Thursday, December 30, 2010

Do Female Animals have Periods?

A friend of mine forwarded this question at me few years back. I dismissed it hastily without actually giving it a thought, and yesterday while I was caressing my house cat it popped up on my mind.

Humans are mammals, humans breastfeed their children just like any other mammals. We give birth to live offspring, we have hair on our body, etc etc. But the phenomenon of female humans discarding blood every month seems unique to Homo Sapiens alone. Or is it? If it is unique to humans only, why?

Well, to answer that we have to understand why women have periods.(Form 3 science class~~)

Image: womenshealth.gov
The menstrual cycle affects every single woman every month from puberty to the menopause. Its function is to allow women to become pregnant and regulate the hormones in the body. The womb lining is thickened in preparation for pregnancy, and the ovaries have either released eggs or are about to release them with the stimulus of mating.
Image: drthom.com
In the majority of species, oestrus(commonly called being 'in season' or 'in heat') is the only time the animal feels sexual desire, since it is the only time pregnancy can occur and it would be pointless to mate at any other time.

If a woman does not become pregnant during oestrus, the womb lining and unfertilised egg are discarded - this is menstruation, or 'having a period'.
Image: emzorpharma.com
This, however, does not happen in animals - they do not discard vast amount of blood lightly. Unlike humans, managing resources wisely is a question of life and death for animals, thus every drop of blood is precious. Instead of shedding the womb lining they reabsorb it into their bodies.

There are reports about animals discharging blood during certain period of the month, which may lead some people to suggest the animal is having a period. Well, not exactly - the animal is ready to conceive, not getting rid of its womb lining after failing to conceive - that's one vital difference between us and our mammalian friends. And the volume of blood they shed is relatively low compared to humans.
My housecat 
The reason behind the difference is not known, though I think that evolution has a part to play. As we evolved, we developed ways to meet our basic needs. Invention of tools has enabled us to acquire food easily and to fend ourselves effectively. With food readily available, we no longer need to reabsorb the womb lining as a mean of saving precious resources because survival is guaranteed even when we discard the blood - it's just a piece of my humble opinion.

Image: welkerswikinomics.com
So for all female readers out there; the next time you're out to buy the menstrual pad, buy one for your bitch too.



Malcolm.
info:
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Estrous_cycle

7 comments:

  1. I always cursed evolution as to why we had to have any time kids and so many periods..

    ReplyDelete
  2. Wow get it *bitch. lol

    ReplyDelete
  3. we are not of this world, alien planted us on earth. This is why our reproductive system is different of other so called earthian mammals

    ReplyDelete
  4. It's not due to evolution, it's the way God made us!
    Psalms 139: 13. For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. 14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Men and Women are separate species only sexually compatible.

    ReplyDelete

LinkWithin

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...