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新产品让经期不再是烦恼!

2006-05-26 18:11CRI Online

New Birth Control Products Block Periods

Women have long been manipulating hormonal contraceptives to skip or block menstrual periods. For young women with a world of choices, even that monthly curse, the menstrual period, is optional.

Thanks to birth control pills and other hormonal contraceptives, a growing number of women are taking the path chosen by 22-year-old Stephanie Sardinha.

She hasn't had a period since she was 17.

"It's really one of the best things I've ever done," she says.

A college student and retail worker in Lisbon Falls, Maine, Sardinha uses Nuvaring, a vaginal contraceptive ring. After the hormones run out in three weeks, she replaces the ring right away instead of following instructions to leave the ring out for a week to allow bleeding. She says it has been great for her marriage, preventing monthly crankiness and improving her sex life.

"I would never go back," said Sardinha, who got the idea from her aunt, a nurse practitioner.

Using the pill or other contraceptives to block periods is becoming more popular, particularly among young women and those entering menopause, doctors say.

"I have a ton of young girls in college who are doing this," says Dr. Mindy Wiser-Estin, a gynecologist in Little Silver, N.J., who did it herself for years. "There's no reason you need a period."

Such medical jury-rigging soon will be unnecessary. Already, the Seasonale birth control pill limits periods to four a year. The first continuous-use birth control pill, Lybrel, likely will soon be on the U.S. market and drug companies are lining up other ways to limit or eliminate the period.

Most doctors say they don't think suppressing menstruation is riskier than regular long-term birth control use, and one survey found a majority have prescribed contraception to prevent periods. Women have been using the pill for nearly half a century without significant problems, but some doctors want more research on long-term use.

The new methods should be popular. A non-scientific Web survey for the Association of Reproductive Health Professionals found at least two-thirds of respondents are bothered by fatigue, heavy bleeding, "really bad cramps" and even anger. Nearly half said they would like to have no period at all or decide when to have one.

For some women, periods can cause debilitating pain and more serious problems.

Two recent national surveys found about 1 in 5 women have used oral contraceptives to stop or skip their period.

"If you're choosing contraception, then there's not a lot of point to having periods," says Dr. Leslie Miller, a University of Washington-Seattle researcher and associate professor of obstetrics and gynecology whose Web site, noperiod.com, explains the option. She points out women on hormonal contraception don't have real periods anyway, just withdrawal bleeding during the break from the hormone progestin.

Still, surveys also show most women consider monthly periods normal. Small wonder: Girls learn early on that menstruation is a sign of fertility and femininity, making its onset an eagerly awaited rite of passage.

The period is "way over-romanticized," says Linda Gordon, a New York University professor specializing in women's history and the history of sexuality.

"It doesn't take long for women to go from being excited about having a period to feeling it's a pain in the neck," said Gordon, author of "The Moral Property of Women: A History of Birth Control Politics in America."

She says caution is needed because there's not enough data on long-term consequences of using hormones continuously. Gordon notes menopausal women for years were told that hormone drugs would keep them young ?until research uncovered unexpected risks.



随着科学的日益进步,现在年轻女性在生活上有了极大的选择机会,甚至连女性每个月都要经历的那特殊的几天(月经期),都可以按照她们的选择,要或者不要。

据美联社5月21日报道,由于避孕药片和其他一些激素类避孕用具的帮助,美国现在有越来越多的女性开始选择一种新的生活方式。现年22岁的斯蒂芬妮·萨尔迪尼亚就是其中的一员。从17岁开始,萨尔迪尼亚就和每月一次的“烦恼”说再见了。她说:“这确实是我所做过的最棒的事情之一了。”

萨尔迪尼亚是美国缅因州里斯本福尔斯的一名大学生。近年来,她一直在使用一个名为Nuvaring的阴道避孕环作为避孕措施。Nuvaring使用起来非常方便,女性自己能轻松地将其置入体内,之后就不需采用其他避孕措施。3个星期后,由于阴道环中的激素释放完毕,按照说明应该取出NuvaRing环,接下来1周为月经期,1周过后再置入新环。但是,萨尔迪尼亚则是采取了马上又更换新阴道环的作法。这样一来,她就从此摆脱了恼人的那几天。萨尔迪尼亚说,这种做法使她受益匪浅,因为它能让自己不再出现每月情绪失控的局面,而且还能改善性生活质量。

萨尔迪尼亚说,自己绝对不会再回到以前那种每月都要忍受几天不适日子的生活了。而她这种方法则是向自己的姨妈、一位护士那里学来的。

医生们对此表示,使用避孕药片或其他避孕用具来阻止经期的方法目前变得越来越普遍,这一方法尤其被年轻女性和那些正在步入更年期的女性所青睐。在美国新泽西州的小西尔弗,身为妇科医生的明迪·怀泽·埃斯汀数年来也一直使用这种方法,这为她免去了不少麻烦,她说:“我认识的很多在校的年轻女孩都在使用这种方法,你没理由需要经期到来。”

报道说,目前全球的制药公司都在为限制或“彻底消灭”女性经期而寻找方法。美国的一种避孕药片已经能让月经改为“季经”,即一年只有4次月经;而首个可连续口服的避孕药片Lybrel也将很快投入美国市场。

美国一家网站进行的调查显示,至少有三分之二的被调查者在经期会遭遇身体不适、出血过多、痛经甚至情绪失控、易怒等。有将近一半的人说,她们希望干脆彻底“消灭”月经或者自己能决定什么时候来月经。对于少数女性来说,月经不调还能诱发更为严重的问题。而美国最近进行的两项调查显示,有五分之一的妇女会采用口服避孕药的方法来终止或跳过她们的经期。

但也有美国学者指出,对于此问题应该持谨慎态度。因为,目前还没有足够的证据可以说明持续使用激素可能造成的长期后果。另外,由于个人的身体条件不同,因此并不是所有人都适合使用激素类避孕药物。因此,人们需要格外小心谨慎。

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