
Paper $32.00 ISBN: 9780226847443 Published June 2001

Regulating Menstruation

Beliefs, Practices, Interpretations

Edited by Etienne van de Walle and Elisha P. Renne

Regulating Menstruation
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Edited by Etienne van de Walle and Elisha P. Renne

296 pages | 11 tables | 6 x 9 | © 2001
Cloth $75.00 ISBN: 9780226847436 Published June 2001
Paper $32.00 ISBN: 9780226847443 Published June 2001
Menstruation, seen alternately as something negative—a "curse" or a failed conception—or as a positive part of the reproductive process to be celebrated as evidence of fertility, has long been a universal concern. How women interpret and react to menstruation and its absence reflects their individual needs both historically as well as in the contemporary cultural, social, economic, and political context in which they live. This unique volume considers what is known of women's options and practices used to regulate menstruation—practices used to control the periodicity, quantity, color, and even consistency of menses—in different places and times, while revealing the ambiguity that those practices present.

Originating from an Internet conference held in February 1998, this volume contains fourteen papers that have been revised and updated to cover everything from the impact of the birth control pill to contemporary views on reproduction to the pharmacological properties of various herbal substances, reflecting the historical, contemporary, and anthropological perspectives of this timely and complex issue.

Introduction: Elisha P. Renne and Etienne van de Walle
Concepts and Definitions: Stefania Siedlecky
1. Menstrual Catharsis and the Greek Physician
Etienne van de Walle
2. Colds, Worms, and Hysteria: Menstrual Regulation in Eighteenth-Century America
Susan E. Klepp
3. Menstrual Intervention in the Nineteenth-Century United States
Janet Farrell Brodie
4. Emmenagogues and Abortifacients in the Twentieth Century: An Issue of Ambiguity
Gigi Santow
5. Pharmacological Properties of Emmenagogues: A Biomedical View
Stefania Siedlecky
6. Demography, Amenorrhea, and Fertility
Ina Warriner
7. Menstrual Regulation and the Pill
Linda S. Potter
8. The Meaning of Menstrual Management in a High-Fertility Society: Guinea, West Africa
Elise Levin
9. The Blood That Links: Menstrual Regulation among the Bamana of Mali
Sangeetha Madhavan and Aisse Diarra
10. "Cleaning the Inside" and the Regulation of Menstruation in Southwestern Nigeria
Elisha P. Renne
11. Means, Motives, and Menses: Uses of Herbal Emmenagogues in Indonesia
Terence H. Hull and Valerie J. Hull
12. Regulating Menstruation in Matlab, Bangladesh: Women’s Practices and Perspectives
Heidi Bart Johnston
13. Bloodmakers Made of Blood: Quechua Ethnophysiology of Menstruation
Patricia J. Hammer
14. Midwives and Menstrual Regulation: A Guatemalan Case Study
Sheila Cosminsky
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