Menstrual concerns and intrauterine contraception among adolescent bariatric surgery patients

J Womens Health (Larchmt). 2011 Apr;20(4):533-8. doi: 10.1089/jwh.2010.2462. Epub 2011 Mar 17.


Objective: Adolescent obesity has dramatically increased in recent decades, and along with that so have other medical comorbidities, such as hypertension, diabetes, hyperlipidemia, nonalcoholic steatohepatitis, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), and pseudotumor cerebri. Obesity and related comorbidites may be contraindications to hormonal contraception, making contraception counseling of morbidly obese adolescents more challenging. Obese adolescent females seeking bariatric surgery need effective contraception in the postoperative period. This study is designed to determine the acceptance rate of the levonorgestrel-releasing intrauterine device (IUD) and describe common menstrual problems in obese adolescent bariatric surgery patients.

Methods: This is a historic cohort study of adolescent females who underwent bariatric surgery over a 2-year period at a tertiary referral center for pediatric obesity. Data were systematically abstracted. The percent of patients with menstrual problems and the acceptance rate for the levonorgestrel-releasing IUD were determined.

Results: Twenty-five adolescents met inclusion criteria. The mean age was 17.4 years (standard deviation [SD] 2.6), and the mean body mass index (BMI) was 51.4 (SD 6.3) kg/m(2). Eighty-four percent were white. Twenty-eight percent had menorrhagia, 32% had oligomenorrhea, 40% had dysmenorrhea, and 36% had PCOS. Ninety-two percent (23 of 25) underwent IUD placement.

Conclusions: There was a high prevalence of menstrual problems among this sample of severely obese adolescent females. The majority accepted the IUD, indicating it is a viable option among this population.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Bariatric Surgery
  • Cohort Studies
  • Contraception / methods
  • Contraception / psychology*
  • Contraception / statistics & numerical data
  • Contraceptive Agents, Female / therapeutic use*
  • Databases, Factual
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Intrauterine Devices, Medicated / statistics & numerical data*
  • Levonorgestrel / therapeutic use*
  • Menstruation Disturbances / epidemiology*
  • Menstruation Disturbances / etiology
  • Obesity / complications
  • Obesity / psychology
  • Obesity / surgery
  • Ohio / epidemiology
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care / statistics & numerical data*
  • Young Adult


  • Contraceptive Agents, Female
  • Levonorgestrel