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Contraception. 2010 Mar;81(3):223-5. doi: 10.1016/j.contraception.2009.10.007. Epub 2009 Nov 14.

Extended regimens of the contraceptive vaginal ring: evaluation of clinical aspects.

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1
Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Sao Paulo Federal University Family Planning Clinic/UNIFESP, São Paulo, Brazil.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

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 regimens of vaginal contraceptive rings. The aim of this study was to evaluate the clinical symptoms, body weight and blood pressure changes in women using the vaginal ring continuously over a 1-year period.

STUDY DESIGN:

This prospective cohort evaluated clinical aspects (dysmenorrhea, headache, breast tenderness, leg pain and irritability), body weight and blood pressure changes in 75 women (18-37 years of age) using a vaginal ring releasing 120 mcg of etonogestrel and 15 mcg of ethinyl estradiol daily, over a continuous period of 84 days, followed by a 7-day ring-free interval, during 1 year. The chi-square, Wilcoxon and paired t tests were used to analyze differences in the outcomes of interest.

RESULTS:

Compared to pre-enrollment status, at the end of the study period, the patients reported significantly less dysmenorrhea and irritability, a nonsignificant decrease in breast tenderness, leg pain and headaches. Blood pressure measurements remained unchanged. Although weight and body mass index increased significantly among users, they remained within the expected biological variation range.

CONCLUSION:

The vaginal ring used on an extended regimen is a well-tolerated contraceptive method and also offers noncontraceptive benefits.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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