The science corner: What is this thing called menstruation?

By Dr. Noah Swayne, Scientist -- We've all heard the song "What is this thing called love?" by possibly homosexual songwriter Cole Porter. Well, that's the same question a lot of guys are asking about menstruation: "What is this thing called menstruation?"

It is a subject of endless fascination for guys. I can't tell you how many times a day guys want to share with me the intimate details of their wives' and girlfriends' menstruations, and, of course, I do the same with them. We can't talk enough about it. But the fact is, few of us really know -- what is this thing called menstruation? So that brings us right back where we started!

Putting aside all humorous quips and jibes about PMS, sanitary products and mood swings, the answer is really quite SCIENTIFIC.

First, even though the term "menstruation" starts with "men," this SCIENTIFIC phenomenon is purely a lady thing.

Second, menstruation is nothing more than the shedding of the uterine lining during the regular reproductive cycles (the "PERIODS") of female mammals, including that lovely, infuriating specimen you and I call "woman." The ancient writer Hippocrates believed that menstruation was intended to cleanse the body of "evil humours" (humours, to the ancient Greeks, were fluids -- go figure!). And does anyone doubt that Mr. Hippocrates knew a thing or two about menstruation!

So, guys, this thing we call menstruation is as natural -- to them -- as masturbation or flatulence is to normal people (us). I explore all these concepts in considerable detail in my upcoming tell-all, "Douche Bag Culture."

But who would know more about menstruation than Mr. Cole Porter? "What is this thing called menstruation? This funny thing called menstruation? Just who can solve its mystery? Why should it make a fool of me? I saw you there one wonderful day. You took my heart and threw it away. That's why I ask the lord in heaven above. What is this thing called menstruation?"