This is a very important, very exciting time in your life as you go
through so many changes on your way to becoming an adult. Along with
the transformation your body is undergoing, many other things in your
life are changing, too. For example, your relationships with your parents
and your friends may be different now than when you were younger, and
people may treat you differently. Also, the way you look at things is
probably not the same as it used to be. Of course, you have lots of
Women leak, inevitably and often bountifully. Menstrual blood, birth fluids, breast milk
and sometimes tears lead us to be seen as leakier than men at a physical level. Women are
often seen to work through a network of relationships, a web, rather than the hierarchy of
male decision-making (Gilligan 1982). Within such a web of relationships, emotions,
knowledge and other personal attributes flow, often freely, sometimes unconsciously.
Dirt is defined by Mary Douglas as ‘matter out of place’ (Douglas 1966).
In addition to ovulation, another critical function occurs during the
menstrual cycle. The woman’s body must be prepared in case fertilization
occurs. Everything must be ready to nurture the developing embryo. Dur-
ing the ﬁrst two weeks of the cycle, estrogen causes the lining of the uterus
to thicken. There is also an increase in the amount of blood that ﬂows to
During the second half of the cycle, after ovulation has occurred, the
follicle (now without the egg cell) develops into a yellow-colored body,
the corpus luteum.
The growing tissue then begins
to release more hormones to keep everything in the right condition. How-
ever, if fertilization does not occur, the continued preparations in the
uterus are unnecessary. The body realizes this near the end of the four-
week period of the menstrual cycle. At this time, the level of LH decreases,
the corpus luteum breaks down, and the level of progesterone decreases.
Without this hormone, the uterine lining no longer remains intact.
Instead, the lining breaks down.