Oral contraceptive discontinuation: A prospective evaluation of frequency and reasons

Health Decisions, Inc., Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill 27514, USA.
American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology (Impact Factor: 3.97). 10/1998; 179(3 Pt 1):577-82. DOI: 10.1016/S0002-9378(98)70047-X
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Our purpose was to define the frequency and reasons for oral contraceptive discontinuation and subsequent contraceptive behavior.
A nationwide prospective study of 1657 women initiating or switching to the use of a new contraceptive from private practices, clinics, and a health maintenance organization was performed.
Six months after a new oral contraceptive prescription, 68% of new starts and 84% of switchers still used oral contraceptives. Of women who discontinued, 46% did so because of side effects, whereas 23% had no continuing need. More than four fifths of women who discontinued oral contraceptives but remained at risk of unintended pregnancy either failed to adopt another method or adopted a less effective method. Fifteen percent of women who discontinued oral contraceptives resumed their use within the 7-month follow-up period.
Counseling should emphasize the possibility of side effects, stressing the fact that most will be transient, and the need to identify a backup method. Follow-up visits should be scheduled for 1 to 2 months after a prescription is written.

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    • "A prospective study from the USA found that 68% of new pill users continued with the pill at 6 months [12]. Assuming a pill continuation rate of 50% at 12 months with conventional use, then 182 women in each arm of the trial would give 80% power at 5% significance to detect an absolute difference of 15% (or more) in continuation rates for the other arm, that is, over 65% or less than 35% at 12 months for either of the alternative ways of taking the pill. "
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    ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: There is growing interest from women and clinicians in extended or tailored use of the combined oral contraceptive (COC) pill. Potential advantages include less bleeding, greater contraceptive efficacy and user satisfaction. We examined the effect of a tailored pill regimen, compared with the standard regimen, on continuation and satisfaction rates at 1 year and associated bleeding patterns. STUDY DESIGN: This was a randomized controlled trial with 503 women aged 18-45 years. Women were randomized to either the standard regimen (21 daily pills followed by a 7-day pill-free interval) or tailored regimen (daily pills until three consecutive days bleeding triggers a 3-day pill-free interval) of Microgynon 30® (ethinyl oestradiol 30 mcg, levonorgestrel 150 mcg). Primary outcome was COC continuation at 12 months; secondary outcomes included satisfaction with pill regimen regarding contraception and bleeding pattern. Daily electronic diaries were used to record women's pill use, switching to other contraceptive methods, menstrual bleeding patterns and satisfaction levels. RESULTS: Eighty-three percent of women were already taking the COC at recruitment, 13% were restarting the COC and 4% were first time COC users. Seventy-one percent of all women were followed up at 12 months. Continuation rates at 1 year were 82% in the tailored arm versus 80% in the standard arm [odds ratio (OR)=1.13; 95% confidence interval (CI)=0.67-1.91]. Satisfaction with contraceptive regimen was 86% (tailored) versus 94% (standard) (OR=0.37; 95% CI=0.17-0.79), and satisfaction with bleeding pattern was 79% versus 87%, respectively (OR=0.53; 95% CI=0.30-0.93). Median number of bleeding days per month was 2.4 (tailored) and 4.9 (standard). Incidence, duration and intensity of bleeding episodes were significantly lower in the tailored arm. CONCLUSIONS: In women familiar with standard use of the COC, switching to tailored COC use or continuing with standard use were both associated with high COC continuation rates and high satisfaction with contraceptive regimen and bleeding pattern. While significant differences tended to favor the standard group, tailored COC use was associated with significantly less bleeding, suited some women very well and can provide a suitable alternative to standard use.
    Contraception 04/2013; 88(4). DOI:10.1016/j.contraception.2013.03.014 · 2.93 Impact Factor
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    • "design. Besides, COC is characterized by similar side effects such as bleeding irregularities, which constitute a common reason for discontinuation too (Rosenberg and Waugh, 1998). "
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    ABSTRACT: Long-acting reversible contraceptive (LARC) methods are highly effective in preventing unintended pregnancies. However, their uptake is low in much of the developed world. This study aimed at assessing the cost-effectiveness of LARC methods from the British National Health Service (NHS) perspective. A decision-analytic model was constructed to estimate the relative cost-effectiveness of the copper intrauterine device (IUD), the levonorgestrel intrauterine system (LNG-IUS), the etonogestrel subdermal implant and the depot medroxyprogesterone acetate injection (DMPA). Comparisons with the combined oral contraceptive pill (COC) and female sterilization were also performed. Effectiveness data were derived from a systematic literature review. Costs were based on UK national sources and expert opinion. LARC methods dominated COC (i.e. they were more effective and less costly). Female sterilization dominated LARC methods beyond 5 years of contraceptive protection. DMPA and LNG-IUS were the least cost-effective LARC methods. The incremental cost-effectiveness ratio of implant (most effective LARC method) versus IUD (cheapest LARC method) was pound13 206 per unintended pregnancy averted for 1 year of use and decreased until implant dominated IUD in 15 years. Discontinuation was a key determinant of the cost-effectiveness of LARC methods. LARC methods are cost-effective from the British NHS perspective. Practices improving user satisfaction and continuation of LARC method use should be identified and promoted.
    Human Reproduction 07/2008; 23(6):1338-45. DOI:10.1093/humrep/den091 · 4.59 Impact Factor
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    • "Moreover, drop-outs of 25 –66% were reported in adolescent COCP users over a year (Emans et al., 1987; Dustenberg and Brill, 1990). In a more recent study, 42% of COCP users stopped the pill without consulting their providers, with 59% reporting side effects as the main reason for discontinuation (Rosenberg and Waugh, 1998). Specifically, weight gain and acne were reported by a quarter of teenagers who stopped using the pill (Pratt and Bachrach, 1987). "
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    ABSTRACT: Limited access to contraception and poor compliance are the major reasons for unintended pregnancy in adolescence. This study was designed to compare knowledge of the combined oral contraceptive pill (COCP) in teenage users and non-users. We speculated that consultations between COCP users and their physicians would dispel misconceptions. A cross-sectional survey was undertaken in public clinics affiliated with an academic center. High school-educated female adolescents aged 14-20 years opting for contraception (n = 254) and Israeli physicians (n = 114) specializing in Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Endocrinology participated in the study. Information about past or present COCP use and views of the COCP were recorded by employing a ten-question YES/NO self-completion questionnaire, designed by the researchers. The prevalence of incorrect beliefs was exceedingly high in the whole adolescent study group and relatively high among the physicians. The prevalence of incorrect beliefs was comparable between COCP users and non-users, regarding the 10 misconceptions investigated. The duration of COCP use did not influence the prevalence of misconceptions about the pill. Age did not serve as a confounding factor for all misconceptions. Lack of informative communication between COCP-prescribing physicians and users and mistaken knowledge of the caring physicians may contribute to adolescent ignorance of the COCP. Focusing on adolescent-specific disbeliefs could lead to construction of better educational programs in schools and clinics.
    Human Reproduction 01/2008; 22(12):3078-83. DOI:10.1093/humrep/dem259 · 4.59 Impact Factor
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