Try our beta test site
IMPORTANT: Listing of a study on this site does not reflect endorsement by the National Institutes of Health. Talk with a trusted healthcare professional before volunteering for a study. Read more...

Quick Start Approach to Birth Control Pills

This study has been completed.
Information provided by:
Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) Identifier:
First received: September 10, 2003
Last updated: April 9, 2007
Last verified: April 2007
Women who choose to take birth control pills are currently instructed to begin taking the pills at the end of a menstrual cycle. This creates a window of time between when the woman is given the pills and when she begins taking them. Some women fail to begin taking the pills, placing them at increased risk of pregnancy. This study will evaluate a new approach to beginning birth control pills. Women will take the first pill in the doctor’s office rather than waiting until the next menstrual cycle.

Condition Intervention Phase
Behavioral: Quick start oral contraceptive initiation
Phase 4

Study Type: Interventional
Study Design: Allocation: Randomized
Intervention Model: Factorial Assignment
Masking: Open Label
Primary Purpose: Prevention
Official Title: RCT of a Novel Oral Contraceptive Initiation Method

Resource links provided by NLM:

Further study details as provided by Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD):

Estimated Enrollment: 2000
Study Start Date: February 2003
Estimated Study Completion Date: March 2005
Detailed Description:

Despite the effectiveness of oral contraceptives, pregnancy rates are high among women who choose this method of birth control. These pregnancies occur due to incorrect use, premature discontinuation, and failure to begin taking oral contraceptives after they have been prescribed. As many as 25% of adolescents who seek oral contraceptives from family planning clinics never take the first pill. Failure to begin oral contraceptives may occur due to ambivalence, confusion about starting instructions, or intervening pregnancy. Conventional starting instructions for oral contraceptives require waiting until the next menstrual period; this may leave the woman at high risk of pregnancy. This trial will evaluate a "quick start" approach in which the woman swallows the first pill during the clinic visit under direct observation and then continues daily pill use without waiting for her next menses. The trial will determine whether immediate oral contraceptive initiation offers benefits compared to conventional starting approaches.

Participants in this study will be randomized to receive either the quick start or the standard starting approach. Participants will complete a questionnaire at study entry and Months 3 and 6. The main outcomes are 6-month oral contraceptive continuation rates and pregnancy rates.


Ages Eligible for Study:   up to 24 Years   (Child, Adult)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   Female
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   Yes

Inclusion Criteria

  • Requests hormonal contraceptives as primary method of contraception
  • Sexually active (intercourse within 30 days prior to study entry) or anticipating sexual activity within 30 days following study entry
  Contacts and Locations
Choosing to participate in a study is an important personal decision. Talk with your doctor and family members or friends about deciding to join a study. To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the Contacts provided below. For general information, see Learn About Clinical Studies.

Please refer to this study by its identifier: NCT00068848

United States, Georgia
Emory University School of Medicine
Atlanta, Georgia, United States, 30303
United States, New York
Mt. Sinai School of Medicine
New York, New York, United States, 10128
United States, Texas
University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas
Dallas, Texas, United States, 75235
Sponsors and Collaborators
Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD)
Principal Investigator: Carolyn L. Westhoff, MD, MSc Columbia University
  More Information

Publications automatically indexed to this study by Identifier (NCT Number): Identifier: NCT00068848     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: HD42413
Study First Received: September 10, 2003
Last Updated: April 9, 2007

Keywords provided by Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD):
Oral Contraceptives

Additional relevant MeSH terms:
Contraceptive Agents
Contraceptives, Oral
Reproductive Control Agents
Physiological Effects of Drugs
Contraceptive Agents, Female processed this record on May 25, 2017