The Impact of Oral Contraceptives on the Severity of Premenstrual Symptoms
Oral contraceptives (OC) are very widely prescribed therapy for premenstrual symptoms yet, only a limited number of studies have explored the impact of OC premenstrual symptoms. The aim of this study was to assess the effects of oral contraceptives on premenstrual symptoms and whether the interaction between OC exposure and age affects severity of these symptoms. In total 385 women (186 OC-users and 199 non OC-users) participated in this study. Premenstrual symptoms were assessed with Woman's Daily Health Diary. Online data collection was used. Series of analysis (multivariate analysis, t-tests and analysis of variance) were performed in order to investigate differences in severity of premenstrual symptom between OC-users and non OC-users. Results have shown there is a significant difference between OC-users as oppose to non OC-users in reporting overall level of premenstrual symptoms (t(383)=4.29, p˂0.01, d=0.44) with OC-users experiencing fewer symptoms. The differences between two groups of women were also found with respect to physical (t(383)=5.13, p˂0.01, d=0.48) and psycho-emotional symptoms (t(383)=3.21, p˂0.01, d=0.34), concentration (t(383)=2.74, p˂0.01, d=0.28) as well as appetite-related (t(383)=3.57, p˂0.01, d=0.57) and sleep-related problems (t(383)=3.08, p˂0.01, d=0.33), with OC-users reporting less severe disturbances in all those categories. No difference was found in regards to well-being (t(383)=0.60, p=0.54) or sexual functioning (t(383)=0.34, p=0.73) between two groups of women. In addition, no significant interaction between age and OC use on premenstrual symptom severity was found (F(1,381)=0.47, p=0.49). Findings of this study point out that OC may ease suffering of women with premenstrual symptoms.
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