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Eur J Contracept Reprod Health Care. 2016 Jun;21(3):242-50. doi: 10.3109/13625187.2016.1154144. Epub 2016 Mar 24.

Women's preferences for menstrual bleeding frequency: results of the Inconvenience Due to Women's Monthly Bleeding (ISY) survey.

Author information

1
a Research Centre for Reproductive Medicine, Gynaecological Endocrinology and Menopause, IRCCS San Matteo Foundation, Department of Clinical, Surgical, Diagnostic and Paediatric Sciences , University of Pavia , Pavia , Italy ;
2
b Gynmed Ambulatorium, Vienna, Austria ;
3
c Department of Women's and Children's Health, Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden ;
4
d Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology , APHP Tenon Hospital, Pierre and Marie Curie University , Paris , France ;
5
e Department of Gynaecology and Gynaecological Oncology , AKH-Wien , Vienna , Austria ;
6
f Private Medical Gynecology Clinic , Paris , France ;
7
g Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology , Araba University Hospital , Vitoria-Gasteiz , Spain ;
8
h Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology , Bielanski Hospital , Warsaw , Poland ;
9
i Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology , Citadelle Hospital, Liège University , Liège , Belgium ;
10
j Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology , Infanta Sofía University Hospital , San Sebastián de los Reyes , Madrid , Spain.

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

Our aim was to assess the level of inconvenience associated with monthly bleeding, determine how many women would prefer a bleeding frequency of less than once a month, and what would motivate their choice.

METHODS:

A 15-min quantitative online survey was carried out among 2883 women aged between 18 and 45 years in six European countries (Austria, Belgium, France, Italy, Poland and Spain).

RESULTS:

Of those surveyed, 1319 women used a combined hormonal contraceptive (CHC group) and 1564 used a non-hormonal contraceptive or no contraceptive (non-HC group). The menstrual period was significantly longer (5 vs. 4.5 days), heavier (16% vs. 8% heavy menstrual flow) and associated with more symptoms (6.1 vs. 5.6) in non-HC users than in CHC users (p < 0.0001). More than half of the women in each group reported pelvic pain, bloating/swelling, mood swings and irritability, but the rate was significantly higher in the non-HC group. Given the choice, 57% of women in both groups said they would opt for longer intervals between periods. Sexuality, social life, work and sporting activities were key factors affecting their decision.

CONCLUSIONS:

The majority of women would prefer to have menstrual periods less than once a month, with a frequency ranging from once every 3 months to no periods at all. This can be explained by the desire to avoid the unpleasant aspects of menstruation and its negative impact on private and professional life.

KEYWORDS:

Attitudes; menstrual bleeding; menstrual symptoms; oral contraception; preferences

PMID:
27010535
DOI:
10.3109/13625187.2016.1154144
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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