Quick Start Approach to Birth Control Pills

The safety and scientific validity of this study is the responsibility of the study sponsor and investigators. Listing a study does not mean it has been evaluated by the U.S. Federal Government. Read our disclaimer for details. Identifier: NCT00068848
Recruitment Status : Completed
First Posted : September 11, 2003
Last Update Posted : April 10, 2007
Information provided by:
Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD)

Brief Summary:
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 or disease Intervention/treatment Phase
Pregnancy Contraception Behavioral: Quick start oral contraceptive initiation Phase 4

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.

Study Type : Interventional  (Clinical Trial)
Enrollment : 2000 participants
Allocation: Randomized
Intervention Model: Factorial Assignment
Masking: None (Open Label)
Primary Purpose: Prevention
Official Title: RCT of a Novel Oral Contraceptive Initiation Method
Study Start Date : February 2003
Study Completion Date : March 2005

Resource links provided by the National Library of Medicine

MedlinePlus related topics: Birth Control

Information from the National Library of Medicine

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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

Information from the National Library of Medicine

To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the contact information provided by the sponsor.

Please refer to this study by its identifier (NCT number): 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

Publications automatically indexed to this study by Identifier (NCT Number): Identifier: NCT00068848     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: HD42413
First Posted: September 11, 2003    Key Record Dates
Last Update Posted: April 10, 2007
Last Verified: April 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