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Contraception. 2009 Nov;80(5):430-5. doi: 10.1016/j.contraception.2009.05.004. Epub 2009 Jun 30.

Extended regimens of the vaginal contraceptive ring: cycle control.

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Family Planning Clinic, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology of Sao Paulo Federal University, Bairro Jardim, São Paulo CEP 09090-050, Brazil.



Oral contraceptives used for extended periods of time have been extensively studied because of their potential benefits; however, there have been few publications on extended regimen of vaginal rings. The aim of this study was to compare the bleeding patterns of women using extended regimens of the vaginal ring or oral contraceptives.


Prospective cohort involving 150 women: 75 used vaginal rings that release 120 mcg of etonogestrel and 15 mcg of ethinyl estradiol daily, and 75 took oral contraceptives containing ethinyl estradiol 0.3 mcg and desogestrel 150 mcg. Both groups used their respective contraceptive method over continuous periods of 84 days, followed by a 7-day pause, during 1 year.


The total number of scheduled bleeding and spotting days decreased significantly during the 1-year period of the study for both methods (p=.001), and this decrease was significantly higher for oral contraceptive users. Similarly, during the study period, there was a significant reduction in the total number of unscheduled bleeding and spotting days for both methods (p=.01), but this decrease was significantly higher among vaginal ring users (p=.003).


Vaginal ring used on an extended regimen is a contraceptive method that offers good cycle control.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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