A comparison of the cycle control and tolerability of two ultra low-dose oral contraceptives containing 20 micrograms ethinylestradiol and either 150 micrograms desogestrel or 75 micrograms gestodene.
Author(s): Serfaty D, Vree ML
Affiliation(s): Hospital Saint-Louis, Paris, France.
Publication date & source: 1998-12, Eur J Contracept Reprod Health Care., 3(4):179-89.
Publication type: Clinical Trial; Multicenter Study; Randomized Controlled Trial
OBJECTIVE: To compare the cycle control and tolerability of two oral contraceptives containing 20 micrograms ethinylestradiol and either 150 micrograms desogestrel or 75 micrograms gestodene. METHODS: A randomized, multicenter study was conducted in which 1016 healthy adult women received the desogestrel (n = 509) or the gestodene (n = 507) preparation for six treatment cycles. RESULTS: No significant differences in bleeding patterns were detected between the two treatments. The incidence and duration of irregular bleeding decreased markedly, and to a similar extent, during each treatment. The occurrence of irregular bleeding per cycle decreased from 24.6 to 9.4% in the desogestrel group and from 19.7 to 8.6% in the gestodene group. Its duration fell from 1.1 to 0.2 days and from 0.9 to 0.3 days, respectively. There was a consistently low incidence of amenorrhea (1.0-2.8%). There were no significant differences between treatments for the incidence, intensity or emergence of dysmenorrhea. During both treatments, the incidence of premenstrual syndrome and complaints such as breast tenderness, nausea and headache dropped markedly. CONCLUSION: Ultra low-dose oral contraceptives containing desogestrel or gestodene offer equivalent, good cycle control and improvements in dysmenorrhea and premenstrual syndrome and have similar, excellent tolerability profiles.