No-Period Birth Control Pill May Help PMS
Researchers Say Experimental Oral Contraceptive Reduces Premenstrual Syndrome
WebMD News Archive
Oct. 17, 2005 -- The first birth
control pill designed to completely eliminate periods for one year is also
proving to be an effective treatment for premenstrual syndrome
The experimental low-dose combined contraceptive, which delivers estrogen and a progestin 365
days a year (with no pill-free interval), was found to be highly effective in
stopping monthly periods and alleviating the emotional and physical symptoms
linked to menstruation.
The new study released Monday was one of four evaluating the birth control
pill Lybrel presented at the 61st annual meeting of the American Society for
Reproductive Medicine in Montreal.
The research was funded by drug maker Wyeth Pharmaceuticals, which is
seeking FDA approval for the continuous-use contraceptive pill. Wyeth is a
More Women Skipping Periods
Women seeking contraception have had increasing power over the timing of
their periods in recent years. The injectable hormonal contraception
Depo-Provera can suppress monthly periods, although irregular breakthrough
bleeding can occur in many users.
And the approval of the Seasonale birth control pill two years ago ushered
in the era of seasonal menstruation. Women on this birth control pill
menstruate just four times a year.
Oral contraceptive users who have PMS, troublesome periods, or painful
endometriosis are also increasingly skipping the seven-day pill-free interval
(placebo or sugar pills at the end of the pack) recommended with currently
approved birth control pills. Instead,
they are opting, with their doctor's knowledge, to take active-hormone pills
continuously to eliminate monthly menstruation.
"It is not uncommon for women and their [physicians] to choose to monitor
when they have their menstrual cycles or to eliminate them completely,"
University of Vermont professor of obstetrics and gynecology Julia Johnson, MD,
said at a news conference from the Montreal meeting.