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Contraception counseling for women with premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD): current perspectives

Authors Rapkin AJ, Korotkaya Y, Taylor KC

Received 24 April 2019

Accepted for publication 7 August 2019

Published 20 September 2019 Volume 2019:10 Pages 27—39


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Professor Igal Wolman

Andrea J Rapkin, Yelena Korotkaya, Kathrine C Taylor

Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, David Geffen School of Medicine, University of California, Los Angeles, CA, USA

Correspondence: Andrea J Rapkin
Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, David Geffen School of Medicine, University of California, 10833 Le Conte Avenue, CHS 22-184, Los Angeles 90095, CA, USA
Tel +1 310 825 6963

Abstract: Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD) is a severe form of premenstrual syndrome (PMS) affecting up to 7% of reproductive age women. Women with PMDD are of reproductive age; therefore, contraception and treatment of PMDD are important considerations. The disorder as described in the DSM-V is characterized by moderate to severe psychological, behavioral and physical symptoms beginning up to two weeks prior to menses, resolving soon after the onset of menstruation and significantly interfering with daily functioning. PMDD develops in predisposed individuals after they are exposed to progesterone at the time of ovulation. It has been hypothesized that PMDD is in part attributable to luteal phase abnormalities in serotonergic activity and to altered configuration of ℽ-aminobutyric acid subunit A (GABAA) receptors in the brain triggered by the exposure to the neuroactive steroid progesterone metabolite, allopregnanolone (Allo). A large body of evidence suggests that selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) can be effective in the treatment of PMDD. Combined hormonal contraceptive (CHC) pills, specifically the 20 mcg ethinyl estradiol/3mg drospirenone in a 24/4 extended cycle regimen has been shown to significantly improve the emotional and physical symptoms of PMDD. Other combined monophasic, extended cycle hormonal contraceptive pills with less androgenic progestins may also be helpful, although not well studied. Copper intrauterine devices (IUDs) are recommended for those not seeking hormonal contraceptives. Progestin-only methods including the progestin-only pill (POP), levonorgestrel (LNG) IUD, etonorgestrel implant or depot medroxyprogesterone acetate (DMPA) have the potential to negatively affect mood symptoms for women with or without baseline mood disorders, including PMDD. Careful counseling and close follow-up is recommended for patients with PMDD seeking these contraceptive methods.

Keywords: PMDD, hormonal contraception, drospirenone, copper IUD

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