Among the women who delayed or skipped a scheduled bleeding for convenience or personal choice, a comparatively large number 53 percent indicated the knowledge was obtained from nonmedical sources, such as a family member or friend, researchers said.
The survey also provides new insights on the factors that influence a woman's decision whether to alter bleeding schedules. Asians have a 7 percent lower probability of altering hormonal cycles and women who exercise regularly have a 5 percent lower probability of doing so; another characteristic that decreased the likelihood of the practice was preference for a monthly cycle.
"We found that it is possible to identify some of the specific characteristics of women in a college population who may be more or less likely to practice scheduled bleeding manipulation," said Dr. Paul Kaplan, of the University Health Center and Oregon Health and Sciences University. "This study provides information about the motives, beliefs and influences relating to this practice."
In a finding that surprised researchers, women who said they would prefer no menstrual periods were less likely to alter their cycles than those who would prefer one per year. A woman who would prefer one cycle per year had a 17 percent higher probability of modifying her hormonal contraceptive regimen than one who preferred a menstrual period every three months or never.
This suggests that health care providers could improve education of the hormonal contraception regimen best-suited to a patient's needs and desires, researchers said.
From an estimated 11,900 survey-linked emails sent to female university students, 1,719 (14.4 percent) initial responses were received and 1,374 (79.9 percent of respondents) indicated that they had used a combi
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University of Oregon