Contraceptive Harms Menstruating?

What is the woman who, at least once in their life, not wished he could stop menstruating? The idea of being able to remain fertile, healthy and never have to go through the monthly discomforts of menstruation is something very tempting to most women. However, the safety of the suppression of menstruation has always been a factor that prevented the realization of this desire.


In this article we will discuss in the light of current scientific knowledge, what are the advantages and dangers of suppression of the menstrual period.

Stop menstruating possible?

Since the popularization of birth control pills, decades ago, that doctors debate the benefits and harms of suppression of menstruation.

In the early years of oral contraceptives when hormone doses present in the pill were very high and frequent side effects, it was possible, but reckless, think of the continued use of the same to suppress menstruation long way.

As the years went by and the medicine was gaining more experience and knowledge about the functioning of the menstrual cycle, estrogen and progesterone doses present in the pill were gradually reduced. The suppression of menstruation has ceased to be a theoretical possibility and began to be indicated in selected cases.

In recent decades, the side effects of oral contraceptives have become much less common and severe, giving rise to the first voices in favor of the popularization of eliminating menstruation. The suppression of the menstrual period is not an option only for specific medical conditions, but for any woman who wanted to stop menstruating.

However, the debate only caught fire even in the 1990s, when the first commercially emerged pills prolonged use, designed in order to allow the woman to menstruate only four times a year.

Since then, the options for suppressing the menstrual period have only been increasing, and is increasing the number of women who choose to stop menstruating or at least menstruate a few times a year.

Menstruate is necessary?

The big question about the suppression of the menstrual period has always been: menstruating is a necessary event in the life woman? In other words, menstruation is a physiological function which provides some benefit to women?

Apparently, the answer to both questions is no. Here we ran into an issue a little philosophical, but the truth is that not all functions or events that occur naturally in our body are necessary or good. For example, aging is good? Baldness that occurs over the years is good or necessary? And by appearing in various areas of our body as inside the ears, underarms, back, or even the beard, have a vital role in our lives? Menstruation seem to fit in this group. She's just a sign that the woman ovulated and was not fertilized.

The fact is that modern women menstruate more than their grandparents, great-grandparents and great-grandparents. The modern woman has her first period before and enters menopause later. In addition, she has fewer children and breastfeed for less time. Viewed in this light, and considering the evolutionary point of view, who had reproductive life more "natural", the current women or their great-grandparents?

Therefore, the majority of physicians currently consider menstruation a non-essential to the life of the woman event. In fact, as we shall see below, in some patients, menstrual suppression improves not only health, but also the quality of life of these women.

Menstruate hurt?

Assuming that menstruation is not an essential physiological event to women, the logical conclusion is that the suppression of menstruation is not a conduct that causes damage to your health.

In fact, with the scientific knowledge acquired to date, it has become increasingly clear that menstruating "too much" lifelong does more harm than menstruate "less". Chronic exposure of the body to hormonal changes in the menstrual cycle, including estrogen, is related to the increased incidence of various diseases, among the most relevant include:
  • Endometriosis
  • Ovarian cancer
  • Endometrial cancer (cancer of the uterus)

Obviously, the effects of long-term suppression of menstruation will only be truly enlightened over the years, after several women have been subjected to this kind of treatment for at least 1 or 2 decades. We know that menstruating is not necessary, however, do not know if the best way to suppress menstruation is through the continued use of hormones. Critics of the suppression of menstruation argue that, when put in the balance, the benefits of suppression of menses may not be so better than the risks caused by continuous use of hormones.

Contraindications to the suppression of menstruation

The interruption of menstruation is made with continuous administration of hormonal contraceptives. So if a woman has contraindications to the pill, it is prudent that it does not make continuous use of the same.

The suppression of menses should be evaluated judiciously in obese women, smokers, hypertensive with poor control of blood pressure, diabetes, family history of breast cancer or high risk of thrombosis.

Indications and benefits of eliminating menstruation

For several years the suppression of menstruation has been used as a treatment option for some directly related disorders and indirectly to the menstrual cycle, such as:
  • Dysmenorrhea (menstrual cramps).
  • PMS and PMDD (premenstrual dysphoric disorder) (premenstrual syndrome).
  • Menstruation suppression in patients with anemia.
  • Treatment and prevention of bleeding related to uterine fibroids.
  • Treatment and prevention of menorrhagia (uterine bleeding).
  • Treatment of menstrual migraine.
  • Treatment of symptoms related to the arrival of menopause.
  • Hyperandrogenism (excess male hormone in females).

For women with the above problems, the suppression of menstruation is not a simple matter of convenience, it is a matter of physical and mental health.

Interruption of menstruation is also a sensible measure in women with cerebral palsy or have muscular or neurological problems that prevent them from practicing proper personal hygiene at the time of the period. If the frequent exchange absorbent is already a nuisance for those who are healthy, imagine for people with disabilities.

Stop menstruating just for the sake of convenience

If menstruation is not a necessary event, it is more than just that many women who do not want to solve more go through the hassle of getting menstruating every month. Even in women who do not suffer from severe cramping or have PMS, menstruation is an unfortunate event, especially in holiday seasons, travel, competition, academic examinations, special events, etc.

During adolescence, the time when the cramps and the unpredictability of menses are larger, the suppression of the period can be a very comfortable option, mainly because during the class period, the exchange of clothing and intimate absorbent is not something simple to done.

Another point in favor of cessation of menstruation is the financial issue. The monthly spending with oral contraceptives is greater than injections, impantes or adhesives, for example. In addition, women do not need to buy absorbent, analgesics against cramps, iron against anemia and pharmacy pregnancy tests when menstruation does not come down at the expected time. The number of absences from work and school is also much lower in women who do not menstruate.

It is necessary to point out that the suppression of menstruation does not affect the fertility of women. Even though for years without menstruating, the mere suspension of medication makes the woman back to ovulate normally.

Available methods for non-menstruating

1. Contraceptive pill

In most cases, the pill is taken for 21 days followed by 7 days of rest for the descent of menses. If women choose not to menstruate, she omits these days of break and continue to take the pill continuously. While there is a break in the pill, menstruation will not go down.

The most common way is to use 84 days followed by 7 days pill off. Thus, the menstruating woman only 4 times per year.

The interruption of menstruation can be made with the common pills, or new formulations designed for this purpose. The decision of the best option for your case must always be done by your gynecologist.

Some options designed specifically for continuous use include: Cerazette (desogestrel 75 mcg), Kelly (desogestrel 75 mcg), Elani 28 (ethinyl estradiol 30 mcg + drospirenone 3 mg), Micronor (norethindrone 0.35 mg) and Mercilon (ethinylestradiol 20 mcg + desogestrel 150 mcg).

2. Injectable contraceptive

In this form the contraceptive is injected into the buttock, usually at intervals of 1 or 3 months. It is a good option to suppress menstruation.

Options available on the market include: Cyclofemina (medroxyprogesterone acetate 25 mg + estradiol cypionate 5 mg) Mesigyna (estradiol valerate 5 mg + norethisterone enanthate 50 mg) and Perlutan (estradiol enanthate 10 mg + algestone acetophenide 150 mg).

3. Intrauterine device (IUD)

The hormonal IUD releases small and constant amounts of hormone and can be kept in the uterus for up to five years. The most commonly used commercially is the Mirena (levonorgestrel 52 mg). The hormonal IUD only suppresses menstruation in 20% of patients, but is able to greatly reduce the volume and menstrual frequency in the other.

4. Subdermal implants

The contraceptive implant (Implanon) is a small capsule containing etonogestrel hormone. It is inserted under the skin using a disposable applicator and can be maintained for up to 3 years. After this time, it is removed through a small incision under local anesthesia.
Its effectiveness as menstruation suppressant is not as good as the other methods and may cause frequent exhaust bleeding.

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