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Contraception. 2006 Nov;74(5):359-66. Epub 2006 Sep 15.

Menstrual-cycle-related symptoms: a review of the rationale for continuous use of oral contraceptives.

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Contraceptive Research and Development Program, Clinical Research Center, Eastern Virginia Medical School, Norfolk, VA 23507, USA.


As many as 80% of reproductive-aged women experience physical changes associated with menstruation, and 20% to 40% experience menstrual-cycle-related symptoms. Decades of research in women with menstrual disorders, such as dysmenorrhea and menorrhagia, have shown that continuous use of oral contraceptives (OCs), without the hormone-free interval, is a safe and effective method to relieve these symptoms and ultimately induce amenorrhea in many women. If given the opportunity, a majority of women would opt for extended-cycle or continuous regimens, and numerous clinical trials have shown that continuous OC regimens induce amenorrhea in 80% to 100% of women by 10 to 12 months of use. For women who do not wish to become pregnant, a continuous OC regimen should be an available option.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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