About the Suvery
A survey from the Association of Reproductive Health Professionals (ARHP) evaluated patient and health care provider attitudes and perceptions on menstrual bleeding and menstrual suppression. The findings show that many women have a strong negative attitude orientation toward their period. They simply do not like it. They do not like the symptoms, they do not like that it is something they have to hide, and they do not like the fact that it puts them at a disadvantage relative to men. It is not something they would miss if it went away. When presented with the idea of menstrual suppression, many women expressed interest.
A web survey, fielded by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner, was conducted among of 1,021 women 18-40 who had not had hysterectomies and were not trying to get pregnant. Respondents were selected randomly from a panel of Knowledge Networks research participants. The Knowledge Networks panel is based on random-digit-dial sampling of the full United States population and represents people with and without their own Internet access. The data were weighted by age, race, education, Internet access, metropolitan status, and region to ensure an accurate reflection of the population.
The survey was conducted July 8-13, 2005 and has a margin of error of +/- 3.1 percentage points. Additionally, in-depth interviews were conducted of 25 OB/GYNs, primary care physicians, nurse practitioners, and physician assistants who have patient contact and prescribe contraceptives.
- Few women have an emotional connection to their period. Most simply do not like having it, and would happy to be rid of it.
- Women are very receptive to innovations that would enable them to delay or even stop menstruation. Some would like to have it a few times a year, but many would prefer not to have a period at all.
- Women are more likely today, compared to two years ago, to have heard about menstrual suppression, and are more likely to say they are interested in it.
- Women show surprisingly little knowledge about the effects that hormonal contraceptives have on their bodies. Women believe it is natural for a woman to have her period while on the pill, and most remain wedded to the notion of a 28-day menstrual cycle.
- Those most receptive to menstrual suppression include women already on birth control pills, women with severe symptoms, low-income women, and younger women.
The survey was supported by an unrestricted educational grant from Wyeth Pharmaceuticals.