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Int J Womens Health. 2014 Aug 2;6:711-8. doi: 10.2147/IJWH.S65481. eCollection 2014.

Noncontraceptive benefits of the estradiol valerate/dienogest combined oral contraceptive: a review of the literature.

Author information

1
Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Research Centre for Reproductive Medicine, IRCCS Policlinico San Matteo Foundation, University of Pavia, Pavia, Italy.
2
Global Medical Affairs Women's Healthcare, Bayer HealthCare Pharmaceuticals, Berlin, Germany.
3
Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Oregon Health and Science University, Portland, OR, USA.

Abstract

Combined oral contraceptives formulated to include estradiol (E2) have recently become available for the indication of pregnancy prevention. A combined estradiol valerate and dienogest pill (E2V/DNG), designed to be administered using an estrogen step-down and a progestin step-up regimen over 26 days of active treatment followed by 2 days of placebo (26/2-day regimen), has also undergone research to assess the potential for additional noncontraceptive benefits. Randomized, placebo-controlled studies have demonstrated that E2V/DNG is an effective treatment for heavy menstrual bleeding - a reduction in median menstrual blood loss approaching 90% occurs after 6 months of treatment. To date, E2V/DNG is the only oral contraceptive approved for this indication. Comparator studies have also demonstrated a reduction in hormone withdrawal-associated symptoms in users of E2V/DNG compared with a conventional 21/7-day regimen of ethinylestradiol/levonorgestrel. Other potential noncontraceptive benefits associated with E2V/DNG, like improvement in dysmenorrhea, sexual function, and quality of life, are comparable with those associated with other combined oral contraceptives and are discussed further in this review.

KEYWORDS:

heavy menstrual bleeding; hormone withdrawal-associated symptoms; quality of life

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