Is it bad to interrupt the period with hormonal treatments?

After a certain age, practically all women meet a new partner who will visit us every month: the period. Historically considered a symbol of fertility and youth, the reality is that menstruation causes pain and discomfort in 50-90% of women and 3% force them to stop working, change their routine and even remain at rest.

In fact, in Spain, 20% wish they did not have the rule and 8% have already taken the step. The figures are increasing and it is most likely that they will continue to do so, since it is proven that there are no harmful effects on health and that the quality of life improves physically, socially and at work. There is even a positive impact on the relationship.

Dr. Marina Antón Marazuela, specialist in Gynecology and Obstetrics at the Quirónsalud Tres Cantos Medical Center, explains that “many women suffer from dysmenorrhea, (intense pain with menstruation), hypermenorrhea (excessive vaginal bleeding), intense premenstrual syndrome that includes a multiple variety of signs and symptoms the previous days to menstruation such as mood changes, breast tenderness, irritability, breast pain, or other symptoms that prevent them from having a good quality of life for several days a month ”. There are also women who, due to their way of life, prefer to avoid menstrual bleeding because it bothers or disables them for the development of their daily activities (travel, physical exercise …)

“In addition,” he continues, “when suffering from some pathologies or diseases such as endometriosis, catamenial headache or chronic anemia, it is especially beneficial.” However, it is important to clarify that It is not necessary to suffer a pathology, you can opt for a hormonal treatment to eliminate the rule throughout the reproductive life, without increasing the risk of suffering from any disease.

The specialist explains that taking hormonal contraceptives produces a withdrawal bleed the rest days, that is, a “false menstruation”. They are bleeds that simulate a menstruation, but in reality they are not because there has been no ovulation. These bleeding caused by contraceptive pills are produced with the aim of imitating the normal cycle of women and thus improve acceptance by the user.

In the case of specific hormonal treatments to reduce or eliminate the number of menstruations completely, it works in another way. “The treatment consists of a combined hormonal contraceptive that contains two different types of hormones, estrogen and progestogen, and It can be applied as a pill, transdermal patch, or vaginal ring. It is used for 21 consecutive days, after which there is a seven-day break in which bleeding occurs called withdrawal bleed. Those 7 days of rest may not take place and the patient in that case will not have menstruation. “

Today there are commercial preparations that present a blister of 120 pills and that is taken continuously so that you have bleeding only three times a year, you can even set a flexible guideline that suits the life of the woman.

Also hormonal treatments that only have gestagens, which exist in the form of a pill, subdermal implant or intrauterine device ”, continues Dr. Antón,“ can prevent the patient from having menstruation, but this menstrual pattern is more unstable and on many occasions there are small bleeds that are usually sporadic and scarce in most cases. Approximately 20% of the patients who use this type of contraceptive method tend to remain in amenorrhea and this percentage is a little different depending on whether they use it in the form of a daily pill, subdermal implant or intrauterine device ”.

As for which is the most indicated treatment in each case, there are the WHO eligibility criteria for the use of contraceptives, that is a guide that indicates depending on the different conditions and pathologies of women, which is the most indicated contraceptive method and if any of them is contraindicated. “For example,” the specialist points out, “it would be contraindicated to take combined hormonal contraceptives continuously in those patients in whom taking estrogens is not safe, for example, in patients with breast cancer, women over 35 years of age. who are smokers, a history of venous thrombosis or pulmonary embolism, a family history associated with a greater risk of suffering from thrombosis ”.

Finally, it is worth highlighting that it is an option that more and more women are taking, which, except in very specific cases, does not pose any health risk and has several benefits.

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