Continuous Oral Contraceptives (COCs): Are Bleeding Patterns Dependent on the Hormones Given?
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While there may be a decrease in the total number of bleeding days women experience with continuous-dosed COCs (no menstrual withdrawal week), these regimens frequently result in an increased number of "breakthrough" or non-scheduled bleeding days. Breakthrough bleeding is among the main reasons cited for discontinuation of combined COCs dosed traditionally (3 weeks of active pill, 1 week of placebo) or continuously, and may offset the perceived benefit of fewer withdrawal bleeding events for many women taking continuous-dosed COCs. The exact mechanisms responsible for breakthrough bleeding patterns during hormonal contraception are unknown and may be related to the pill formulation. This study is to determine whether progestin type or estrogen dose influences bleeding patterns, side effects, or satisfaction with combined oral contraceptives (COC) dosed continuously.
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Layout table for eligibility information
Ages Eligible for Study:
18 Years to 49 Years (Adult)
Sexes Eligible for Study:
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:
Age > 18 to 49 years old
Good general health
No medical contraindications to combined COC therapy.
In addition, all participants were required to have taken cyclic COCs for at least three months at the time of enrollment, in order to avoid common transition bleeding with the initiation of COCs.