Ok so researchers are trying to figure out how work with a woman’s body on long space missions. They can’t pack the pill because of space and weight. They are thinking IUD. So far so good.
But I keep reading and BAM
The male-dominated astronautics community has touched on the issue of menstruation in spaceflight before, but discussions often relied on sexist assumptions and unchallenged misconceptions. Some officials wondered why women needed to be considered for space missions in the first place. In 1971, as NPR reported last year, a NASA paper about psychological issues for astronauts suggested women be used as stress-relief tools:
The question of direct sexual release on a long-duration space mission must be considered. Practical considerations (such as weight and expense) preclude men taking their wives on the first space flights. It is possible that a woman, qualified from a scientific viewpoint, might be persuaded to donate her time and energies for the sake of improving crew morale; however, such a situation might create interpersonal tensions far more dynamic than the sexual tensions it would release.
But there’s more:
Still, for purposes of travel weight, waste disposal, and astronaut comfort, suppressing menstruation as recommended by last week’s report seems to be the best option. But there is one major downside: It might deprive the men of NASA of a significant learning opportunity. Just before Sally Ride became the first U.S. woman in space, the mission’s male engineers, who took it upon themselves to design a makeup kit for her, asked her how many tampons she’d need for a one-week mission. “Is 100 the right number?” they asked. “No,” Ride answered. “That would not be the right number.”
The idea of having a period in zero gravity makes me shudder. What if it’s a bad one and it kinda gets away from you. Blood floating all around the station like there’s been a mass murder. (I know that, probably, wouldn’t happen with the suction on the toilets but still...)