Contraceptive Methods and the Impact of Menstruation on Daily Functioning in Women with Sickle Cell Disease
AbstractObjectives: Women with sickle cell disease (SCD) are living longer as a result of advances in the care of their underlying disease. With the population growing of women living with SCD, reproductive health issues in this population have become an emphasized area of medical care. We sought to describe current patterns of contraception use, menstruation, and quality-of-life (QOL) measures in women with SCD.
Methods: Using a cross-sectional study design, we administered paper surveys at two academic medical centers to women aged 10 to 55 years with SCD to capture current contraceptive use, characteristics of menstrual cycles, and QOL metrics.
Results: Of the 103 women who participated, 12.7% (13/102) experienced a duration of menses >7 days (defined here as prolonged menstrual bleeding). Approximately half of women (51.5%, 53/103) used some form of contraception, with depot medroxyprogesterone acetate injections and condoms being the most common. During their last menstrual periods, women with both dysmenorrhea and prolonged menstrual bleeding (6.9%, 7/102) were more likely to experience more days of poor QOL, with more nights with sleep disturbance (P = 0.001) and more days with trouble taking care of themselves (P = 0.003), as well as being unable to do things they previously enjoyed (P = 0.001), compared with those with neither phenomenon (28.2%, 29/103).
Conclusions: Dysmenorrhea and prolonged menstrual bleeding negatively affect the QOL of women with SCD. Menstrual histories and preventive measures for menstruation-related morbidity should be incorporated into routine evaluations of women with SCD.
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