The clinical rationale for menses-free contraception

J Womens Health (Larchmt). 2007 Oct;16(8):1171-80. doi: 10.1089/jwh.2007.0332.


The impact of monthly menstruation may range from a minor inconvenience for some women to a major health concern for those who suffer from menstrual disorders and health conditions that are aggravated during their menstrual cycle. Oral contraceptives (OCs) have been used safely in continuous regimens for the treatment of menstrual disorders in some women and for others who choose to extend their 28-day menstrual cycle to accommodate major life events. There is no physiological requirement for the monthly hormone withdrawal bleed that is experienced by women taking cyclic OCs or for a menstrual period in women who do not desire to (or cannot) become pregnant. Thus, the use of continuous or extended-cycle OC regimens that eliminate the menstrual cycle represents a viable and attractive option for many women. The availability of more choices for menstrual suppression, such as continuous use of OCs, will improve the quality of life for many women who suffer from menstrual-related disorders and provide greater convenience for women with busy and active lifestyles.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Amenorrhea / prevention & control
  • Contraceptives, Oral, Hormonal / administration & dosage*
  • Dysmenorrhea / prevention & control
  • Evidence-Based Medicine
  • Female
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Humans
  • Menorrhagia / prevention & control
  • Menstrual Cycle / drug effects
  • Menstruation / drug effects
  • Menstruation Disturbances / prevention & control*
  • Premenstrual Syndrome / prevention & control
  • Women's Health*


  • Contraceptives, Oral, Hormonal