230162 Knowledge and use of menstrual cycle pill for women in California

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Patricia Lee, PhD , Office of Women's Health, Department of Health Care Services, Sacramento, CA
Terri A. Thorfinnson, JD , Office of Women's Health, California Dept of Health Services, Sacramento, CA
Background: Oral contraceptives were originally designed to mimic hormone patterns during a woman's natural menstrual cycle; although they have evolved for use to suppress menstruation. Menstrual suppression was initially suggested for women with disorders related to the menstrual cycle such as endometriosis. This practice is now commonly recommended to women without such disorders. However, there is not enough information on the consequences of long-term use of contraceptives in the schedules recommended. Objective: The purpose of this study was to examine women's knowledge and use of hormonal contraceptives to suppress menstruation. Method: Women ages 18 and older throughout California completed a telephone health survey. Differences between groups were evaluated using Chi Square statistics. Results: Overall, 84.7% of women reported having heard of hormone contraceptives to suppress menstrual cycles; however, only 12.4 % of women reported currently using them. White women, those with higher income, and women with health insurance were more likely to know of a pill to suppress their menstrual cycle. While women reported low rates of using contraceptives to stop menstruation this was highest among younger women. There were no significant differences across age concerning knowledge of these contraceptives. There were no significant differences across race/ethnicity, poverty status, or health insurance status concerning using these contraceptives. Conclusion: The trend among young women to use a pill to suppress their cycle will need to be monitored. This greater hormone use among younger women could have long ranging implications, since the long-term health and reproductive effects of menstrual suppression remains unknown.

Learning Areas:
Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
1. Discuss women’s knowledge of contraceptives to suppress menstruation. 2. List characteristics related to women’s knowledge of contraceptives to suppress menstruation.

Keywords: Reproductive Health, Women's Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I condut the research of the Office of Women's Health
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.