What are the advantages of tailored combination oral contraceptive regimens?

Updated: Oct 06, 2020
  • Author: Frances E Casey, MD, MPH; Chief Editor: Richard Scott Lucidi, MD, FACOG  more...
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A French study found that among women taking combination oral contraceptive pills, those using a tailored regimen (pills taken daily until the occurrence of 3 consecutive days of bleeding, followed by 3 pill-free days) experienced significantly less bleeding than did women using a standard regimen (pills taken daily for 21 days, followed by 7 pill-free days). The pills used contained 30 mcg of ethinyl estradiol and 150 mcg of levonorgestrel. [10]

The randomized, controlled trial evaluated various outcomes from the standard and tailored regimens after 1 year in over 350 women (out of an initial 503) aged 18-45 years. The rate of satisfaction with the regimen and with the bleeding pattern was higher in patients on the standard regimen than in those on the tailored one (94% vs 86% and 87% vs 79%, respectively). Women on the tailored regimen, however, had a higher rate of continuation at 1 year than did those on the standard regimen (82% vs 80%, respectively), as well as a lower median number of bleeding days per month (2.4 days vs 4.9 days, respectively).

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