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17-10-2010 | Gynaecology | Article

Female gynecologists happy to prescribe extended OC use


Free abstract

MedWire News: A study involving female gynecologists practicing in Germany and Austria shows that they are happy to prescribe extended oral contraception (OC) for negative, cycle-related effects including headaches and dysmenorrhea.

Furthermore, the gynecologists' personal experiences with extended OC use did not influence the likelihood of them recommending the regimen to their patients.

"Many women taking a combined OC in the conventional way still experience headaches, pelvic pain, and mood changes during the hormone-free interval," explain Inka Wiegratz (J W Goethe University, Frankfurt am Main, Germany) and colleagues.

Therefore, "continuous use of combined OCs for several weeks or months is individually practiced by a number of affected women," they add.

Wiegratz and colleagues surveyed 963 female gynecologists practicing in Germany, 111 practicing in Austria, and 17 of unknown European location to elucidate their personal preferences and experiences of this OC regimen.

Nearly all (97 percent) reported prescribing extended-cycle regimens to patients with cycle-related headaches (94 percent) and dysmenorrhea (88 percent)-the main medical reasons for prescription.

Of note, the likelihood of prescribing an extended regimen did not differ between respondents with and without personal experience of extended-cycle use, at 97 and 98 percent, respectively.

MedWire ( is an independent clinical news service provided by Current Medicine Group, a trading division of Springer Healthcare Limited. © Springer Healthcare Ltd; 2010

By Sarah Guy