Attitude of German women and gynecologists towards long-cycle treatment with oral contraceptives

Contraception. 2004 Jan;69(1):37-42. doi: 10.1016/j.contraception.2003.09.004.


Long-cycle regimens with continuous use of oral contraceptives (OCs) for 3 or 6 months followed by a hormone-free interval of 7 days may reduce or prevent cycle-dependent and menses-related complaints. A representative survey carried out with 1195 German women in different age groups revealed that only 26-35% of the women aged between 15 and 49 years preferred monthly bleeding, while 37-46% wished to never bleed. The reasons for the refusal of regular menstruations were fewer severe menstrual complaints, better hygiene, higher quality of life, and less blood loss. Among the women who preferred regular withdrawal bleeding during the use of OCs, the main reasons were fear of pregnancy, infertility and adverse effects, and that menstruations were natural. Between 32% and 54% of the women would suppress menstruation sporadically and 11-14% for a longer period of time. After continuous treatment with a combination of 30 microg ethinyl estradiol and 2 mg dienogest for 6 months, the majority of women preferred the long-cycle regimen as compared to the conventional OC regimen despite a higher rate of irregular bleeding. Bleeding occurred primarily in first-time users of OC, particularly during the administration of the second OC pack. A survey carried out with German gynecologists revealed that most physicians prescribed extended OC cycles primarily for medical reasons, e.g., dysmenorrhea, hypermenorrhea, endometriosis and premenstrual dysphoric disorder. The gynecologists preferred a regimen with three packs of extended use of OCs.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Attitude of Health Personnel*
  • Contraceptives, Oral / adverse effects*
  • Female
  • Germany
  • Gynecology
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Humans
  • Menstrual Cycle / drug effects*
  • Menstruation / drug effects
  • Middle Aged
  • Nandrolone / adverse effects*
  • Nandrolone / analogs & derivatives*
  • Physicians / statistics & numerical data*
  • Pregnancy
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Women*


  • Contraceptives, Oral
  • dienogest
  • Nandrolone