Unnecessary bleeding, unnecessary suffering: normalcy and necessity of menstruation in promoting NovaSure (R)
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NovaSure (R) is an endometrial ablation procedure that destroys the inner lining of uterus to stop heavy bleeding. It is performed mostly on women entering menopause who are experiencing irregular and heavy bleeding. In this article, this biotechnology, promoted for women approaching the end of their reproductive life, is analyzed. The analysis is informed by a feminist science studies and medical anthropology background. The discourse of normal' menstruation and representations of menstruation in the promotional materials for NovaSure (R) are explored through a textual analysis of the NovaSure (R) website and patient brochure. The themes in the materials analyzed include the idea of getting back to life, normal' bleeding, and having a choice among different medical procedures and interventions. The possibility of getting rid of embarrassment that accompanies heavy bleeding is also emphasized. It will be argued that NovaSure (R) contributes to the redefinition of what is natural' and necessary' by combining the unnecessary period' idea of pills such as Seasonale (R), which is aimed toward women in their reproductive years, with the unnecessary suffering' idea related to menopausal complaints. While advertising the procedure, NovaSure (R) promotional materials co-construct the ideal user for the technology and reproduce the taboos and embarrassment that accompany menstruation.