What are my 16 year-old patient’s options if she wants fewer periods? #1204/14

Q:        I have a 16 year-old patient who began using oral contraceptive pills (OCPs) extended cycling for acne and heavy menses.  She developed chronic exercise related shortness
of breath and had extensive negative pulmonary and cardiac work up.  I had her stop taking the OCPs and her symptoms completely resolved.

Now, she again wants fewer, lighter menses.  What are her best options? She does not smoke and has no history of blood clots.

A:        Good afternoon,

 Has she considered a Mirena IUD?Women bleed about 95% less after a year on Mirena although there may be lots of days of spotting at the beginning.

Mirena will not help her acne, of course.

Robert A. Hatcher MD, MPH

Emeritus Professor of Gynecology and Obstetrics

Emory University School of Medicine

Atlanta, GA

To learn more about the advantages and disadvantages of oral contraceptive pills and the Mirena IUD, go to: www.managingcontraception.com and click on Choices 2013 edition.  You can also order this wonderful new educational book from our website or by calling 404-875-5001.  Do you have your copy yet?  It is now available in English and Spanish.

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Key Words:  oral contraceptive pills, cycling, heavy menses, acne, chronic exercise related shortness of breath, negative pulmonary, cardiac work-up, symptoms, resolved, lighter menses, options, smoke, history, blood clots, Mirena IUD 

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