Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Two Thirds Of Women Interested In Stopping Their Periods But Unsure About Safety

Date:
October 4, 2007
Source:
University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine
Summary:
More than the two thirds of the women in a national survey say that they are interested in suppressing their menstrual periods but many of them aren't sure if it's safe. Yet when physicians are polled, 97 percent say that continuous oral contraceptive therapy to suppress menstruation is, in fact, medically safe and acceptable.

More than the two thirds of the women in a national survey say that they are interested in suppressing their menstrual periods but many of them aren't sure if it's safe. Yet when physicians are polled, 97 percent say that continuous oral contraceptive therapy to suppress menstruation is, in fact, medically safe and acceptable.

"The gap between physician and patient understanding concerning the necessity of monthly periods is obvious," said Dr. Kurt Barnhart, Associate Professor and Director of Clinical Research for the Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology. "It is our hope that based on these findings physicians will begin to more readily initiate dialogue with their female patients about continuous therapy -- helping to eliminate the misconception that periods are a medical necessity and to emphasize the safety and viability of menstrual suppression."

Multiple oral contraceptives are already available to reduce menstruation and the FDA recently approved the first continuous oral contraceptive designed to suppress a woman's menstrual cycle. And according to this study, women are increasingly interested in exercising their options. The study found that 63 percent of women reported being extremely or somewhat interested in not having a period. Symptoms cited as the most bothersome aspects of menstruation included cramping, mood swings, bloating and headaches/body aches, while associated personal frustrations cited included avoiding exercise and sexual intercourse, eating more and a decrease in work productivity.

Why would a physician recommend a woman suppress her menses?

"The symptoms that often accompany menstruation -- from depression to bloating and headaches -- can significantly disrupt women's lives," said Dr. Barnhart. "Menstruation is not medically necessary. Now that we have products that have proven to be safe and effective at suppressing menstruation, we can offer increasing options for women."

Indeed it seems a clearer patient-physician dialogue is required to eliminate confusion regarding menstrual suppression and continuous use oral contraceptives. Of the 12% of patients who indicated that they have discussed the idea of eliminating or reducing periods with their doctor; nearly half of those said that they were the ones to raise the issue, not their physicians. But their physicians tell a different story. By contrast, four out of 5 physicians reported discussing continuous use oral contraceptive use with their patients, and 77% reported that they raised the topic.

This disconnect may be related to simple semantics, according to Dr. Barnhart.

"We've found that physicians and their patients discuss this topic differently, with doctors using the medical term menstrual suppression, while their patients simply talk about not having a period," he said. "Breaking down this language barrier by speaking in simpler, more patient-friendly terms could have a significant positive impact on understanding."

Oral contraceptives were initially designed with a week of inactive tablets taken every month to mimic the natural experience of menstruation. Continuous use oral contraceptives simply eliminate these inactive tablets, thereby eliminating withdrawal bleeding. A study published in the December, 2006 issue of Contraception demonstrated the safety and effectiveness of continuous-use oral contraceptives that can eliminate menstrual cycles. Researchers concluded that a continuous-use, low-dose regimen of oral contraceptives was safe and as effective as traditional oral contraceptives, and that the decrease in menstrual cycle symptoms during continuous use therapy represented an increase in quality of life.

The survey results were presented by Kurt Barnhart MD, MSCE from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine at the Association of Reproductive Health Professionals' (ARHP) Reproductive Health 2007 conference.

Study findings are based on research conducted by Wyeth Pharmaceuticals. Dr. Barnhart has served as a consultant to Wyeth Pharmaceuticals.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. "Two Thirds Of Women Interested In Stopping Their Periods But Unsure About Safety." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 4 October 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/10/071003140446.htm>.
University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. (2007, October 4). Two Thirds Of Women Interested In Stopping Their Periods But Unsure About Safety. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 31, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/10/071003140446.htm
University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. "Two Thirds Of Women Interested In Stopping Their Periods But Unsure About Safety." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/10/071003140446.htm (accessed July 31, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

House Republicans Vote to Sue Obama Over Healthcare Law

House Republicans Vote to Sue Obama Over Healthcare Law

Reuters - US Online Video (July 31, 2014) The Republican-led House of Representatives votes to sue President Obama, accusing him of overstepping his executive authority in making changes to the Affordable Care Act. Mana Rabiee reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Despite Health Questions, E-Cigs Are Beneficial: Study

Despite Health Questions, E-Cigs Are Beneficial: Study

Newsy (July 31, 2014) Citing 81 previous studies, new research out of London suggests the benefits of smoking e-cigarettes instead of regular ones outweighs the risks. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida

Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida

AP (July 31, 2014) Sarasota County, Florida health officials have issued a warning against eating raw oysters and exposing open wounds to coastal and inland waters after a dangerous bacteria killed one person and made another sick. (July 31) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 30, 2014) Obamacare-related costs were said to be behind the profit plunge at Wellpoint and Humana, but Wellpoint sees the new exchanges boosting its earnings for the full year. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



    Save/Print:
    Share:

    Free Subscriptions


    Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

    Get Social & Mobile


    Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

    Have Feedback?


    Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
    Mobile: iPhone Android Web
    Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
    Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
    Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins