Birth control pill may provide relief for PMS

The physical and emotional symptoms associated with a woman's menstrual cycle were significantly reduced in women taking the combination of drospirenone and ethinyl estradiol contained in the oral contraceptive Yasmin, as reported in a study published in the Journal of Reproductive Medicine. This reduction of menstrual-related symptoms led to a significant improvement in women's health-related quality of life and overall sense of well-being.

"Many women suffer from menstrual symptoms such as premenstrual syndrome (PMS) that disrupt their quality of life in numerous ways," said Dr. Andrea J. Rapkin, study author and UCLA professor of obstetrics and gynecology. "This study of nearly 700 women's actual experiences reconfirms past data that Yasmin is effective in reducing these symptoms and, more importantly, shows that reduction of these symptoms can have a significant impact on a woman's life."

Although not a prerequisite for participation, prior to the study 72 percent of respondents reported suffering from PMS, a clinical condition with psychological and physical symptoms that can significantly influence social relationships, health-related quality of life and work productivity. During the month before the study began, half were actively treating their symptoms with over-the-counter or prescription medications or herbs and vitamins. Before taking Yasmin, 67 percent of respondents had used some form of contraception and 46 percent had used another oral contraceptive.

"We conducted this study to determine how the reduction of menstrual symptoms can actually impact women's lives, and also because we have seen conflicting data addressing the question of whether oral contraceptives are an effective way to treat menstrual symptoms," Rapkin said. "Many oral contraceptives can help with some symptoms while exacerbating others. The women participating in our study reported multiple symptom improvement leading to a significant, positive impact on thei

Contact: Kirsten Holguin
University of California - Los Angeles

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