Frontline health workers can reassure women about the menstrual bleeding changes they are likely to experience when using contraception. The NORMAL tool provide simple guidance. Photo by Jessica Scranton.
Around the world, women often worry about the menstrual bleeding changes they experience when using contraception. This anxiety can be especially pronounced when their menses stop completely – a normal and safe phenomenon called “amenorrhea” – when using certain types of hormonal methods.
Frontline health workers play a key role in reassuring women about contraceptive-induced menstrual bleeding changes, including amenorrhea. They can also let women know that reduced or no bleeding can have both health and lifestyle benefits for girls and women. Because of the potential advantages of amenorrhea, we think it’s time to embrace and celebrate this potential “side effect” of contraception and re-frame it as a positive method attribute.
New contraceptive products have the potential to help women and girls plan the families and lives they desire. Among the 214 million women in developing countries with an unmet need for family planning, many cite method-related reasons for not using contraception. Some women want methods with different side effects, or no side effects at all. Others need discreet methods, or methods they can use while breastfeeding. Ensuring that women have access to a broad range of methods is one critical component of meeting their contraceptive needs. In almost all cases, local registration of contraceptive products is a prerequisite for access.