Graham, C. and Sherwin, Barbara
The relationship between retrospective premenstrual symptom reporting and present oral contraceptive use
Journal of Psychosomatic Research, 31, (1), . (doi:10.1016/0022-3999(87)90097-3).
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The premenstrual assessment form (PAF) was used to assess the degree and type of premenstrual changes reported by 101 oral contraceptive users and 149 non-users (aged 18–45 yr) attending general health and gynaecology clinics. Women using oral contraceptives did not complain of fewer or less severe symptoms overall, but their severity scores of the subscales of premenstrual anxiety, fatigue, low mood, water retention, and impaired social functioning were significantly lower than those of non-users. The duration of oral contraceptive use and the type of preparation (combined or phased) taken were not related to the degree of premenstrual change reported. Complaints of symptoms beginning more than two days before menstruation were less frequently reported by pill-users (p<0.01) and were associated with a greater severity of all types of premenstrual change (p<0.0001). Women who had experienced difficulties tolerating oral contraceptives reported a greater number of moderate/severe premenstrual changes (p<0.0001).
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