Indexed on: 10 May '08Published on: 10 May '08Published in: The European journal of contraception & reproductive health care : the official journal of the European Society of Contraception
Perceptions of menstruation vary according to culture and religion. This study addresses attitudes of Italian women towards changes in menstrual frequency induced by oral contraceptives (OCs) administered in an extended regimen.Three-hundred-and-fifty healthy women of reproductive age were enrolled in three test areas in Italy. Participants completed a standardized questionnaire. One-hundred-and-ten men, aged 21-54 years, accompanying their partners to the gynaecological consultation were also given a questionnaire to get to know their opinion about the extended use of OCs by their partner.Only 32% of Italian women prefer to bleed monthly. The preferred frequencies in all age groups were 3-monthly (23.7%) or never (26%). Of the OC-users, 57.2% preferred to bleed less than once a month: 26% wished to bleed every 3 months, and 21.2% once a year. Among men, 58.1% considered an extended OC regimen to be acceptable.About 60% of Italian women with spontaneous or OC-driven cycles prefer to bleed less than monthly. This fact should be kept in mind by physicians when prescribing OCs.