How does menstruation work in zero gravity?

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How does menstruation work in zero gravity?
« on: 04/07/2008 09:39:06 »
Margaret asked the Naked Scientists:

In an anatomy class I had back in college, our professor told us that even if we were tortured and hung upside down for a lengthy period, we would still urinate due to peristaltic waves.  I understand this concept but what about menstruation in space?  I would imagine that female astronauts take measures to prevent menstruation while on a mission, but what if?  Would the uterus empty itself without the aid of gravity?  I have always wondered since the first woman went up in space and my doctor doesn't know.

What do you think?


Offline Andrew K Fletcher

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How does menstruation work in zero gravity?
« Reply #1 on: 04/07/2008 10:04:08 »
Never thought about this but it is very interesting. RE Urine in space, Astronauts develop stones in their organs because solutes stagnate rather than get excreted in the urine, most of which come from decalcification of bones.

RE: Uterus, I suspect the same problem of evacuating toxins will apply and a toxic shock from infection may occur as a result should a femail astronaut have a period while in microgravity. Urinary tract infections are also a problem with astronauts.
Science is continually evolving. Nothing is set in stone. Question everything and everyone. Always consider vested interests as a reason for miss-direction. But most of all explore and find answers that you are comfortable with