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Women altering menstruation cycles in large numbers, UO study shows
Date:5/9/2013

EUGENE, Ore. -- A surprisingly large number of women 18 or older choose to delay or skip monthly menstruation by deviating from the instructions of birth-control pills and other hormonal contraceptives, a team of University of Oregon researchers and others found in a study of female students at the university.

Most women who alter bleeding cycles do so for convenience rather than to avoid menstrual symptoms, and many learn about the option from nonmedical sources, according to research by the university's Department of Human Physiology, Portland-based Oregon Health and Sciences University and Eastern Michigan University. The study is published in Contraception, the official journal of the Association of Reproductive Health Professionals and the Society of Family Planning.

"These findings emphasize the need for health care providers to carefully interview combined hormonal contraceptive users on how they are using their method for example, many women may be skipping pills to extend their cycles," said researcher Christopher Minson, a human physiology professor at the University of Oregon. "With a greater understanding of the issues, health care providers may be able to more effectively engage in conversations with college-aged women and educate them about available options."

As research indicates that reducing the occurrence of menstruation is safe and can even be beneficial, women are increasingly using hormonal contraceptives to alter bleeding cycles. But there has been a lack of information concerning why women do so and from whom they receive information regarding this option.

In a survey of undergraduate and graduate students, 17 percent reported altering their scheduled bleeding pattern by deviating from the instructions of hormonal contraceptives, which include birth-control pills, vaginal contraceptive rings and transdermal contraceptive patches.

Half of these women reported that they did so for conven
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Contact: Matt Cooper
mattc@uoregon.edu
541-346-8875
University of Oregon
Source:Eurekalert

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