Women's attitudes towards monthly bleeding: results of a global population-based survey

Eur J Contracept Reprod Health Care. 2012 Aug;17(4):270-83. doi: 10.3109/13625187.2012.684811. Epub 2012 Jul 3.


Objective: Monthly bleeding can be uncomfortable and inconvenient. Fifty years after the introduction of the pill, one wonders whether women still want to bleed every month.

Methods: Cross-national online survey of women aged 15-49 years (N = 4039) who were currently using, had used or would consider using a hormonal contraceptive. The survey was conducted in eight countries across Europe, North America and Latin America to assess attitudes towards monthly bleeding.

Results: Almost one-third of women reported that bleeding had a severe negative impact on their daily life, particularly with respect to sexual life and sports activities. Approximately 60% of women would, at least sometimes, like to postpone their bleeding and 50% wished they had the flexibility to determine when their menstrual bleeding starts. Overall, 34% of women would change the frequency of their bleeding to once every two or three months.

Conclusions: Past, current or future users of hormonal contraception reported that bleeding has a severe negative impact on daily life. Given the choice, most women surveyed would reduce the frequency of their bleeding.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Attitude to Health / ethnology*
  • Choice Behavior
  • Contraception Behavior* / ethnology
  • Contraceptives, Oral, Hormonal / therapeutic use
  • Cross-Cultural Comparison
  • Europe
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Latin America
  • Menstruation / drug effects
  • Menstruation / ethnology
  • Menstruation / psychology*
  • Middle Aged
  • North America
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care / ethnology
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care / psychology*
  • Quality of Life / psychology*
  • Sexual Behavior
  • Sports / psychology


  • Contraceptives, Oral, Hormonal