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Unscheduled bleeding and contraceptive choice: increasing satisfaction and continuation rates

Authors Villavicencio J, Allen R

Received 10 December 2015

Accepted for publication 30 January 2016

Published 31 March 2016 Volume 2016:7 Pages 43—52

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/OAJC.S85565

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Colin Mak

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Professor Igal Wolman


Jennifer Villavicencio, Rebecca H Allen

The Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Women and Infants Hospital of Rhode Island, Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University, Providence, RI, USA

Abstract: Approximately half (51%) of the 6.6 million pregnancies in the US each year are unintended and half of those pregnancies (54%) occur among women not using contraception. Many women discontinue their contraceptives due to method dissatisfaction. Bothersome unscheduled bleeding is one of the main reasons cited by women for stopping a birth control method. Improving counseling and management of these side effects will aide in increasing satisfaction with contraceptive methods. The following review will discuss the bleeding profiles associated with the contraceptive options available in the US. A valuable resource from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the US Selected Practice Recommendations for Contraceptive Use, will be introduced. Definitions of the types of unscheduled bleeding are included, as well as strategies for treatment for each contraceptive method. The evidence whether or not anticipatory counseling increases continuation rates will also be reviewed.

Keywords: unscheduled uterine bleeding, contraception, drug treatment, patient satisfaction

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