Who Needs a Menstrual Period?

More and more women are taking control of their monthly cycles. What are the risks and benefits?

Anne Jorgensen, 22, a law student at Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Va., who uses birth-control pills, has a secret she doesn't want her doctor to know. To make it easier to attend her winter formal, a wedding and a few other special events, she tricked her body into skipping its monthly menstrual cycle several times in the past year. How? Instead of taking the last seven pills in her contraceptive case, which contain the placebos, or dummy pills, that allow her uterine lining to slough off each month, she immediately started her next month's batch of active medication. Result:...

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