Menstrual Suppression for Combat Operations: Advantages of Oral Contraceptive Pills

Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences-Department of Military & Emergency Medicine, Bethesda, Maryland, USA.
Women s Health Issues (Impact Factor: 2.33). 01/2011; 21(1):86-91. DOI: 10.1016/j.whi.2010.08.006
Source: PubMed


increasing numbers of women are deployed to austere settings in which menstruation may impose logistical challenges. Minimal data exists about the use of oral contraceptive pills (OCPs) for menstrual suppression in this population. Post-deployment survey was undertaken to establish prevalence of continuous OCP use, perceived barriers, and associations with menstrual burden in a military population within the austere environment.
voluntary and anonymous 44-item questionnaire.
of 500 women, 78% (n = 390) had personal experience using OCPs and 66% (n = 330) desired menstrual suppression. However, only 40% (n = 192) reported any OCP use and only 21% (n = 99) reported continuous use during deployment. Sixty-seven percent of women reported some difficulty in daily pill compliance and nearly half (45%) missed ≥ 1 pill per week in the austere setting. Continuous users were nearly twice as compliant as conventional users (p = .019) and compliant OCP users reported significantly less menstrual burden than noncompliant users (p = .017). Almost all women (85%) desired mandatory education about menstrual suppression through OCPs.
despite OCP experience and desire for amenorrhea, prevalence of extended cycle OCP use in this population is low. Extended OCPs users in the austere setting report improved compliance and reduced menstrual burden compared with conventional users. Education about OCPs is highly desirable for most military women and may benefit those in austere settings.

1 Follower
23 Reads
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Economic experiments have shown that in mixed gender groups women are more reluctant than men to choose tournaments when given the choice between piece rate and winner-take-all tournament style compensation. These gender difference experiments have all relied on a framework where subjects were not informed of their abilities relative to potential competitors. We replicate these findings with math and word tasks, and then show that feedback about relative performance moves high ability females towards more competitive compensation schemes, moves low ability men towards less competitive schemes such as piece rate and group pay, and removes the average gender difference in compensation choices. We also examine between and within-subjects differences in choices for females across the menstrual cycle. We find women's relative reluctance to choose tournaments comes mostly from women in the low hormone phase of their menstrual cycle. Women in the high hormone phase are substantially more willing to compete than women in the low phase, though still somewhat less willing to compete than men. There are no significant differences between the choices of any of these groups after they receive relative performance feedback.
    Full-text · Article · Sep 2009 · Journal of Labor Economics
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The number of women of childbearing age who are active-duty service members or veterans of the US military is increasing. These women may seek reproductive health care at medical facilities operated by the military, in the civilian sector, or through the Department of Veterans Affairs. This article reviews the current data on unintended pregnancy and prevalence of and barriers to contraceptive use among active-duty and veteran women. Active-duty servicewomen have high rates of unintended pregnancy and low contraceptive use, which may be due to official prohibition of sexual activity in the military, logistic difficulties faced by deployed women, and limited patient and provider knowledge of available contraceptives. In comparison, little is known about rates of unintended pregnancy and contraceptive use among women veterans. Based on this review, research recommendations to address these issues are provided.
    Full-text · Article · Dec 2011 · American journal of obstetrics and gynecology
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: To describe the opinion and experience of Brazilian women regarding menstruation and the use of combined oral contraceptives (COCs) to control monthly bleeding and induce amenorrhea. Women attending regional public healthcare clinics for non-gynecologic conditions, and female members of staff from university schools unrelated to the field of medicine completed a questionnaire. Of the 1111 women interviewed, 64.3% reported disliking menstruation. The desired frequency of bleeding was never (65.3%), less than monthly (18.2%), and every month or more often (16.5%). More than 60% of the women reported that they would use COCs to control menstrual bleeding, 82.0% would use COCs to reduce the amount of bleeding experienced, and 86.1% would use COCs to induce amenorrhea. When compared with women who disliked menstruation, those who reported that they liked to experience monthly bleeding had fewer years of schooling (OR1.98; 95% CI, 1.30-2.97), low socioeconomic status (OR 1.66; 95% CI, 1.12-2.46), fewer days of menstruation each month (OR 1.62; 95% CI, 1.11-2.36), and 1 or more child (OR 1.13; 95% CI, 1.01-1.26). Many of the women surveyed disliked monthly menstruation and were interested in the use of COCs to control menstrual bleeding and induce amenorrhea.
    No preview · Article · Jan 2012 · International journal of gynaecology and obstetrics: the official organ of the International Federation of Gynaecology and Obstetrics
Show more