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Effect of hormonal emergency contraception on bleeding patterns.

Author(s): Webb A, Shochet T, Bigrigg A, Loftus-Granberg B, Tyrer A, Gallagher J, Hesketh C

Affiliation(s): Abacus Centres for Contraception and Reproductive Health, North Liverpool, Primary Care Trust, Central Abacus, 40-46 Dale Street, Liverpool L2 5SF, England. anne.webb@pct.northliverpool.nhs.uk

Publication date & source: 2004-02, Contraception., 69(2):133-5.

Publication type: Clinical Trial; Multicenter Study; Randomized Controlled Trial

Spotting following the use of emergency contraception is not unusual, nor is anxiety in women waiting to see if the treatment has worked. It is not known whether such spotting should bring worry or relief. We, therefore, wished to see if there was any correlation between bleeding pattern and treatment outcome. Using data from a large multicenter efficacy trial, we examined bleeding patterns post-emergency contraception. The earlier in the cycle the pills were taken, the more likely the next bleed was to be early and the less likely it was to be on time. There was no observable difference in spotting rates between women who got pregnant and those who did not. The occurrence of spotting did not influence whether the next period was lighter or heavier.

Page last updated: 2006-01-31

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