The American biologist was interested in studying the African tribe because she wanted to know how women’s menstrual cycle looks like a society without contraception. 2019 Yearly Calendar Template Such as we lived in the West hundreds of years ago. And Beverly Strassman found that Dogon women have a different pattern of menstruation than Western women. Typically, they get their first menstrual period when they are 16 years old. Until they reach twenty, they have about 7 menstruations a year, and from the age of twenty and until they are in the mid-thirties, they have only 1 menstrual period per year. In adult years, they spend most of the time pregnant or breastfeeding, she explains. She chose the Dogon people because it was easy for her to keep an eye on when the women had their menstrual period. It is the custom of the tribe that women move outside the village in a so-called ‘Punulu’ – a menstrual cabin – while they have their menstrual period.
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Beverly Strassman could then sit outside the cabin and note who slammed in there and when. She also took urine samples to make sure that the women now also had menstruation. For 736 days she noted who came and left the cabin and gave her a very unique dataset. The results say something about how our menstruation looked before we introduced contraception and family planning. And the whole point is that the monthly menstrual period is an anomaly, she tells DR.
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And it is not just Beverly Strassmann’s research that shows that women’s cycle is completely different in non-contraindicated communities. Also, Stanley Boyd Eaton, who has studied the Hunter-gathering people, Hadza, in Tanzania, has reached the same numbers.
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But why is it important whether it’s “natural” to have 100 or 400 menstruations during life? That is what Beverly Strassmann’s research shows, because multiple menstrual periods increase the risk of breast cancer. The more menstrual periods you have, the more hormones your body is exposed to – and it simply increases your risk of breast cancer. I do not speak of Dogon women’s cancer risk, but general figures from Africa show that African women have eight 8 percent lower risk of breast cancer than Western women, she says.
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And a fourth explanation was presented by the doctor Bela Schick in the 1920s, who believed that menstruation was the way women managed to get rid of toxins from the body. He even tried with menstruating and non-menstruating women who handled flowers because he believed that the toxins from the menstruation caused the flowers to fade.
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Although researchers cannot agree why we have menstruation, they can agree that frequent menstruation increases the risk of breast cancer. However, Danish research shows that the use of birth control pills can also increase the risk of breast cancer. And the longer you use the pills, the higher the risk.
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However, we still do not know why women menstruate how often it is “healthy” to soften and how the natural and artificial hormones affect women. The 2019 Yearly Calendar Template Dogon people in Mali live like our ancestors did it thousands of years ago. They live in clay huts, keep sheep and goats and grow millet, onions and rice – without any kind of modern conveniences. Also no condoms or birth control pills. According to American evolutionary biologist Beverly Strassman, who lived with the Dogon people for two years to study them, the women of the tribe have very few menstruations compared to a western woman.