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Obstet Gynecol. 1996 Jun;87(6):1030-4.

Characteristics of menstruation in women infected with human immunodeficiency virus.

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Division of HIV/AIDS, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia.



To determine the characteristics of menstruation in women infected with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and the impact of immunosuppression on menstruation in HIV-infected women.


In this cross-sectional study, 197 HIV-infected and 189 HIV-uninfected women were interviewed about menstruation and abnormal vaginal bleeding during the previous 12 months. Information was also obtained about CD4+ T-lymphocyte levels of HIV-infected women and other factors, including drug use and weight loss, that might affect menstruation.


The number and duration of menses in HIV-infected women were not significantly different from those of uninfected women. During a 12-month period, 154 (78%) of 197 HIV-infected women and 150 (80%) of 188 uninfected women had 10-14 menses (P = .74). The proportions of women in the two groups with intermenstrual bleeding, postcoital bleeding, or no bleeding were also similar. In HIV-infected women, menstruation and the prevalence of abnormal vaginal bleeding were not significantly different by CD4+ T-lymphocyte level. By multiple logistic regression analysis, neither HIV infection nor CD4+ T-lymphocyte level less than 200 cells/microL was associated with intermenstrual bleeding, postcoital bleeding, or no bleeding.


The results of this study suggest that neither HIV infection nor immunosuppression has a clinically relevant effect on menstruation or other vaginal bleeding. Most HIV-infected women menstruate about every 25-35 days, suggesting monthly ovulation and an intact hypothalamic-pituitary-ovarian axis.

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