Amenorrhea associated with contraception-an international study on acceptability

Contraception. 2003 Jan;67(1):1-8. doi: 10.1016/s0010-7824(02)00474-2.


Surveys undertaken in the 1970s and 1980s suggested that amenorrhea was unacceptable to most women, especially in developing countries. More recent research suggests that increasing numbers of women in the developed world prefer to menstruate less often. In a questionnaire survey of 1001 women attending family-planning clinics and 290 contraceptive providers in China, South Africa, Nigeria and Scotland, only among black women in Africa did the majority like having periods. In all other groups, most women disliked periods, which were "inconvenient" and associated with menstrual problems. Given the choice, the majority of Nigerian women would prefer to bleed monthly. Elsewhere, women would opt to bleed only once every 3 months, or not at all. In all except the Chinese centers, the majority of women would be willing to try a contraceptive which induced amenorrhea. Providers tended to overestimate the importance of regular menstruation to their clients. This is an important observation for scientists and funding agencies involved in developing new methods of contraception.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Amenorrhea / psychology*
  • Contraceptives, Oral, Combined*
  • Developed Countries
  • Developing Countries
  • Ethnicity
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Nigeria
  • Patient Satisfaction*
  • Religion
  • Scotland
  • South Africa
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Taiwan


  • Contraceptives, Oral, Combined