Objective: The study was conducted to determine women's preferences about menstrual bleeding patterns and their willingness to manipulate bleeding with contraception.
Study design: Women presenting for routine obstetric and gynecologic care at two US locations (Portland, OR, and Atlanta, GA) were offered a self-administered, anonymous survey. A validated survey tool was used.
Results: Valid surveys from 292 women were obtained. Mean age was 27 years (SD 8.0). We were unable to separate geographic vs. racial differences in responses because race significantly differed between sites (p<.001). The populations surveyed were predominantly black in Georgia (88%, 58/66) and white in Oregon (83%, 142/172). Overall, the majority of women did not like their menstrual period (69%, 190/275) and preferred a menstrual frequency of every 3 months or never (58%, 164/281) with no differences between racial groups. When asked if they would consider using a birth control method that stopped their menstrual periods, 40% (111/278) reported yes, 28% (78/278) reported no and 32% (89/278) were undecided. However, significantly fewer black than white women would consider a birth control method to stop their menstrual periods (29% vs. 49%, p=.006).
Conclusions: Although the majority of US women surveyed dislike menstruation and prefer less frequent or no menstrual periods, black women were less accepting than white women of contraception that induces amenorrhea.