An examination of the psychological and cultural meanings of monthly bleeding is especially timely now. Through most of history, most women have been either prepubertal, pregnant, breast-feeding, or menopausal at any given time and thus had relatively few periods during their lifetimes. In many parts of the world, earlier puberty, longer life spans, lower birthrates, and decreased rates of breastfeeding have changed this. The withdrawal bleeding built into the original oral contraceptive regimens was an artificial construct, not indicative of true menstrual cycles, and it is being questioned in theory and practice. The interesting essays in this book will help us think about and understand these new developments as they evolve.