Prairie dogs at the beach

by Yule Heibel on July 8, 2003

Something medical is in the air. First it was yesterday’s Boomeritis or hip resurfacing story, and today it’s eggs, or “We all know people trying to use natural family planning, and we have a word for those people. We call them parents.” So says Dr. Roger Pierson, director of the Reproductive Biology Research Unit at the University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon, heart of Canadian Prairie. He and his team of researches seem to have proven that there is never a safe-from-pregnancy time to have sex. It’s a wave thing, it’s an ocean thing, it’s particles and aggregates and coincidences: The team tracked 50 women with normal menstrual cycles who volunteered to undergo high-resolution ultrasound every day for a month so researchers could follow the fate of every individual follicle. They found follicles grow in waves “like you see in the ocean,” Pierson says. Forty per cent of women had multiple, major waves, while 60 per cent had minor waves, followed by a major wave. Their findings also shed some light on why some women can’t tolerate oral contraceptives. It seems they’re surfing too much. This might either scare the sh.t out of you or thrill you, depending on where you stand in the getting or avoiding-getting pregnant scheme of things. The finding has implications for infertility treatments, too: figuring out how those rhythms work should help those trying to catch a wave.


Amity July 11, 2003 at 6:18 pm

I read this story too and found it fascinating! Isn’t it amazing how little we still understand about the hidden insides of women. What’s even more astonishing is the authoritative way that textbooks state the supposedly invariant way a woman’s reproductive cycle should work. It is highly regular, easily divided into different phases, etc. We all know that it just can’t be true. Women have such variable cycle lengths and reactions to contraceptive pills. But it’s surprisingly difficult to get funding to study the basics of the menstrual cycle. I mean, it’s supposed to be an already known quantity! Here’s hoping this opens the door…

Yule Heibel July 11, 2003 at 10:20 pm

I agree. I’ve never been “regular” in my life (nor has my life been regular, …hmmm), and I like the idea of a kind of individual micro-cosmos in every woman’s body. So much more interesting than the notion of all us howling at the moon simultaneously!

Anonymous August 25, 2005 at 8:20 am

Good blog. It is very nice

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