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Once-A-Month Pill

Forces menstruation
  (+3, -2)
(+3, -2)
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This Idea will take a bit of working-up-to-it. I'll try to do it quickly.

Recently I was writing up something about "Human Reproduction and Murphy's Law", and somewhere in there I happened to reach the topic of the "Morning After Pill". According to the linked Wikipedia article, that pill works by preventing a "blastocyst" from implanting into the womb.

I'm fully aware that there are people who frown upon this, because they think the blastocyst is special, despite the known fact that a great many blastocysts perfectly naturally fail (per Murphy's Law!) to implant in wombs, even in the absence of a Morning After Pill.

According to the linked Wikipedia article, some people have thought that the Morning After Pill works by forcing menstruation to occur, regardless of whether or not a blastocyst has implanted in the womb. However, the article clearly states that that is not the case.

Well, then! How about a new and different birth control pill, specifically intended to force menstruation to occur? A woman would only need to take it once a month, and wouldn't need to take ordinary birth control pills (the kind that fools the body into thinking it is pregnant).

The net result is that a woman experiences a completely normal menstrual cycle every month. Any woman with an irregular cycle might like the opportunity this pill offers, to force menstruation to occur when she wants it to occur, and on a specific schedule of her own choosing.

Meanwhile, of course, she might become "a little bit pregnant", such that a blastocyst has implanted in her womb in the middle of the menstrual cycle (usually one to two weeks before the next menstruation would begin). What the newly implanted blastocyst normally does next is pump special hormones into the bloodstream, to signal to the woman's body to disable the next menstrual cycle.

This Once-A-Month Pill would work to cancel out (or maybe just plain overwhelm) that hormonal signal, thereby causing menstruation to occur anyway. The woman might not even notice any symptoms of pregnancy (I think the typical first symptom is a late period!), because it would be a very short time before menstruation begins, as forced into regularity by this Once-A-Month Pill.

Vernon, Jun 26 2011

Emergency Contraception http://en.wikipedia...gency_contraception
As mentioned in the main text. [Vernon, Jun 26 2011]

"Menstruation made simple" http://www.femalehe...FileThreeFinal.html
As mentioned in an annotation. [Vernon, Jun 26 2011]

Human Reproduction and Murphy's Law http://vernonnemitz...aw-131braj0vi27a-6/
For anyone interested [Vernon, Jul 05 2011, last modified May 08 2012]


       tl;dr: a magic pill that (using "hormones") triggers menstruation.   

       Maybe we can just have some sort of a vacuum cleaner attachment and can forgo hormones entirely.
jutta, Jun 26 2011

       Or a giant cork.
pocmloc, Jun 26 2011

       [jutta], I'm fairly sure that the normal trigger to begin a normal menstruation is hormonal in nature, not magic at all, and well-understood. It was (locally) the wee morning hours when I posted the main text here, and didn't take the time to look up details.   

       See link. OK, it says that the LACK of progesterone and estrogen causes menstruation to start. That means all we need is a kind of "binder" molecule to deactivate them while they are in the bloodstream. A thing much like an "antibody", which is another well-understood topic. No magic here, at all!
Vernon, Jun 26 2011

       The corpus luteum, the part of the ovary that has just released the egg, releases the progesterone that stops the first menstruation after conception.
in the event that there is no conception the uterus secretes prostaglandin f2 alpha, which causes the corpus luteum to brake down, allowing the menstrual cycle to proceed.
prostaglandin f2 alpha injections have been used to induce miscarriages. Dose a jab once a month seam as attractive? This information is at least 20 years old, but it would seam luteotropic factors are what you should be looking up.
j paul, Jun 26 2011

       [j paul], the goal here is a pill, not an injection. But thank you for the extra information. I'm aware that some things can't survive stomach acids to enter the bloodstream, and this is why, for those things, injection is usually needed. But there are often alternatives. There are almost always intermediary processes involved in the production of hormones that get released into the bloodstream. For example, it is possible that one of the intermediate compounds is pill-able, and the effect of that compound is to cause a desired hormone to be produced.
Vernon, Jun 27 2011

       [Vernon], would/could't your Once-A-Month Pill also allow, otherwise hormonally enhanced but unable, tranvesties to experience PMS?
Sir_Misspeller, Jun 27 2011

       [Sir Misspeller], I have no idea. Not to mention that a completely different approach, than a Pill, might be possible for women (but likely not for even transsexuals).   

       The different approach would be a kind of "womb douche", containing the prostaglandin f2 alpha needed to cause menstruation to begin. The business end of the injector would of course need to pass through the cervix, before the fluid flows.   

       I don't know how much difficulty a woman might have, using such a thing by herself, but it ought to be more convenient than the ordinary type of doctor-administered needle/hypodermic injection into some other part of the body. The best thing about this variation, though, is that only the womb gets affected by the prostaglandin f2 alpha, not the whole body. Perhaps PMS can be avoided!
Vernon, Jun 27 2011

I mentioned the jab because I thought some one would have made a, small prick once a month, joke, given the subject..
For administration, perhaps HRT type transdermal patches might work?
If you are the type of girl who likes to swallow, then perhaps herbs might be worth thinking about. There are a number of herbs that should not be taken by pregnant woman, in case they cause a miscarriage There are other herbs that are given to woman to regulate menstruation Perhaps one or more of these contains, or stimulates the release of luteotropic factors or directly stimulate the uterus.
It means a bit of a trawl through the online published research.
j paul, Jun 27 2011

       //Perhaps PMS can be avoided! //   

Sir_Misspeller, Jun 28 2011

       //Perhaps PMS can be avoided//   

       I don't like that idea at all --- were it not for all of the glorious examples of PMS in action, Ozzie Osbourne would never have thought of biting the head off a bat...
Grogster, Jun 28 2011

       No such thing as a free lunch i think.
nineteenthly, Jun 28 2011

       A woman mucking up her hormones for up to a thirtieth of her reproductive life, has to be better than mucking them up for nearly a third of it.
j paul, Jun 28 2011

       PMS is generally down to the change in levels of progesterone shortly before menstruation. Prostaglandins are involved in the uterine cramps that cause period pain. So squirting in prostaglandins won't stop PMS.   

       Menstruation happens because there isn't an implanted fertilised egg releasing Human Chorionic Gonadotropin to prevent the corpus luteum breakdown and resulting fall in progesterone.   

       So maybe what you actually want is a hCG blocker? This would also have the added side-effect of making the body reject a hyatidiform mole before it could get too far...
prufrax, Jun 28 2011

       [prufrax], if someone wants to become pregnant, obviously that person would not take this Pill and there would be nothing to prevent a hyatidiform mole from doing its thing.   

       Anyway, while the main text of this Idea wasn't specific about exactly which hormones needed to be dealt with, it plainly indicates that whatever they are, whether Human Chorionic Gonadotropin and/or the prostaglandin f2 alpha and/or other hormones, we want this Pill to counteract or overwhelm them with, basically, a "we are GO for menstruation" signal.
Vernon, Jun 28 2011

       //Maybe we can just have some sort of a vacuum cleaner attachment and can forgo hormones entirely//   

       Is this intended for the gentleman or the lady?
MaxwellBuchanan, Jul 01 2011

       I think one would have to be a gentleman to consider using it, [MB]... or at least a senior minister in the government du jour, so "shocking" photographs could be taken and distributed.
infidel, Jul 01 2011


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