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Scheduled and unscheduled bleeding patterns with two combined hormonal contraceptives: application of new recommendations for standardization.

Author(s): Hampton RM, Fisher AC, Pagano S, LaGuardia KD

Affiliation(s): Texas Tech University School of Medicine, Odessa, Texas, USA.

Publication date & source: 2009-08, Fertil Steril., 92(2):434-40. Epub 2008 Oct 18.

Publication type: Multicenter Study; Randomized Controlled Trial; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

OBJECTIVE: To reassess and compare cycle control attained with two combined hormonal contraceptives, norgestimate (NGM)/ethinyl estradiol (EE) 25 microg and norethindrone acetate (NETA)/EE 20 microg, by new general criteria recommendations for all combined hormonal contraceptives. DESIGN: Analysis of bleeding data for cycles 1-6 from a randomized, multicenter trial. SETTING: 221 North American centers. PATIENT(S): Healthy, sexually active women (18-45 years old). INTERVENTION(S): NETA/EE: 1 mg NETA/20 microg EE, days 1-21 of each cycle and 75 mg of ferrous fumarate, days 22-28; NGM/EE: triphasic NGM in 7-day increments (days 1-7: 180 microg; days 8-14: 215 microg; days 15-21: 250 microg) and 25 microg EE, placebo on days 22-28. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE(S): Cycle control evaluated from patients' daily diaries. RESULT(S): For cycles 1-6, there was a statistically significant lower incidence of unscheduled bleeding/spotting with NGM/EE 25 microg (range 21.0%-34.4%) than with NETA/EE 20 microg (range 33.0%-46.6%). Of the women who had unscheduled bleeding/spotting, the mean number of days per cycle of bleeding/spotting was comparable. A statistically significant higher incidence of scheduled bleeding was seen with NGM/EE 25 microg (95.2%-97.5%) than with NETA/EE 20 microg (78.5%-84.2%). CONCLUSION(S): The NGM/EE 25 microg has a lower incidence and comparable length of unscheduled bleeding and a higher incidence of scheduled bleeding than NETA/EE 20 microg in this post hoc analysis.

Page last updated: 2009-10-20

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