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Differing attitudes found between women and doctors concerning menstrual suppression
Date:10/3/2007

. 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.

Weve 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.


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Contact: Marc Kaplan
marc.kaplan@uphs.upenn.edu
215-662-2560
University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine
Source:Eurekalert

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