A survey of different approaches to management of menstrual disturbances in women using injectable contraceptives.Contraception. 1983 Oct; 28(4):385-97.C
This report summarises a survey of the management of menstrual disturbances occurring during injectable progestogen use (depot-medroxyprogesterone acetate, DMPA, and norethisterone enanthate, NET-EN) by 35 investigators from 20 countries with ongoing experience of these contraceptives. A wide range of approaches are described. The most frequently emphasised aspect of management is thorough pre-treatment counselling with further support and counselling at follow-up visits. Oestrogens in various forms are widely used for the treatment of prolonged, frequent or heavy episodes of bleeding, but nowadays are not usually used for the induction of withdrawal bleeding in women with amenorrhoea. Heavy or "severe" bleeding appears to be very uncommon and figures of 1-2% were frequently mentioned. Anecdotal information suggests that intramuscular doses or longer courses (14-21 days) of oral oestrogen, including the combined pill, are more likely to successfully stop an episode of bleeding than short courses. However, there are no hard data to show that a course of oestrogen treatment has any beneficial effect on long-term bleeding patterns. Nevertheless, temporary cessation of spotting or light bleeding may be sufficiently reassuring to the patient to ensure continued use of the method. There appears to be very little risk associated with the short-term oestrogen regimens currently used. Dilatation and curettage is almost never necessary to stop an episode of bleeding, but may occasionally be recommended for diagnostic reasons. It is clear that the bleeding disturbances associated with DMPA and NET-EN use are poorly understood and that urgent research is necessary to clarify pathophysiological mechanisms and improve management.